Tips & Tools: Caregiver
How can I become familiar with my options before making my decision?
What should I ask myself about the experience of meeting with a maternity caregiver?
How should I go about interviewing possible caregivers?
How do I know that a caregiver practices in line with the best research about safe and effective care for mothers and babies?
What questions should I ask when interviewing a midwife?
What questions should I ask when interviewing a doctor?
How do I find out which caregivers and services are covered by my insurance plan?
encourage you to meet with several caregivers to explore options and
become informed before making this important decision. If you are
unsure about which type of caregiver to work with, you can interview
different types of maternity caregivers. If you know you want to work
with a specific type of caregiver, it is a good idea to consider more
than one individual before making this important decision as personal
styles and practices can vary.
When you go to interview a caregiver and during your prenatal visits, ask yourself how you feel about the experience:
This person will be working
intimately with you and your family through one of the most important
times of your life. Follow your instincts. Only you can make the
decision that is right for you. If you have concerns, even if you are
well into your pregnancy and prenatal care, it may be important to
explore other options.
- Is this person listening to me and respectful of my wish to make careful decisions?
- Is the person willing to take the time to answer my questions to my satisfaction?
- Does this person share my vision for my maternity care and birth?
- Do I think that I can feel comfortable with and trust this person?
- Can I get what I want from this person?
- Does this feel right for me?
arrangements for a separate visit that is devoted to learning about the
caregiver and practice — a "consultation" rather than an "intake"
visit. This will give you a chance to gather information before you
commit to working with one caregiver or another. Find out in advance
whether the office charges for such a visit and, if so, whether your
insurance company will pay for a consultation for this purpose. Some
practices offer regular informal get-togethers for newly pregnant women
to meet with caregivers and learn about the practice.
want to ask your partner or a friend to come with you to the interview.
This will allow you to discuss your thoughts and impressions afterward
with someone you know and trust.
Having a list of questions with you (see below for questions that you may wish to print out) can help:
If you are interested in working with a specific caregiver, it is also important to:
- organize your thoughts and concerns
- ensure that you get all of your questions answered
- communicate to the caregiver that you are serious about your needs
and preferences, and eager to be involved in decisions about your care
- show respect for the caregiver's time by being organized and efficient
- compare answers from different caregivers.
- meet — and be sure you feel comfortable with — anyone else who may
be "on call" to attend your birth; even if practitioners work together
in some capacity, their philosophy and approach can differ
- explore — and be sure you are comfortable with — the birth setting where the caregiver works; you can usually take a tour, and this website also has questions to ask about birth settings.
care can vary from one caregiver to another. This website can help you
understand why it is important to choose a caregiver who practices
according to the highest standard of care, and can help you recognize
This website provides a list of important questions you may want to ask to get to know midwives, their policies, and styles of practice. Think about what is important to you, and be sure to add any other questions or concerns that you may have.
You can download a pdf version of this list with space for making notes, and take it with you when you interview midwives.
What questions should I ask when interviewing a doctor?
This website provides a list of important questions you may want to ask to get to know doctors, their policies, and styles of practice. Think about what is important to you, and be sure to add any other questions or concerns that you may have.
You can download a pdf version of this list with space for making notes, and take it with you when you interview physicians.
Contact your insurance plan to find out:
You will also want to check with your provider and birth setting to be sure that they accept your insurance.
- names and contact information for local midwives and physicians who are covered by the plan
- whether the plan covers care in the setting where you wish to give birth
- whether there are any maternity services that are not covered
- whether they will cover visits that allow you to meet with caregivers before making your selection.
Most recent page update: 3/10/2006
© 2014 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.
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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