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Choosing a midwife

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 11:52 PM
  • 12 Replies

I'm about 8 weeks pregnant with my second baby, and I'm planning a home birth this time. I'm supposed to meet with a midwife on Thursday but I'm already feeling a little uneasy about her, but I can't tell if it's just my anxiety (I don't know her, I've never been to the birth center where she practices, insurance issues, etc)... so I'm wondering for those of you who chose a midwife out of several options, what made you choose the one you did? What would you consider to be red flags to look out for?

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 11:52 PM
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Replies (1-10):
ballerina.2006
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:10 AM
I was uneasy finding my midwife. I did a walk through at a different birth center but wasn't set on it. I felt very indifferent at that one. What was hard for me was just finding a new person to trust to care for me and my unborn child which isn't an easy feat for anyone.

My midwife instantly put me at ease. I had no idea what to expect or questions to ask but she was awesome about discussing everything at depth and answering any questions I had. That time I ended up having a m/c and she was there every step for me and told me after if I needed anything she was still there to help. Now I'm 27 weeks and some weeks I have some off the wall questions I need to discuss that are important to *me* and she has zero qualms about what I need to discuss. She also sees me as soon as I come in even if I'm 15min early for my appt and NEVER rushes me. I've had an hour or longer appointment just to ask questions and get clarification.

Make sure you feel right about the midwife you choose. Make sure there are multiple lines of communication, back up midwife (meeting others in the practice). Make sure you don't feel rushed at the meet and greet. This really sets the stage for how the practice is run, imo. I really can't stress enough how important it was for me to feel comfortable.
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themissheather
by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:30 AM
NJ doesn't have birth centers, so my options were intervention-friendly hospitals (as the majority of them are here) or home. I went to ONE doctor appointment with a hospital midwife and hated it so much I walked out before even meeting the woman. Too cold, too sterile, too ... well not for me. I was so nervous meeting my home birth midwife for the first time, but I loved her from the get go.

I guess, the point of my story is go with your gut. If you feel uneasy or don't totally click, interview someone else.
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GoodyBrook
by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 1:35 AM

The midwife I chose for my first birth said all the right things.  I didn't know what to look for, and I was so happy not to have an OB, that I didn't interview more than one. 

In retrospect, I should have questioned her transfer rate.  And I should have asked to speak with a couple women that she transferred.  (I became one of those women, and as soon as she introduced me to the OB, she changed from a warrior princess to a kowtowing peasant).

Everyone has great things to say about their midwife when their birth goes the way they hope.  But I think that a Midwife's true colors come out in the births that aren't "successful."  And speaking to a few of the "unsuccessful" clients might give a more authentic glimpse into her practice...

Also it is important to know up front how she bills.  Does she charge the whole fee, even if you transfer to a hospital?  Equally important is to know the state laws that might prevent her from keeping you as a patient.  In my state if a mama's blood pressure goes above 140/90, she can't attend a birth.  Also if you go over 42 weeks, she can't attend your birth.  Or before 38 weeks.  (These things they don't tell you because they don't want to freak you out, but we do deserve to know!)

CelestialSong
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 9:33 AM

That's a really good point, thanks. I've been reading other peoples' experiences with some of the midwives in this area, and this particular one seems to have more negative reviews than most others.. but the people who loved her really loved her. She's also a naturopathic doctor which is what really made me interested, like I can see her as my midwife and my daughter and new baby can see her as an ND, win-win. But I guess I'll just meet her and see how I feel.

I think either way I'll meet with some other midwives before I commit. My homebirth isn't going to be very successful if I have reservations about the person I choose to attend.

Quoting GoodyBrook:

The midwife I chose for my first birth said all the right things.  I didn't know what to look for, and I was so happy not to have an OB, that I didn't interview more than one. 

In retrospect, I should have questioned her transfer rate.  And I should have asked to speak with a couple women that she transferred.  (I became one of those women, and as soon as she introduced me to the OB, she changed from a warrior princess to a kowtowing peasant).

Everyone has great things to say about their midwife when their birth goes the way they hope.  But I think that a Midwife's true colors come out in the births that aren't "successful."  And speaking to a few of the "unsuccessful" clients might give a more authentic glimpse into her practice...

Also it is important to know up front how she bills.  Does she charge the whole fee, even if you transfer to a hospital?  Equally important is to know the state laws that might prevent her from keeping you as a patient.  In my state if a mama's blood pressure goes above 140/90, she can't attend a birth.  Also if you go over 42 weeks, she can't attend your birth.  Or before 38 weeks.  (These things they don't tell you because they don't want to freak you out, but we do deserve to know!)


JoJoBean8
by Group Mod on Apr. 9, 2013 at 2:20 PM

bump

Mrs.Salz
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM

How comfortable you feel around her, how she listens and responds to your concerns, and how open she is to your opinion are all important factors IMO.

tansyflower
by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM

i knew from the start who my midwife would be, but then again she had attended both my sisters births so i KNEW what to expect from her and she was wonderful.  we are still very close friends and see each other often.

i think if i were in your shoes i would ask questions like what her transfer rate was, how many clients per year does she take on, how many woman does she already have due around your EDD, how many births she had attended, how many fetal deaths she has had in her career, will she stay with you and be your doula and patient advocate at the hospital in case of a transfer....things like that.  i asked my midwife all those things and she didnt blink an eye.  trust your gut mama and if you dont feel like this person is right for you dont feel bad about interviewing others okay?

tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Apr. 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I had the choice of this midwife or no homebirth...not a huge choice huh? I dont feel the connection with her I wish I did but its gettn stronger as time goes on and as i feel she respects me and is becoming a friend.

I was really anxious too..I think thats normal

skylarkdancer
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2013 at 9:57 PM
I highly suggest the book ina may gaskins guide to childbirth, there are many birth stories written in that book and there are good and bad stories. It really gives you a good perspective. I loved my midwife as soon as I met her. She is an amazing woman. I had her with my first pregnancy and she's with me with my current one. You are in my dd group. :-)
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Sarah725
by Group Mod - Sarah on Apr. 10, 2013 at 10:03 PM

 you just have to pick one that you have a connection with, the one that you feel comfortable with.

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