Questions For a Caregiver Who May Attend Your Home Birth
We designed a special PDF of this page that provides plenty of room for you to write your answers to these questions. Download it now (PDF).
Background, Education, PhilosophyWhat is your educational background? How long have you been in practice? Are you certified? Licensed?
How many births have you attended? How many of these have been home births?
What is your philosophy of pregnancy and birth?
Practice OrganizationIs your practice a group or individual practice?
If this is a group practice:
CostHow much do your services cost? Are there possible extra costs that I should know about?
Do you participate in [my insurance plan]? Note: you should check with your insurer to confirm coverage.
Do you accept alternate payment arrangements, such as sliding scale, time payments, or barter?
Home BirthWhat preparations would I need to make in advance? Would I need to get any supplies or equipment?
At what point in my labor would you come to my home?
Who would come with you? What would that person's (or their) role be? How would I get to know that person (those people) before the birth?
What do you bring with you?
What are your goals for prenatal care?
What schedule of prenatal visits do you recommend, and what happens during those visits? Where would they be?
How do you define "high-risk"? When would I fall into this category?
Care During Labor and Birth — Companions
Do you have any policies that limit the number of people who may be with me during labor and birth? Can the baby's siblings be present? Is there an age restriction?
Do you have experience with trained labor support (doulas) during labor and birth? Do you encourage use of doula care?
Care During Labor and Birth — InterventionsHow do you monitor the well-being of the baby during labor? Do you use a doppler (hand-held ultrasound device to monitor the baby's heart) or fetoscope (stethoscope for listening to the baby's heart)?
What are your usual policies and practices about:
What percent of the time do you find it necessary to cut an episiotomy (a cut to enlarge the opening of the vagina just before birth)?
Care During Labor and Birth — Help with PainHow would you recommend that I prepare for managing pain during labor and birth?
What drug-free measures for pain relief can you provide?
Complications and/or TransferWhat proportion of the women you work with switch to hospital birth during pregnancy? During labor and birth? What are the main reasons for making this change?
What arrangements do you have with doctors and/or hospitals if consultation or transfer become necessary? How would I arrange to meet your "back-up" and tour the hospital?
What would the procedure be if I transported to the hospital during labor and birth? What hospital would my baby be taken to, in the case of an unforeseen complication? Would you continue to have a role in my care?
What percentage of your clients have cesarean sections?
Are you certified in neonatal resuscitation?
What kind of resuscitation equipment do you have?
Postpartum and Newborn CareWhat is your approach to newborn care? What newborn care is routinely provided or offered if a baby is healthy?
How could we work together to ensure that breastfeeding gets off to a good start? Do you have special expertise in this area?
How long do you stay after birth? Would I have access to you by phone?
How many visits would we have after the birth? When and where would they be?
ReferralsMay I please have the names of three women whom you have assisted at home, for reference purposes?
Most recent page update: 11/16/2012
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Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
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Check out our resource, "What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know about Cesarean Section."