If your pregnancy begins low-risk and stays that way, you may prefer a high touch, low-tech birth with a midwife. If you are in good health, had no complications with previous births, and the medical system in your community is set up for midwife-attended births, then this alternative may be a consideration. When interviewing a midwife, ask the following questions:
- Where did you receive your education in midwifery? Are you also a nurse?
- Are you certified and by whom? Are you licensed?
- How long have you practiced? How many births have you attended?
- May I have the names of several mothers as references?
- Who is your backup doctor? May I meet this person ahead of time?
- What percentage of time is this doctor called in to assist?
- How long will it take the doctor to get to me in case of emergency?
- Who covers if you are on vacation or with another mother?
- Do you carry a pager?
- At what point during labor do I call you?
- What arrangements do you have to transport a home birthing mother or baby to the hospital if necessary?
- Are you certified in newborn resuscitation?
- Are you experienced at manually turning a baby who is presenting in a posterior position?
- What are you fees? Is the doctor’s fee included in the fee I pay you?
- Do you offer postpartum care?
HOW TO FIND A MIDWIFE
To find a midwife in your community, check the following resources:
American College of Home Obstetrics
P.O. Box 508
Oak Park, IL 60303(708) 388-1461
Association for Childbirth at Home International
P.O. Box 430
Glendale, CA 91209(213) 667-0839
California Association of Midwives (CAM)
P.O. Box 417854
Sacramento, CA 95814
(Request their publication Midwife Means “With Woman,” An informative 56-page booklet about choosing and using a midwife.)
American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
1522 K Street NW, Suite 1120
Washington, D.C. 20005
Informed Home birth and Parenting
P.O. Box 3675
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
MANA (Midwives’ Alliance of North America)
600 Fifth Street
Monett, MO 65708