During birth, you’ll want a peaceful, supportive crew in your corner. So who do you ask to share this intimate event? The right fit is key, and you’re not obligated to pick an ob/gyn.
Certified nurse midwives work in every state, in all settings. “Finding the right ally will help ensure that giving birth is the most fulfilling experience it can be,” says Cara Muhlhahn, a certified nurse midwife featured in Ricki Lake’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, and author of the new book Labor of Love: a Midwife’s Memoir. Here are four things to consider when interviewing potential midwives.
1. Where do you want to give birth? Most nurse midwives practice in hospitals and birth centers. But some deliver babies at home.
2. What’s your pain-relief preference? Nurse midwives can prescribe medications for pregnancy and labor, but if you deliver at home, an epidural is out—for that you need an anesthesiologist and a hospital setting. Midwives who aren’t nurses can’t offer drugs.
3. What will happen if your labor doesn’t progress normally? Any midwife you hire should be able to tell you.
4. What’s her background and philosophy? Perhaps she has a decade of experience delivering babies at home—or maybe you just like her way of looking at labor and delivery. Think about what each candidate brings to the table and how that pairs with your personality and medical needs.