Can you handle & afford a home birth?
How do you feel about home birth? Just like everything in parenting and in life, what works for some may not always work for others but it's always a good idea to educate yourself about your options.
You never know what you might find and decide -- in this case, which style of birth best fits your and your family's needs and desires. We talked to home birthing mothers all over the U.S. to get details, approximate costs and to find out more about birthing at home.
What is a home birth?
Just like a hospital birth, home births offer parents a wide variety of ways and support to bring a child into this world. The main difference between a hospital birth and a home birth is the medical intervention, or lack thereof. A midwife or a team of midwives assist the birthing mother as little or as much as she desires, offering natural ways to manage pain and ease comfort. But what's more comfortable than the surroundings of your own home?
For Jenni Batalucco, not being able to use her previous OBGYN sealed her decision to birth her third child at home.
"We loved the idea of being in our own home, being able to use a birth tub and being able to have our children present if we wanted"
Reasons for having a home birth
When parents decide to birth their baby at home, they immediately gain a sense of control over their situation and environment -- there are no hospital rules, pushy nurses and unnecessary interventions. Both practitioners and midwives agree that when a woman is educated, trusts her body, listens to her body and is able to relax, the need for induction, epidural anesthesia and pain medications significantly decreases.
Susie Linquist, a mom of one, feared a cesarean more than she did a home birth. "I was determined to have a natural birth after so many of my friends hospital births ended in C-sections. Seeing that the closest birth center was two hours away from our home, having a home birth was our only option."
Jenni Batalucco was also filled with excitement and knew that she was in good hands, "We felt very confident that if there was an emergency, we would be able to get the necessary help. We trusted our midwife completely!"
What is a midwife and how much does one cost?
A midwife is a health care professional that offers a variety of health care services to women. The services a midwife provides differ from state to state depending on certification and licensing. Midwives that preform home births include services for prenatal, labor, birth and postpartum care on the same routine schedule (if not more frequently and for longer visits) as OBGYN practitioners.
While talking to moms all over the U.S., we found that the cost of a midwife depends on your geographic location and if you insurance company covers any of the costs. In the Midwest, Trista Oliva compared the out of pocket costs for a hospital birth to the out of pocket costs for a home birth and decided to go with the home birth for her third daughter. Her total fees were around $1400.
We found that the total fees for a home birth and midwife's services ranged from $2000 to $4500 with some insurance companies covering 50 to 80 percent of the costs. Most expectant mothers planning a home birth also hire a doula, which cost an additional $600 to $800 on average.
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