Standards of Care
One of the most important things you can do is prepare for the meeting. Find out what the laws are regarding homebirth midwives. Is midwifery legal in your state? If so, what are the legal Standards of Care? If midwifery is not legal, try and find out the community’s Standards, often discovered after several different midwife interviews. If you’re in a place with only one or two midwives and you are truly concerned about the safety of yourself and your baby… you are deciding between home and hospital based on the interviews, it’s vital to figure out what the community standards are, even if they are only based on one or two midwives.
Some typical questions about Standards of Care:
- “Does this community support having twins or breeches at home?”
- “Does the midwifery community believe in ultrasounds if a pregnant woman delivers after 40 weeks?”
- “Do the midwives locally give IV antibiotics for GBS positive moms?”
Just those three questions alone can give you a feel for how the midwives in that area practice. Depending on the answers you are looking for will help you know if the community has the same mindset as you. If you wanted to spin the questions a little crunchier, you could ask:
- “If there is a problem… like a UTI in pregnancy or bleeding after the birth… and I want to use homeopathy or herbs instead of medications, will your community support you in this? Or will they have a problem with my not using antibiotics or Pitocin.”
- “If I went over 42 weeks and still wanted a homebirth, is this something normal in your midwifery community? Or is that frowned upon.”
- “What are your views on alternative methods of GBS treatment?”
When you know what style of midwife you’re looking for, knowing the standards of care in the community will let you know if the woman you end up choosing will be seen as a possible renegade or that her actions will be similar to the other midwives you might choose from. This information alone will help hone your choice of midwives.
Next: Finding the Midwife to Interview