Cost of Our Home Birth

Many of you have already read our birth story but I thought I should cover the financial end of our home birth for those of you who are wondering. We just received our final bill and I have to admit that I am shocked at what we owe. We knew going with midwives would be cheaper (and thankfully my insurance covers home birth) but I had NO idea it would be so cheap. Granted, there were lab costs that we had to pay a part of, but those were minimal.

It does make me a little sad that women who love what they do so much make a pittance compared to OB/GYN’s. I know they get paid by insurance but it is not comparable at all to OB’s. Trust- we saw an OB for the first 11 weeks and though he was nice we never felt the kindness and care that we felt in our midwives’ office. All of my visits were no less than 45 minutes long. We talked and we laughed often; they were so laid back and it never once felt like we were in a “doctor’s” office. We sat on a couch in a house- with a real bathroom for me to do my urine tests! (Yep, our midwives office is in a old house in Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA).

One of the weird things I notice is that whenever I tell people where Caleb was born and how he was born they always ask “would you do it again?” I understand why they are asking, but it’s more the way they say it. They seem to think I would never do it again. I understand why women choose to have hospital births, and I would absolutely go to the hospital should a complication arise but women all over this world have “natural” childbirths. In fact, we over-medicalize a natural occurrence such as childbirth and make it into a medical procedure when it doesn’t really need to be (of course I know there are issues that occur during pregnancy to warrant hospital care- I am speaking of a complication free pregnancies and deliveries).

Midwives do the same thing any doctor would do as a first line of care. There seems to be this idea that midwives just deliver a baby on a dirty rock and leave. Our midwives’ goals were my health and Caleb’s health. Should anything concern them at all- we would be transferred to hospital care. There were no risks our midwives were willing to take (us either!). In fact, back when Caleb was breech and we knew he had flipped, our midwife sent me in for an ultrasound at 37 weeks just to be sure because they didn’t want to have to rush me to the hospital to delivery a breech baby. (Some midwives deliver breech but they can lose their license in our state so they won’t risk it.)

We figure I spent no less than 50 hours in my midwives care. That includes pre-natal, labor, and post-natal care. On the day of my labor, our midwife and two students came at 5am and left around 5pm that night. That’s 36 hours of labor hours (not labor like you are thinking but “labor” as in working hours). After Caleb was born, our midwife came to our house twice within the first week to check on things and see how we were doing. We feel so confident in their care that we plan on having all of our children at home with midwives. I can’t say enough about our fabulous midwives at Rainy City Midwifery. We hope some of our friends and families will use them as we plan to in the future. Our whole pregnancy was such a blast and the only downside is that we don’t get to see them anymore!

So let me get to what you all what to know. How much do we owe out of pocket? A whopping $603. Ridiculous, right?

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