How to Choose a Midwife

Thinking about working with a midwife to manage your pregnancy? When deciding who to choose, start by asking your doctor or OB if they can make a recommendation. You also may want to talk with any friends who have worked with a midwife to see what their experience was like and who they might recommend.

No matter who oversees your care, it's important to choose a provider you feel confident in and comfortable with. The questions below can help you choose the right midwife for you.

  • What type of certification does the midwife have?
  • Is the midwife licensed by the state?
  • Is the midwife affiliated with a medical practice, hospital, or birthing center?
  • Does this midwife have a good reputation?
  • What type of experience does the midwife have and in what settings (hospitals, birthing centers, home births)?
  • What is the midwife's general approach to pregnancy care and delivery?
  • How does the midwife manage pain during delivery?
  • What percentage of the midwife's patients have episiotomies and under what circumstances are they performed?
  • Under what circumstances would the midwife recommend certain medical interventions, such as inducing labor or ordering an epidural or C-section?
  • What is the midwife's emergency back-up plan for an out-of-hospital birth?
  • Does the midwife listen to me and explain things clearly?
  • Is my spouse or partner comfortable with the midwife?
  • Who covers for the midwife when she is not available?
  • If another midwife or doula will also attend my delivery, can I meet them beforehand?
  • Does the midwife consult with an OB and can I meet him or her?
  • Does the physician provides back-up in case of complications or emergency?
  • Is the office location convenient?
  • How are emergencies and after-hour calls handled?
  • Does my insurance cover the midwife's services?
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on January 13, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Medline Plus: "Certified Nurse Midwife."

Association of Midwifery Educators: "Certification."

American College of Nurse Midwives: "Comparison of Certified Nurse-Midwives, Certified Midwives, and Certified Professional Midwives."

American College of Nurse Midwives: "Definition of Midwifery and Scope of Practice of Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Midwives."

American College of Nurse Midwives: "Differences between Nurse-Midwives, Other Midwives, and Doulas."

Midwifery Alliance of North America: "Direct-Entry Midwifery State-by-State Legal Status, Last Updated 5-11-2011."

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "What You Need to Know About Episiotomies."

ACOG: "ACOG Recommends Restricted Use of Episiotomies."

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