This seems like an excellent resource for you:
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a MidWife
- Is she licensed (by your state/country/whatever)?
- What are her credentials as a midwife (licensed midwife, certified nurse midwife, certified professional midwife. Is she a member of any professional organizations)?
- How many years has she practiced?
- How many births has she attended as a midwife?
- Where does she do her prenatal visits? Home? Office? Birthing center?
- Does she have a consulting/backup obstetrician and who is it?
- What are her views regarding labor and birth? For example: How will she monitor mother and baby? How often will she monitor the baby? Can you labor in water? Can you birth in water? Does she consider herself hands-on or hands-off and will she work with you to establish a birth plan?
- What is her rate of prenatal transfer?
- Will she stay with you if you have to transfer while in labor?
- Will she attend the birth or does it depend who is on-call?
- How long does an appointment with her normally last?
- How many babies is she personally delivering per month?
- Is she certified in neonatal resuscitation? Does she carry oxygen to the birth?
- What happens if she has two patients in labor at the same time?
- Has she ever missed a birth?
- When will she come to you after you begin labor?
- How long does she wait to cut the cord after birth?
- What does she do if there is an emergency, such as a post-partum hemorrhage?
- What are her fees and what do they include? What is her payment schedule?
- What does she do if a mother goes past her due date? What if she is approaching 42 weeks?
- Why did she become a midwife?
- Does she participate in continuing education beyond what is required to maintain her license?
- What does she expect regarding self-care during pregnancy?
- What is her view on nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy?
- Has she ever had to resuscitate a baby?
- Will she help with breastfeeding?
- How does she feel about circumcision/immunization?
- How do I get my baby's birth certificate/social security card/whatever?
- How will my partner be included in my visits and during labor?
- Can my partner catch the baby?
- Does she have a lending library?/Can she recommend any books to read?
- How is she contacted? Do patients contact her via cell phone, pager, etc.?
- Does she have student midwives in her practice?
Also, I think it's important that you and your wife be able to clearly and concisely discuss your own personal "birth plan" for lack of a better word. Some people want their midwife/doctor to be much more hands-on, and some people want their midwife/doctor to be more hands-off. One question I don't see on the list that I would want to know if I were hiring a midwife is Under what circumstances would she recommend a hospital birth rather than a homebirth? That way if, say, your baby is breech you won't be blind-sided when your midwife suddenly recommends a hospital birth. It can be very difficult emotionally when you have this idea of a birth plan that suddenly and unexpectedly gets changed due to circumstances beyond your control, so knowing her policies on high-risk pregnancies, emergency c-sections, and other unexpected events during pregnancy can lay the foundation for the "what-ifs". She can also be a great resource for parenting, Lamaze, and breastfeeding classes and support groups so don't forget to ask about that!
Congratulations to you both!