Need some encouragement/advice

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ashleytread's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 3
Need some encouragement/advice

Hello ladies!

I have one DD, 2.5 - born naturally in a hospital. I am newly pregnant and was very excited to seek out a different experience. My labor was incredible, but it was still in a hospital. I was told to lie in a bed through transition and was offered an epidural more than once. There is a fantastic birthing center in our town that is basically an old house converted into a birthing center. Incredible staff and support and you go home six hours after giving birth. There is also a large college/medical facility that also has a birthing center that is geared towards natural birth.

Neither place takes our insurance. I have very limited insurance, only have the choice of a couple of hospitals, have seen no midwives on the provider website.

I realize that I did it once in a hospital and could do it again--but I don't want to!! I have started doing some research into a homebirth, but it's so overwhelming! Don't even know where to begin, how we'll pay for it. I also have considered going the hospital route and hiring a certified doula.

Thoughts? Advice? Similar stories?

Melychang's picture
Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 796

Congrats on your pregnancy! I have no advice about insurance. I paid out of pocket for my last two births and it was $3500 but to me it was so worth it. This birth is actually covered but I don't get the option of a homebirth because I have moved out of the city. I think having the best birth you can afford is what is important. You need to weigh the options is the debt worth it? In this day in age maybe not. Would having a doula help with the hospital situation? Then you can concentrate on giving birth and she can deal with the epidural questions and fight with the doc about laying on your back. Good luck and HH9M!

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

First, congrats! That's very exciting, and kudos to you for looking for better options!

I don't have maternity coverage at all- my insurance only covers complications of pregnancy. That is one of the big reasons we are going with a homebirth- it costs only 3k, as opposed to the local birthing center (6k) or the hospital (10k). We'll just be paying out of pocket. In truth, if it really truly only costs 3k in the end, it will be less expensive for us than our insurance-covered first birth- we paid about 4k out-of-pocket for our share of the 12k hospital bill (which was expensive because of some complications).
Anyways... a homebirth might be the least expensive out-of-pocket option. I do think it's possible to have a fabulous hospital birth, if you find the right care provider and perhaps have a doula. Good luck!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I would look into options in your areas and look at what it would all cost you and seriously look at your finances. I am lucky in that my hb is covered by insurance. If not it would be 3,500. If I did not have medicaid and just my secondary insurance this would still be less than my out of pocket at a hospital since that fee covers all prenatal care as well. But these are things you need to find out. I know for us if medicaid did not cover my hb we could not fund even that small amount, so it is a personal choice.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4104

Where are you in California? (PM me if you don't want to say publicly.) I'm in the Bay Area. Unless you have an HMO insurance, you can almost certainly get a midwife or birth center covered by insurance as an out-of-network provider, which would pay anywhere from 50% to 70% depending on your coverage. I belong to Kaiser HMO, and I opted to pay out-of-pocket for a home birth midwife both times. I got all the diagnostics & blood work & ultrasounds (and NSTs when I went overdue) at Kaiser for free, and when both births ended up in c-sections, they didn't cost me a penny.

If you do go the hospital route, definitely hire a doula! A good one is worth her weight in gold!

Joined: 02/02/10
Posts: 5

I would most definetly look into a home birth if it at all interests you. As othe ladies above said, it is often cheaper. It is a little overwhelming but if you are newly pregnant you have enough time to do your research. A lot of us on here home birth and these ladies are a great resource if you have any questions.
good luck on your decision.

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

My first birth was not very pleasant. It was in a hospital and the staff was horrid! They were always offering the epi, and doing the pain scale, and treating me like crap. This last time same hospital but much more pleasant experience. I got the birth i wanted and labored how i wanted and where i wanted. I was even given the choice of birthing position, though when it came down to it i didn't care. lol. My advice if you do go with a hospital birth get an OB that will support you and make a birth plan, also labor at home for as long as you can. I spent 2 hours in the hospital before giving birth with 4 hours of laboring at home.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I second the idea of simply staying home as long as possible, if the hospital option is financially better for you. However, IF it is possible to pay for a homebirth, I'd totally go for it. That way you simply wouldn't have to worry whether the hospital is NCB friendly or not.