Interviews and What To Ask

I got a new book the other day, Special Women by Paulina Perez and Cheryl Snedeker. It is made so that doulas can see exactly what their jobs will entail and if they are up for it. I am loving it.

In their book, they had questions that you can ask your doula or montrice before you hire them. I thought it was a great idea, and decided to come up with a list to ask your physician also. Choosing a doula and choosing the person that will deliver your baby are extreemly important decisions. You have to trust them to do what you want to do, and you have to feel comfortable with the advice and such that they give you.

First, the OB/GYN / Midwife interview process and questions:

1. Before you do anything, you have to get a list of providers from your insurance. If you belong to an HMO, you may need a referral from your physician for it to be covered.
2. Call at least 3 OB/GYNs and Midwives (depending on your preference) and schedule consulatation appointments. Make sure they are accepting new patients and they aren’t overbooked. (If you are going to use a home birth midwife, make sure she isn’t stretched too thin around your due date. Most choose only 3 or 4 clients a month).
3. Write down your questions before you go in. Write them in order of importance. Most consultations only last about 15 minutes, so you need to make sure you get your most important questions answered. Don’t ask aobut doctor vacations, call schedules, and wait times at the office until you get your other questions answered.
4. Bring your partner with you. You both have to feel comfortable, especially if they will play an active role in the delivery.
5. Give the physician the benefit of the doubt until you find out otherwise. Your job is to ask the questions, not talk about how much you know about childbirth.
6. Make them give specific answers. If you ask what their percentage for cesareans is, don’t let them answer with “it’s average”. Make them give you their percent.

-Some good questions to ask:
1. How many babies they have delivered.
2. Who you can contact in an emergency
3. Who covers if they are unavailable
4. How they handle high risk pregnancies
5. If they write a birth plan with you and help you with what you want to do
6. Ask about their percentages for:
-epidurals
-episiotomies
-cesareans
-inductions

It is so important that you feel comfortable with the person that will be delivering your baby. Even if they are only there for the catch, you will be seeing them multiple times during your pregnancy, and if they do not have the stats or state of mind you want, you do not have to go to them.

To interview your Doula/Monitrice (a nurse and support):

1. what type of practice do they have – doula, labor support, monitrice, midwife
2. Their educational background
3. Their training information
4. Do they help in hospitals, birth centers, home?
5. How many births have you attended? Over what time span? Average births per month?
6. Type of clients you normally take? Backup doulas or supoprt? When would your backup cover you?
7. The fees. When do I need to pay? Is it a sliding scale? Do you barter for a fee?
8. Can you get third party reinbursement for services?
9. Do you have any restrictions?
10. When can I call you? Is it 24 hours a day?
11. Will you come to my house while in labor?
12. How will you know if complications arise?
13. Do you listen to and interpret fetal heart tones?
14. Do you do vaginal exams?
15. Do you assess maternal well being?
16. What is your relationship with birth center/hospital personnel?
17. Have you ever worked with my physician/midwife? What was the experience like?
18. Are there any restrictions on you at the birth center/hospital? What are they like?
19. Do you get along with the hospital staff or my doctor? Any conflicts? Will it interfere?
20. If someone suggests an interventino you feel is unnecessary, what will you do or say?
21. How can you help us minimize the need for an episiotomy?
22. If cesarean is needed, will you accompany me?
23. Have you ever cared for someone with a poor outcome? What was the situation?
24. What do you provide that is different from the hospital staff?
25. What is different that what my partner can provide?
26. What is different than what my physician/midwife can provide?
27. Why did you become a professional labor support person?
28. What do you like best about your job?
29. What do you like least about your job?
30. why is labor support helpful?
31. ALWAYS ASK FOR REFERENCES!

Make sure you do not feel intimiated by your birth support. It is not their labor. It is yours. They are there to make sure you get the labor you want, not push their labor beliefs on you. Make sure it is someone you can trust and turn to.

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One Response

  1. What a great post! So helpful! Thanks for sharing! I'm gonna share it too! 🙂

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