Are you one of those people that loves to ask questions? Or maybe one of the ones who’s mind always seems to draw a blank the second someone says, ‘Do you have any questions?’.

Well, either way, your pregnancy and preparations for your home birth are a time when questions (and lots of them) are going to be key!

I’m talking questions that will really help you get to know your midwife on the next level. Questions that will keep you comfortable, healthy, supported and sane during pregnancy. Questions that will enhance and empower your home birth experience. In short, questions you don’t want to forget! And we all know how real pregnancy brain is, am I right?

But don’t fret! With this list of must ask questions for your midwife you’ll know you thought of everything.

There are 6 essential categories of questions to ask your midwife about your home birth and pregnancy:

  • Questions to help you get to know your midwife
  • Prenatal questions to ask your midwife throughout your pregnancy
  • Questions to ask your midwife at specific points in pregnancy
  • Questions to ask your midwife specific to home birth and labor
  • Postpartum questions about what to expect in the weeks after your home birth
  • Financial questions for your midwife surrounding home birth

With these categories as your guide, every question you need or want to ask your midwife will be covered from the first trimester, to birth, through postpartum healing and breastfeeding.

With this complete question list, you will have a rock solid bond and relationship with your midwife. These questions will improve your confidence and help you feel more in control as your home birth approaches. These questions will also ensure a pregnancy and postpartum recovery that is more comfortable.

Questions to help you get to know your midwife

The “getting to know you phase” with your midwife starts when you choose a midwife for your home birth. Likely, you’ve taken the time to research midwives in your area and even conducted some midwifery interviews.

These getting to know you, or “introduction questions for your midwife”, aim to bond you with your midwife and create a sense of comfort. Your home birth is an intimate and special experience. Taking the time to ask these questions will boost your confidence in your midwife as your pregnancy progresses and home birth draws nearer.

Must ask questions to get to know your midwife

  1. What are your certifications? What type of midwife are you?
  2. What are your past experiences with home birth?
  3. What is the most memorable home birth you have attended?
  4. How many home birth clients do you have on your case load at a time?
  5. Why did you become a midwife?
  6. What are your thoughts and feelings on family centered care? Do you include partners in the prenatal, birth, and postpartum process as much as possible?
  7. What words would you use to describe the home birth experience?
  8. Where are you from originally? If not here, what brought you to this region to practice midwifery care?
  9. When not practicing midwifery care or attending births, what would we find you doing?
  10. What have you done with birthing mothers and partners in the past to ensure a strong bond and sense of trust leading up to home birth?
  11. What are the best ways to contact you with questions or concerns throughout the childbearing cycle? (email, text, video calls, etc.)

Prenatal questions to ask your midwife before your home birth

Pregnancy, whether it’s leading up to a home birth or not, is often a time that’s filled with questions. Every twinge, crazy dream or mood swing might leave you in need of some support.

And guess what? That’s what your midwife is there for! Midwifery care is centered on caring for the whole woman. So don’t be shy about leaning on your midwife for support with the physical aspects (and discomforts!) of pregnancy as well as the emotional side of things.

Additionally, your midwife can likely provide guidance on things like prenatal nutrition, prenatal fitness, classes to prepare for birth, how to relieve symptoms naturally and more.

Must ask prenatal questions for your midwife

  1. Where will prenatal visits take place? If this hasn’t been determined yet, find out if she will come to your home, if she has an office or uses a birth center or other location.
  2. What can I expect from a typical prenatal visit? How long will they be?
  3. Will you do urine tests at prenatal appointments? Why or why not?
  4. Are you able to do routine prenatal blood draws? If not, can you order them and where can I get them done?
  5. What schedule do you recommend for my prenatal visits?
  6. What prenatal testing do you recommend or routinely promote? If you have strong opinions about prenatal testing you do or do not want, add your questions here
  7. What might occur in my pregnancy that would cause you to transfer me to an OB/GYN?
  8. Do you perform ultrasounds? If so, when do you recommend them? If not, where do you recommend I get them done?
  9. What are your opinions and philosophy on weight gain throughout pregnancy? Talk about your unique scenario here.
  10. Can you give advice about prenatal nutrition and foods to eat and foods to avoid during pregnancy? Ask about any specific foods here.
  11. What activities should I avoid during pregnancy?
  12. What physical activities and exercises are safe for me during pregnancy? If applicable: ask about your preferred fitness routine here.
  13. What prenatal vitamins and other supplements do you recommend throughout pregnancy?
  14. How (if at all) might prenatal care preparing for a home birth differ from prenatal care leading up to a hospital birth? Especially worth asking if you’ve had prior hospital births and this is your first home birth

Questions to ask your midwife at certain prenatal appointments

As your pregnancy progresses, there are definitely appointments that are kind of “milestones” in your pregnancy. These appointments often mark the start of new trimesters, a big change in baby’s development in the womb, or marked discomfort/more intense symptoms for you as the birthing momma.

Questions to ask your midwife at 12 weeks pregnant

The 12-week ultrasound and NT Scan

Your 12-week appointment, under conventional care, usually involves an ultrasound and optional (but often encouraged) NT Scan. This scan measures baby’s neck and combines the information with mom’s medical history to make assumptions about possible chromosomal disorders.

