Upon getting a positive pregnancy test, careful consideration should be made about you is going to take care of you and your unborn child for the next 9 months. There are several things to think about. Do you want a doctor or a midwife? Do you want a hospital birth, birth center birth, or homebirth? After figuring that out, you should should interview several doctors/midwives to determine who is the right fit. Most midwives, including myself, offer a free consultation. Some doctors do as well, but some charge. Make sure to ask when setting up the appointment.
Be prepared for your interview. Write down out any questions that you may have. I love when clients bring pages of notes with them. It tells me that they put thought into it. When you are conducting the interview, it is because you want to know whether you should hire me. Think of what things would make you want to hire me and what things are deal breakers. Below is a starter list of questions:
What kind of training do you have: type, length, settings
What is your experience: number of babies delivered; complications handled (maternal and newborn)
Do you have medical back-up: Required by midwife? Provided by midwife? Selected by parents?
What do you think of childbirth education: type of parent education recommended or required; knowledge of various methods such as Lamaze, Bradley, Hypnobirthing
What kind of care would I receive prenatally: what is included: arrangements for lab screening; frequency
What are the normal labor procedures: what is checked (such as pelvic exams, maternal vital signs, fetal heart rate); frequency
What kind of equipment do you have: supplies for normal birth; equipment for emergencies (such as hemorrhage, lacerations, distressed newborn)
What post-partum care (after birth care) is provided: frequency; type; what is included
What are your fees: amount services included; any additional charges; written financial agreement
How are you continuing your education: group affiliations; professional journals and newsletters read; conferences and workshops attended.
Can you think of others? Feel free to share your list in the comments.