Choosing A Midwife: The Top 4 Essentials

Choosing a midwife is a very personal choice. Like any person attending our births, we want to place the cut-off very high, whether it’s a paid professional or our family, we only want to choose those who inspire trust, not only in them, but more importantly in ourselves.

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The litmus test for being happy with our birthing experience years from now is in walking away feeling empowered that we are capable and our bodies are trustworthy. We are biologically created this way so that we will be inspired to birth again and again. If we experience ourselves empowered through birth it changes how we parent and who we are as parents, this is because of biological processes that are too complicated to fit into this article, but that we can learn a lot about in Dr. Sarah Buckley’s book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering.

For choosing a midwife, what’s important is the midwife entrusting us with a feeling of being uplifted because we do have incredible bodies that know how to make the best of any situation if we take the reins in our hands and let ourselves lead. To experience this does not require having a perfect pregnancy or a perfect midwife!

Some of us would feel having any outside help as a disempowering experience, and for those of us who feel this way, unassisted birth comes more naturally than choosing a midwife and lifts us up to an empowered place. For other women, choosing a midwife feels like the best and most powerful choice. So, what do we want to look for in choosing a midwife? (By the way, these can be applied to a doctor, if that is your empowered choice.)

1. Trust Your Vibes!

We all have vibes all day long, meaning we get gut feelings, or goosebumps when we run into the truth. When we’re interviewing for a midwife, pay attention to your vibes! If we are made to feel uncomfortable, or feel that feeling in ourselves that says, “that’s not true!”, then we want to steer clear. Who we have at our birth can “feel right”. It shouldn’t be forced, we don’t need to compromise for “just one day”. How we birth not only affects how we parent, but if we want to even have more children, it’s not just one day, it’s the rest of our life.

2. Keep It Simple.

And just as I say our decisions around birth are important ones, it’s important to keep it simple too! We’re animals, we’re mammals. I was sitting here talking to my cat about getting a midwife and thinking, but you don’t know anything about that… and so, if we have the same body functions as other mammals, why do our births become so complicated? Keep it simple. Choose like an animal would. Animals know when to growl and hiss, they don’t need someone else telling them that another animal will help them or hinder them. They know and react before we can even blink, we know too and we can hightail it away from anyone that’s going to hinder our experience.

3. Recognize Your Uniqueness.

Some of us want labor attendants who will keep their hands to themselves, others want to be reassured with numbers and checking. Some of us are comforted knowing their education, others the number or types of births they’ve been at and others just their general feeling about women and birth. Knowing who you are and what you want is the most sure way of creating it! Imagine not knowing what we want, well, the odds of creating that experience are much lower than if know ourselves and what experiences we desire.

Make a list of what you’d consider ideal birth, do this before choosing a midwife. Taking the list with us and asking each person we consider having at our birth how they can help us create this ideal is a great way to co-create the birth we want.

Another idea is to make a list of the ideal attitudes our birth attendants will have, after the interview compare it to the person, then if you choose a midwife with each visit continue to compare the ideal list to who you chose…it’s never to late to change. (I did this with choosing my husband and it worked out very well, I highly recommend it, I even re-checked just before the wedding knowing it was never to late...he met my ideal!)

4. Pay Attention to Their Responses.

What is vital is that our birth companions, whether paid or not, realize that we as mothers are the ones making decisions. If they think something is necessary, we want to be informed why they think we need something, without them using the scare factor! Fear is a scare tactic, and often used in the birthing room as a control factor, not necessarily out of intent to harm, but just out of our attendants actual fear. If they’re scared, they’ll scare you. So, look for the people around who will give information without fear! It’s vital because we’re already dealing with our old fears, or new ones that come up, that can be enough to keep our hands full without taking on the midwives fears too. Choosing a midwife who can give us a sense of trust in the natural, in ourselves and in the natural rhythms of birth and motherhood is an empowering start for those looking for a midwife.

Choosing A Midwife to Home Birth Main Page.