Meet Steve Walden

Questions To Ask When Interviewing Midwives

Finding the right midwife can take some time. It is completely normal and accepted for mothers-to-be and their partners to meet with several midwives before choosing one. Midwives understand this; they generally offer free consultations, and they know that a good "fit" is essential in their line of work. When meeting with midwives, you will typically spend a few minutes listening to the midwife's overview of their work and services, and then you'll get a chance to ask questions. You should ask any question that comes to mind and seems important in the moment, but do make sure you ask the questions that follow, too.

What kind of training and experience does the midwife have?

Regulations related to midwives vary by state. But regardless of what state you live in, you want to make sure that the midwife you hire is certified. In most cases, you are best off hiring a midwife who is also a registered nurse. However, you may feel comfortable hiring a non-nurse midwife as long as they are working in collaboration with other medical professionals, like nurses and OBGYNs.

Where does the midwife have their patients deliver?

People often assume that midwives only help with home births, but this is not the case. Some midwives are affiliated with certain hospitals and only help their patients deliver at those hospitals. Others work at private birthing centers and see the majority of their patients there. Still, others do tend to predominantly oversee home births. Ask this question at the very beginning of the interview. You don't want to assume your midwife will attend your hospital birth only to learn, later on, that they do not have permissions at your preferred hospital. 

Do they accept insurance?

Health insurance companies have become more open to the use of midwives in recent years, and many insurance plans do cover at least part of the cost associated with midwife services. However, not all midwives accept all insurance plans. Tell the midwife what health insurance plan you have, and see whether they accept that plan. If not, ask what it will cost to hire their services out-of-pocket. If that number is not realistic for you, then you can look for a different midwife who does take your insurance. 

When interviewing midwives, it's important to ask the right questions. There are no wrong questions, and you should ask whatever comes to mind — but do be sure to include the topics above in your discussion.