The problem with NT Scans is that they have a relatively high rate of false positives. A positive test means you have a 1/100 or 1/300 chance of an abnormality. This can result in a large amount of unnecessary stress.

An alternative option: Genetic Testing through blood work

Alternatively, some couples opt for genetic testing done through a blood draw to detect chromosomal disorders at this point in pregnancy. This route has a much lower rate of false positives, but it is not typically covered by insurance. This testing also allows you to find out the gender at 12 weeks if you desire.

Why is this important to know?

Why the overview of conventional prenatal care in an article about home birth and questions to ask your midwife? Knowledge is power! Now, you can research these options to ask more informed questions to your midwife at this appointment (or leading up to it) to get the exact care you desire.

Questions to ask your midwife at your 12 week prenatal appointment:

  1. What (if any) prenatal testing do you recommend in week 12?
  2. Are you able to conduct an Ultrasound and NT Scan? How can we make this possible? (if desired)
  3. Can you order genetic testing blood work for me? If not, do you have a relationship with a medical professional who can? (if desired)
  4. Are there any changes I should make to my diet or activity level as I enter the second trimester?
  5. Questions about specific symptoms, feelings, or emotions you are experiencing

Questions to ask your midwife at 20 weeks pregnant

The 20 week mark in your pregnancy is another big milestone! You’re halfway to your due date, and most women begin to feel baby move for the first time between 18 and 23 weeks. In conventional prenatal care, women have another ultrasound around 20 weeks. This is known as the Anatomy Scan.

In the 20-Week Anatomy Scan, providers are taking a closer look at baby to see if they are growing and developing normally. They will look at bone length, the curve of the spine, and the development of organs among other things. The ultrasound technician will also check the position of the placenta.

If you wish to know baby’s gender, this is typically the appointment when that happens. Again, you might be wondering why I included info about conventional care? Because I want you to make the right decision for you and your family.

Questions for your midwife at the 20 week appointment:

  1. What are your thoughts on the Anatomy Scan? Do you recommend it? Why or Why not?
  2. Where can I go to have a 20 week anatomy scan? If desired
  3. Can you perform a 20 week anatomy scan or do I need to schedule it elsewhere? If desired
  4. Now that I can feel the baby, can you talk to me about kick counting? How do I do it?
  5. Do you think kick counting is important?
  6. If I feel a sudden decrease in baby’s movement, what should I do?
  7. Moving forward, what are your guidelines for “must contact me” moving forward? (ie: decrease in fetal movement, bloody discharge, etc)
  8. Looking ahead, what are your thoughts on screening for gestational diabetes between weeks 24-28?
  9. Are there more natural alternatives to the provided glucose drink that you can recommend?
  10. In the event of gestational diabetes, can we continue care or will you refer me to an OB/GYN?

Questions for your midwife in the third trimester of pregnancy

During the third trimester of pregnancy more and more is going on with your body. You’re likely experiencing significant weight gain each week. All of these changes to your body results in more symptoms to discuss with your midwife.

What’s more, your home birth is starting to feel more and more real! The third trimester will really kick your planning instincts into high gear. Now is when the real planning, preparation, and excitement for your home birth takes a front seat.

Questions to ask your midwife at 28 weeks

28 weeks is the official start of the third trimester! Here are the must-ask questions for this exciting milestone in your pregnancy:

  1. What can I expect in terms of symptoms for the third trimester?
  2. How is my weight gain so far? What are your recommendations moving forward?
  3. What does iron deficiency look like in pregnancy? How might it effect my energy?
  4. Now that I’m in my third trimester, what is our plan if I go into labor early?
  5. How many weeks do I need to be to move forward with a home birth?
  6. What steps should I start taking towards creating my birth plan?
  7. What can I start doing to encourage baby into the ideal positioning for my home birth? (exercises, stretching, posture, chiropractor etc.)

Questions to ask your midwife at 35 weeks

At 35 weeks, many of your questions are going to be about labor and delivery, which I’m including in their own section below. However, there are a few that might still be “prenatal” in nature:

  1. How is baby’s position? What can I do to encourage them into proper position if they’re not already?
  2. What can I start doing now to prepare for breastfeeding? Really talk about this! So many mothers forget to give this any thought or focus until after baby has arrived
  3. Do you have a doula that you recommend or work with?
  4. Can my doula attend my next prenatal appointment so that you can meet before the day of my home birth?

Questions to ask your midwife at 37 weeks

Again, most of your discussion at this appointment will fall under the next category of birth and delivery questions, but a few not to forget:

  1. Repeat: How is baby’s position? What can I do to encourage them into proper position if they’re not?
  2. What do you recommend for turning babies? Do you have experience with this?
  3. What can I do in the next few weeks to prepare mentally for my home birth?

Questions about labor and delivery to ask your midwife before your home birth

Labor and delivery is of course the main event when it comes to planning your home birth. So here are ALL the questions you need to ask your midwife about your home birth.

