Questions for Prospective Doctors and Midwives
Print out this page and bring it along to your interviews with prospective doctors or midwives.
Background and Philosophy
____ How long have you been in practice?
____ When and where did you receive training?
____ What is your general philosophy concerning pregnancy and birth?
____ How many babies do you deliver per week/month/year?
____ Who do you share on-call duties with? What is the rotation schedule?
____ How long have the others been in practice?
____ Will I be seen by every practitioner?
____ Do I have a choice about who I see?
____ What is your definition of a high-risk pregnancy?
____ Do you return calls personally, or ask a nurse or receptionist to call back?
____ What is your policy on induction? How long beyond term, for what reasons and what percentage of women do you induce?
____ What is your cesarean rate? When do you perform cesareans?
____ Do you encourage VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
____ What is your episiotomy rate? When do you perform episiotomies?
____ What tests do you require for a woman with my background (age, history of miscarriage, etc.)?
____ Please explain fully each test that will be performed.
The Birth Experience
____ Do you do home births?
____ Where do you deliver (name of hospital or birth center)? Why?
____ Do you support the presence of a doula?
____ Do you encourage and respect written birth plans?
____ When a mother arrives in labor, what is the standard procedure?
____ May I labor, give birth, and recover in one room?
____ What is the nurse-to-patient ratio? (According to ACOG, it should be one nurse for two women in early labor, then one-to-one in the pushing stage.)
____ Does the hospital have a policy on the use of electronic fetal monitoring during labor?
____ Do you have a squat bar or birthing chair?
____ Do you do water births?
____ Is there access to a whirlpool/tub for those in labor?
____ What is your policy on epidurals?
____ Can my partner and/or doula be with me at all times, including in the operating room if I have a cesarean?
____ How many other people can I have with me at all times?
____ Will my baby be with me at all times after birth?
____ Can my partner spend the night in my room if he or she wishes after the birth?
____ Is there a lactation consultant on staff? Is she on call 24-7?
____ How soon after birth can/must I leave the facility?
____ What is the average cost of a vaginal birth? A cesarean birth?
Labor and Delivery
____ At what point in labor do you recommend coming to the birth center?
____ How long will you allow me to labor before starting intervention?
____ How much time will you spend with me when I'm in labor?
____ Do you do vaginal breech births?
____ Will you attempt external version (turning a breech before birth)?
____ Do you require IVs during labor?
____ Do you recommend epidurals?
____ What is your policy on using Pitocin in labor? After birth?
____ How do you handle a long labor? Are there time limits?
____ Do you use vacuum extraction or forceps? Under what conditions?
____ Do you have a set position you would want me to birth my baby in? What laboring positions do you recommend?
____ Is my partner allowed to catch the baby? Cut the cord?
____ Can I breastfeed immediately after birth?
____ Do you encourage women to breastfeed?
____ What is your policy for postnatal care?