Friday, May 11, 2012

Ask a Midwife: How do I pick a good midwife?

"What should I be looking for in good midwife?" -- A mom considering home birth

Parents who choose to have their birth at home should be sure their midwife . . .

1. Is a Certified Nurse Midwife with experience managing both low and high risk pregnancies.
2. Is licensed to practice in her state.
3. Carries malpractice insurance.
4. Has a professional relationship with an OB/GYN team for collaboration, consultation, 
referral and transfer if needed.
5. Has a well organized transport system for her clients.
6. Is wiling to share her "risk-out" criteria, her protocols and her stats with you.
7. Asks you how far your home is from the hospital that has an OB Unit. Ideally, you should live no further than 15 minutes from your nearest hospital if you are attempting home birth.
8. Has another CNM or RN that attends EACH and EVERY birth with her AND they are both currently in their BCLS (basic cardiac life support) and NRP (neonatal resusitation program) certifications and have also had experience managing both low and high risk pregnancies.
9. Does not attend high risk deliveries at home including breeches, twins or VBACs.

Other points to consider . . .
  • Home birth is not safe for everyone.
  • Birth is not to be trusted - it is to be RESPECTED.
  • Home birth is not as safe for baby as being born in a hospital. The NCB (Natural Child Birth) community can state that it is - and in the past I have stated it as well - but research has shown differently. Parents need to be aware that if the midwife they choose does not know how to recognize / anticipate when normal is turning into abnormal VERY QUICKLY , the results can be deadly for mom and baby.
  • Women do not have the right to make choices for their baby. Your birth experience does not trump the safety of your baby

"Ask a midwife" is a write-in series here on the blog. If you have a question for our Certified Nurse Midwife, please share it with us here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, thank you! After attempting a natural hospital birth, and then ending up with an c-section, I quickly became very aware of how important it was to have quick access to the hospital. Thankfully my situation was a emergency in the "the baby needs to be out NOW" sense, but it easily could have been without having a provider who could understand the warning signs and make the decision in a timely manner. I sometimes wonder had I chosen a home or birth center birth - and both options were on the table for a long time - if things would have turned out poorly for myself and Henry. Would my providers have made the call that he just wasn't going to come out the old fashioned way, or would they have continued to let me labor, risking myself and my baby. I am so thankful that I had a OB who respected my wishes for a natural and intervention free birth experience, but who also understood when enough was enough, and let me know when it was time to let go and do what was necessary.