These questions should be discussed with your midwife throughout your third trimester and especially before you begin to create your birth plan.

  1. How and when should we contact you when labor begins? What does the timeline typically look like in terms of when you will arrive?
  2. What equipment will you bring with you the day of birth?
  3. What intervention and resuscitation devices will you have with you?
  4. Specifically, will you have Pitocin in the event that it is needed for hemorrhaging?
  5. Are trained and able to utilize IVs for the birthing mother if necessary?
  6. Are you trained in newborn resuscitation? Have you ever had to perform newborn resuscitation?
  7. What experiences have you had where things didn’t progress as planned? How did you handle them?
  8. How can we create a back-up plan as a team in the event that something doesn’t go as planned?
  9. Do you work with a consulting physician?
  10. Do you have transfer rights at a hospital that will guarantee my acceptance should a hospital transfer be necessary?
  11. What events might happen that would result in a hospital transfer?
  12. What would a transfer during labor look like? What about a transfer to a hospital right after birth? What does it look like if only baby needs to be transferred?
  13. Do you have a back-up midwife should you not be available? When can I meet them?
  14. Will a student-midwife or apprentice be attending my birth?
  15. How can we support my partner’s fears during birth? If applicable
  16. What happens if I am overdue? At what point is it no longer safe for me to deliver at home?
  17. What induction methods (if any) do you recommend or use? What methods do you have the most experience with? When would you suggest induction?
  18. What happens if I go into labor early? When is it considered safe to deliver at home?
  19. What are your thoughts on delayed cord clamping? Do you consider this routine care?
  20. What are your experiences with nuchal cords? How will you handle this situation?
  21. Are you trained in newborn care procedures? Which do you recommend and why? Which are optional?
  22. Do you have other clients due in the same month as me?
  23. What methods of pain management do you recommend? What might you supply to help with pain management?
  24. Do you have training in essential oil use, acupressure, acupuncture, herbs etc. related to labor?
  25. What supplies should we have on hand to facilitate our home birth? What supplies or items do you recommend for pain managements? (birthing ball, hot water bottle, massage oils, music, etc.)
  26. Do I need to supply my own birth kit?
  27. Do you attend water births? What is your experience with water births? Can you provide me with a tub to rent? Can I deliver in my own bath tub? Where can I acquire a birthing tub?
  28. If you do not attend water births, until what point would you allow laboring (or pushing) in water?
  29. Can I eat and drink during labor if I feel up to it?
  30. What methods do you use to check dilation? Are you experienced with alternative methods to internal checks? What are your thoughts and attitude towards dilation checks in general?
  31. How and how often will you monitor baby during labor? How about the birthing mother’s vitals?
  32. Can you provide sutures if necessary?
  33. Do you work with birth photographers? Can you recommend one?
  34. Do you work with doulas? Can you recommend one?
  35. Can my partner catch the baby?
  36. Are you comfortable with pets being present during my home birth?
  37. Can my older children be present during my home birth?
  38. Do you have any limitations on the number of people present during my home birth?

Postpartum questions to ask your midwife before your home birth

In this guide of must-ask questions for your midwife, we can’t forget about the postpartum side of things. Lots of questions are going to come up after birth.

And if this is your first birth, it’s really difficult to anticipate what it’s going to feel like down there. But here are some questions to have in mind ahead of time:

  1. What is your typical postpartum care schedule? When can I expect to check in with you? How many home visits will I have with you and where might other visits take place?
  2. What supplies do you recommend I have on hand to aid in postpartum healing? Natural remedies, herbs, etc?
  3. Do you offer placenta encapsulation? What is the cost?
  4. Do you offer breastfeeding support? Do you have any extra training or certificates in breastfeeding?
  5. Can you recommend a postpartum doula with breastfeeding expertise?
  6. What is considered normal for bleeding postpartum?
  7. What is considered normal emotionally during the postpartum weeks? What’s not?

Financial questions for your midwife about your home birth

The reality of planning your home birth is making sure you fully understand the price and payment expectations. From the beginning, you want to have a clear outline of cost for prenatal care, labor, birth, and postpartum care.

Find out what networks (if any) your midwife is a part of. I recommend before you even choose a midwife for your home birth that you call your insurance company directly. Find out your coverage for midwifery care and home birth before anything else.

  1. Do you charge by the hour/visit, or under one lump sum for the entire childbearing cycle?
  2. What is your rate for the entire childbearing cycle (or estimate in the event of hourly)?
  3. What are your expectations or requirements in terms of payment plan?
  4. What exactly is included in your fee? (supplies, care, availability, etc.)
  5. What is your knowledge of insurance coverage for home birth? Do you work with a billing agent?

Keep this list of questions for your midwife handy, Momma!

Phew. Now you KNOW you won’t forget to ask anything during your home birth pregnancy! Relieve any anxieties surrounding birth by asking all the right questions with this guide.

Understanding the full picture (every step of the way) will truly enhance your home birth experience.

So, no matter where you’re at in your pregnancy, don’t forget to Pin this article for later! You’ll love having it at your fingertips and coming back again and again to ask all the right questions.

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