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Factors to consider in using Midwives for Home Births

Choosing a midwife is a serious affair- you are putting yourself and your baby in her capable hands at your most vulnerable point. Choose carefully, and ask a lot of advice from other women who have had the experiences you’re considering. Ask about pre natal and post natal care and of course discuss any fees and exactly what they cover, and find out whether or not they will be covered by your health insurance.

Read a lot of books on the subject, and write down any questions- what she would do if this happened, how she will manage this aspect of the birth, what you’ll need to do at what point during the labor and the time leading up to and after it. Ask her about the plan to get you to a hospital, if you should need to go. It’s most important that you feel safe, confident that this individual will do whats best for you and your baby.

Also be ready to involve her in some steps prior to actual delivery. She should be aware of any risk factors or family history that may affect you, the birth, or that baby, and should definitely know if the baby is likely to have any serious medical problems or complications- in which case you’ll probably want to give birth in a hospital or medical facility, with your midwife present.

Rules vary from area to area regarding midwives and home births- make sure the person you choose has whatever qualifications, certifications, and coverages that are required in your area.

Also consider how close your midwife lives to your home, and how available she is. If she’s already agreed to attend other women who may be going into labor around the same time you are, have a backup plan- talk to her about this. She should be able to provide you with a backup plan you’re comfortable with, if she cannot guarantee her availability.

Another very important thing is personality. You should like and respect this person, and she should like and respect you, and feel comfortable around everyone who will be present at the birth. Remember, this is the person who will be with you through a profoundly vulnerable, humbling experience- and a bit of a mess. Respect is essential.

Giving birth at home is about being comfortable and secure in your environment. Take your time and think every step through, and look forward to a wonderful birthing experience!