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It depends how busy they are. Some midwives book up fast and will only take on so many women around the same due date. I don't actually see my midwife for prenatal care (I see my OB for that because my midwife is 3 hours away) - however, I do "book" her right away. She's semi-retired and only takes on one birth per month, so I have get in fast if I want to claim her for the month I am due!
You may not need to start your prenatal care just yet, but I would definitely start conversing with the midwives you are considering. Ask them if they have a set number of women per month that they are willing to take on, and how many have they committed to already for your birth month.
I agree with Shawna. I call my midwife as soon as I get my BFP because she also books up fast, I think she only takes 2-3 births per month. But I didn't actually see her until 10 weeks. Congrats, BTW!!!
I'd call pretty soon as well. When I was interviewing midwives, I actually found it helpful to get the "meet and greets" out of the way before I'd actually be starting care, that way I had someone I was comfortable with by the time I'd start my prenatal appointments. My first actual prenatal appointment was around when I hit 12 weeks or so.
I already knew which midwife I wanted before I became pregnant with #2, so I sent her an email really quickly after getting that BFP. We met for the first time at about six weeks, although it was just a "chat" session then - what to expect, how to plan, am I sure I really want to use her as my midwife, etc. After that, it was about 12 weeks before real prenatal care started.
Good luck with the interviewing process - I'd definitely get started as soon as you're up to it!
mom to Rachael, 10 ~ Milly, 6 ~ foster mom (waiting on the next call)