Saturday, January 24, 2009

interview with the lovely lady midwives of awakenings

This is the midwives, home birthing group that my neighbor and friend Nicole worked with to deliver her 6 month-old (today!) daughter Piper. Everyone has described that event at "wonderful." And Nikki can't say enough good things about working with the women. Especially after a history of not being able to connect with OB/GYNs, let alone a very freaky experience of being hit on(??!!) while getting prepped for a termination. (EEWWWW)

So, to prepare for my interview, I talked over a few questions with Ross and set about researching on the ol' inter-webs for "questions you should ask your midwives" kinda lists. There are more than a handful of helpful websites out there, but here are the ones I referred to in order to come up with my own list:
* "Questions to Ask Your Careprovider"
Lots of questions, too many to ask in one sitting, really, that are divided into different categories -- which is very useful. Questions range all over the place, from: What is my due date? to How long has the doctor/midwife been in practice? and How soon after birth can/must I leave the facility? I picked and chose the questions I wanted to hear answered at my first interview.
Question: Why do alternative health websites use purple so damn much?

Gentle Birth: "Questions for Clients to Ask Midwives"
Starts off with a link to ABC's 20/20's coverage of orgasmic birth — which offers a clue or two about their readership and tone. Again, quite a list of questions separated into categories: Experience, Prenatal Care, Hospital and Obstetrician, General Labor, Financial Matters, The Baby. These questions were compiled by the author (Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA) and her partner.

Estronaut: A Forum for Women's Health: "Questions to Ask a Midwife"
And... these questions are in a hot pink font. Just the highlight questions, so a good list to start with and add to. Also, the list seems to be a bit out-dated as it refers to "beepers."

AC: Health and Wellness: "Questions to Ask a Midwife While Pregnant"
Twelve questions, with a short introduction. The site suggests a major publication rather than a CodePink lady is behind the design. Which, well, makes it feel different than the other sites referenced. Another good starting place. Don't avoid the purple/pink/womyn sites, just be sure to edit the questions to fit YOUR needs. That's what I did.

1 comment:

  1. These are the questions I wanted to make sure were covered:

    What is your fee and what services does it include? Which fees are separate (ask about prenatal care, lab work, newborn assessment, breastfeeding support, postpartum care, and birth control counseling)?

    What about payment plans? (Note: It would also be a good idea to research basic hospital charges such as normal and cesarean birth.)

    Do you accept reimbursements from insurance companies? Which ones?

    What other costs might I encounter? (Note: In the case of transport to the hospital, physician and hospital fees will ordinarily be additional.)

    How long does the average prenatal visit last during my pregnancy?

    How often will you want to see me during each trimester of pregnancy?

    What are your recommendations for pregnancy and childbirth preparation classes?

    Are you able to provide any necessary prenatal lab work? What prenatal tests do you require? Recommend?

    What does a typical prenatal checkup consist of? Will I see you each at each prenatal visit or another midwife?

    What do you provide that women with HMO's would get from OB/CNM?

    What equipment do you normally use at births? What medications and equipment do you have for emergencies?

    Are you certified in CPR? What complications have you seen and handled? How would you handle complications such as hemorrhage, cord around the babys neck, baby not breathing spontaneously?

    Do you have adequate medical backup? Do you rely on a particular doctor or hospital? Can I choose my own physician?

    Do you attend births in a birthing center or hospital?

    How do you handle emergencies? Under what circumstances would you transfer?

    How many women whom you have attended have had to go to the hospital?

    Would you stay with me in the hospital?

    Do you require that I see a physician during my pregnancy even if everything is all right?

    Do you have guidelines or restrictions about who can give birth at home?

    How long do you wait to cut the cord? How long do you wait to allow the placenta to deliver naturally?

    Can we delay weighing and first baby check up if there is no emergency? I prefer to nurse right away; what circumstances would cause you to remove the baby from my arms?

    Do you help with the clean up process? How long do you stay after the birth?

    How many postpartum checkups do we get in the following weeks? Will you come to my house for them or do I need to come to you?

    Recent legislation that made it more diff to do home birth?

    Do you have back up physician? Should I arrange for one or for a CNM?