Sunday, September 6, 2009

Natural Homebirth: More questions, more answers

This is part two of questions and answers about having a home birth. You can catch up by reading part one.

**Sunday morning** Last night I began showing signs of early labor; we're still trying to discern what is going on at this point Sunday morning. But I can tell you, I feel really little stress right now about this birth because I don't have to go anywhere; I just have to be here at home and see what my body is up to. Everything is set up, and we're ready for active labor to begin. It was actually a relief this morning if today is the day because I thought to myself "Wow! I don't have to pack what I think I might need or scramble to do laundry so my favorite clothes are ready by the time we would have to leave for the hospital." It's these little things that people have not asked about, but these little comforts have made a huge difference. If I am in early labor, I'll be sure to update as I can about our experience.

I know not all insurance is the same, but generally speaking, would insurance cover a home birth? Do you know how the cost compares to a hospital birth -- even if you were to not use the interventions like Epidurals and went very naturally at the hospital? -- Lydia

Some insurance companies do cover the cost of the midwife at a home birth -- especially if you live in an awesome state where midwives are the norm. Unfortunately, our state (Illinois) is not very midwife supportive, and our insurance company is not one of those great companies who will cover our birth because the midwife we chose is out of network. There are midwifes in our area that are in network, but they lived farther away and deliver mainly in hospitals; we wanted to work with our CNM in the case of a really quick birth during Chicago-area rush hour traffic.

As compared to our hospital birth plus the prenatal care, we will be paying about $2,000 more to have a home birth.

I have friends, however, who have paid the same or less having a homebirth than they would have paid at the hospital.

"Why wouldn't you choose to go to a birthing center? Isn't it more natural there than a hospital?" -- Anonymous

We are choosing to have a home birth so we can be in the comfort of our own home the whole time. I want to be able to walk around and be in my own house during early labor as well as have the opportunity to walk my own neighborhood at any point during active labor. Additionally, I feel like it's hard to relax during a car ride ... and the nearest birthing center is about 50 minutes away from our house.

So while the birthing center would be more like being at home than if I were at the hospital, it wouldn't be home; and it would require a laboring woman to get in the car and try to relax while wearing a seat belt!

"What if your midwife cannot get there in time?" -- one of my family members

I suppose if my midwife cannot be here in time for the birth that the birth will have been a quick and easy one where not many problems arise. We then would see if she were close before deciding whether or not we needed to go to the hospital to be checked out. But she's never missed a birth, so let's hope ours isn't the first.


  1. I can't wait to hear about how your birth goes! Best of luck Hyacynth, we are thinking of you!

    -Alisa and Vince DeMarco

  2. Oh how exciting! Praying for ya!

  3. Good luck! I hope everything holds out for you for the "right" time. Isn't it odd that I don't remember any issues with the seatbelt when I was in labor? It never even crossed my mind! At least it's a great weather weekend - that's something you can enjoy at home and not in a hospital (ok, yesterday was, today not AS much).

  4. Good luck with your labor and delivery! I have enjoyed reading your responses to questions regarding homebirth and look forward to hearing about this one.

  5. so exciting. i can't wait to hear about the birth.

  6. I'm praying for you! I hope everything goes well :) Thank you for these very informative posts about home birthing.

  7. Just a couple thoughts from my homebirth experience this past May:
    Our insurance did cover our CNM (same as Hyacynth used) but we had to apply for an "out-of-network exemption." We got it because there were no other homebirth midwives within a certain radius from our house that were in network. If that hadn't worked out, it would have been almost $4000 out of pocket, but that was about the same price I paid WITH insurance in the hospital (with and epidural, which shocked me). So it all depends on how the insurance works out. In the end, we ended up paying a bit less for our homebirth.
    I would have been interested in a birthing center, but I don't think they are legal in IL. There aren't any around that I know of!


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