How much does home birth cost?

In the South Bay, the range for services from midwife to midwife ranges from $4,000 to $6,500.  The flat fee is commonly asked to be paid out of pocket on a schedule built with your midwife and paid off in full before the birth.  Some midwives will offer discounts or sliding scales, but it is most agreeable if you first determine what your budget will allow you to pay and in what time frame, before asking your provider for a discount.

Do midwives accept insurance?

Yes.  Most out of hospital midwives will accept ppo insurance plans.  Kaiser, HMO’s and EPO’s are not covered as all home birth midwives are out of network and these plans will not cover any cost for out of network providers.  Payment up from is still the customary, however, and reimbursement will come in after the birth when the midwife or third party biller has billed for services.

What kind of equipment do midwives use at home birth?

Handheld dopplers for listening to baby heart tones, oxygen and resuscitation equipment, suturing materials to repair lacerations, and medications to manage bleeding draw the most attention.  Many midwives also use a variety of herbal and homeopathic remedies and carry lesser used equipment like unitary catheters and IV set ups, as well as the standard birth kit of sterile gloves, absorbent chux pads, etc.

Are there square footage or furniture requirements for the birthing space?

No. As long as there is a space that the woman feels comfortable in, can be kept clean and uncluttered for equipment that your birth team will bring, and there is room for everyone you want at your birth to be present then you can have a nice home birth.  Usually a home visit is done around 36 weeks to make sure your space is prepared and you have all of the logistic questions answered.  Home births happen in studio apartments, three level flats, tree houses, hotels, mansions, and communal living spaces.  You can have a home birth almost anywhere.

Where does a woman give birth at home?

Anywhere she wants.  Your midwife will accommodate a laboring woman anywhere she is most comfortable and feels safest, so she can move around her home freely, indoors and out. This does not need to be determined ahead of time.  The equipment used is all mobile and in some cases waterproof.  Temporary birth tubs or birthing stools, beds and couches, showers, toilets, floors and closets have all become the setting for babies first emergence into the home. Options will be reviewed at the 36 week home visit.

Is the birth of my child going to cause me to have to buy new furniture afterwards?

Absolutely not.  Part of the package is setting up to protect furniture and carpeting from damage and clean up after the birth.  Your birth team will know how to remove stains quickly and it is very rare that anything is permanently damaged. Trash will be disposed of appropriately, including biohazard and sharp materials.

Who can be present for the birth?

Although there is an association between number of people present at a birth and the length of labor time, there is no hard rule about who can be at your birth.  Each midwife will have her own standards and you will talk through who you really want and would like to limit before the time comes.  Commonly the midwife will bring at least one other person with her to assist at the birth.  This could be another midwife and/or an apprentice.  Many women have their partners and children present and invite mother, sister, close friends, or a doula to participate.

Will my neighbors hear me and call the cops?

Never had this happen before, no matter what kind of noises a woman makes! There is no better time in your life to let loose than birth.