Interviewing Care Providers

In our previous post we discussed why it’s so important to choose your care provider and birthing location carefully. If you have not checked out our Choosing Your Care Provider Flowchart, please do so before reading any further! This flowchart asks simple questions to lead you to the ideal birthing location and provider for your desires, comfort level, and values. The blog also included a chart specific to Nashville care providers. You can view that here.

Once you have made the decision that you are going to set up interviews with either midwives, OBGYNs, or both, now you may be wondering, “What questions do I ask?” We  have compiled a list of several questions for you to take into the consultation. Some questions may not apply to all care providers, so use this as inspiration for your interview and pick and choose what questions you will need.

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The first set of questions are all logistical. If you find that the care provider you are interviewing is extremely bias or passionate about certain questions, that can tell you a lot about how they will be on birthing day. If their answer impresses you and aligns with your own opinions on certain procedures, you might have found the perfect care provider for you. And on the flip side, if their answers send up a red flag in your mind, you might choose to keep interviewing other care providers. Be sure to ask these:

Logistical Questions: 

  • What routine procedures do you do?
  • What is your c-section rate?
  • How often do you induce?
  • How often do you do episiotomies?
  • How often do you do assisted delivery?
  • Will you break my water or allow it to break on its own?
  • What positions can I deliver in?
  • Can I move around during labor?
  • What is your policy on having an IV?
  • What prenatal tests do you require?
  • Will you attend the birth or do you work in a group?

The next few questions are more personal. If you feel like the care provider you are interviewing is not comfortable with a doula or their birth philosophy does not align with yours, you may choose to go with someone else.

Birth Philosophy Questions

  • What is your birth philosophy?
  • How do you feel about a doula in the labor room?
  • What is your view on pain relief during labor?

Situational questions can be the determining factor in the interview process for many expectant mothers. Below, I have given you two examples of a “situation” you may want to ask the care provider’s opinion on. I have heard women say, “I thought my OB was fine with me going past 41 weeks, but they are already discussing induction before then!” Avoid that by asking questions on how your care provider would respond in specific situations:

Situational Questions: 

  • If labor is “long” or stalled what would you do?
  • At what point past my due date will you suggest induction?

Lastly, there are case by case interview questions. If you have had a previous Cesarean, be sure to dig deep into your care providers VBAC policies and views. Or if you have a family history of twins or breech births, you may want to ask them about that as well.

Special Scenario Questions:

  • Will you attend a VBAC or VBA2C birth?
  • Will you attend a vaginal or natural twin birth?
  • Would you attend a breech birth?

Interviewing care providers can be an exciting process for your and your partner. Imagining who will be there to help guide your baby earth side makes it that much more real that in 9 months you will be holding your little one. Remember to interview with confidence, knowing that you have options. If you don’t like the first person you interview, it’s ok! There are many out there to choose from. Watch for red flags and go with your gut. I promise you will never forget that special person that catches your baby on the most transformative day of your life!

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