It is difficult to assess how a midwife will practice until it comes time to give birth. I recommend that all parents learn enough about the birth process that they can conduct an intelligent interview. I provide the parents I meet with lists of questions to ask. This is especially critical when investigating a possible home birth. Most people will ask for referrals when hiring building contractors. They will do the same when looking for other professional services. More research is done when buying a car or computer than when having a baby. How many parents interview several midwives? How many ask for references?
Many people confuse bedside manner with skill levels. They may also just go along with whatever “the expert” says. While it is possible to change practitioners right up until thirty-two weeks it is not optimal and can be very unsettling for a pregnant mom to go through so much uncertainty. It is far better to change than to continue seeing someone you are not comfortable with. Some midwives practice in the medical model. Most practice in the hospital so expect them to follow hospital protocol to some degree. There can be a great deal of difference in practice beliefs and practices. It is very disappointing to find out your midwife is not going to honor your requests while you are in labor.
Making assumptions about any practitioner increases the chance of finding yourself in harms way. Advocating for yourself can keep you from becoming a victim. This is true during the childbearing years, with regard to your child’s health care, or when you are facing any kind of health challenge. You have the right to ask any and all questions about your care until you are satisfied with the answers given. If you are still feeling uncomfortable perhaps it is time to make a change.