How to Find & Hire a Midwife
A midwife is someone who attends prenatal care visits and is present at the birth of your child. She is also there during the post-partum period to provide care as well as advice for mom and baby.
There are three different types of midwives. It is essential to be informed in order to make the best decision for you.
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Trained nurses with additional study in midwifery.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
A midwife who has passed the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) competency test and is awarded the CPM Certificate.
Direct Entry Midwife
An independent practitioner who has learned the skill of midwifery through study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school or college that is not a nursing program.
See what types of midwives are legally licensed to provide you with care at MANA’s State Law Regulations
How to Find a Midwife:
First, find out if your state licenses midwives, then visit MANA, Midwives Alliance of North America, a great resource for finding midwives.
More than one midwife in your area? Time to interview.
“Interview until you click with someone. Take someone with years of experience, but that isn’t the only factor. My current midwife was an apprentice to my last midwife (a couple of babies ago) but we clicked. I feel comfortable telling her anything.” – Ariel
Home birth is all about choice, right down to your care provider. If there is more than one midwife practicing home birth within driving distance, interview all of them.
Some questions to ask during the interview:
- are you certified?
- if you are unavailable for my labor, who is your back-up and can I meet them?
- at what point during labor do you join me?
- how many births have you attended?
- do you encourage movement and different positions during labor?
- what is your fee and what is the total amount of money I will be spending on birth supplies?
- do you cut episiotomies? (if this is something she does when she deems necessary, ask her what her idea of necessary is)
- what is your rate of transfer?
Not all midwives have the same training and education.
There are different standards held by each type of midwife. While a CPM may not have gone to nursing school, she may have more experience with natural birth than a midwife who works strictly in a hospital. Ask as many questions as you can think of. References, history, you name it. Get personal. Birth is personal.
This is a person you are going to be letting into your personal space during the months before your child is born, nevermind actually delivering your baby! You want to have a strong connection. This bond will strengthen over your pregnancy to the point of kinship; one to be treasured forever.