Choosing a supportive care provider is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your pregnancy and birthing experience are positive. When interviewing prospective care providers, you should take into account a number of factors that indicate that they will be a good ally and resource for you during this important time.

Request a face to face interview before you hire a midwife or doctor. While you can glean some important information over the phone that might eliminate someone before you reach the interview process, there are a lot of things you can pick up on in person that would otherwise be missed.

Are you seen on time or are you waiting for hours when you arrive for your interview? Obviously, when someone cares for pregnant women for a living, you will need to be somewhat flexible. If you were the woman in labor or having a medical emergency, you would want the care provider to be there for you. If the provider is running late for one of these reasons, they should let you know why they were late and apologize. If not, it could be a sign that they run late as a matter of course and you will always be kept waiting.

Personality and comfort are very important. You will be sharing one of the most intimate moments of your life with this person. If you aren’t at ease with them during the interview, you won’t be comfortable birthing with them. If their personality grates on your nerves or you find them to be cold or abrupt, this is all the reason you need to move on. Also take into account their overall attitude and philosophy about birth. If it is out of alignment with your own, keep looking. The last thing you should take into consideration is how much time they are willing to spend answering your questions and talking with you. If they rush through the interview or brush off your inquiries, things probably won’t be any better later on when your questions may be more pressing.

A care provider who truly loves serving pregnant and birthing women will be warm and welcoming, and they will take a genuine interest in your thoughts and desires surrounding your experience. Whether or not they share your philosophy, they should be open enough to respectfully discuss the issues at hand. They should also allot plenty of time for you to ask questions, and they should ask questions about you and your preferences, too. There are many different types of care providers, each of which will be right for a different kind of family. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t click with the first person you meet with. Keep interviewing and you will find someone who is a wonderful match. It is always worth the wait!