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How Much We Spent On Our Home Births

Birthing at home is well-worth the price. Since your health insurance may not cover the cost, here are some ideas.

Payment Plan

We started with a free consultation where we learned about the home birthing process and saw if the midwives were a good fit for our family.

At the next appointment, there was a $500 deposit and a signed contract to pay the remainder ($4,000) by our 36th week of pregnancy.

There were no scheduled payments, just the honor-system and the pre-delivery deadline.

Cash Registry

Instead of or in addition to your baby registry, you can ask loved ones to contribute to your home birth. Different websites host cash funds where you can post pictures and videos to bring contributors along your beautiful journey. You can also just have family and friends send money straight to your cash app.

Birthday Gift

When loved ones ask what you want for your birthday, tell them how excited you are about at-home prenatal care and ways they can contribute.

Tax Return

The average refund is over $2,000. This amount largely varies depending on income level, filing status, and state. Whatever your refund amount, consider putting it towards your birth.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you qualify, health savings accounts are a genius way to pay for costs your insurance doesn’t cover. They are also tax-advantaged accounts which means you do not pay taxes on the money you contribute.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

If you’re not eligible for an HSA, you may qualify for a flexible spending account. Open enrollment is usually time-sensitive, so as soon as you find out about your bundle of joy, make sure to apply.

At this point (2021), neither the HSA nor the FSA cover a planned home birth. But these accounts may help with peripheral costs like your birthing kit.

FSA or HSA eligible home birth kit

Ask Your Insurer

Every insurance plan is different, so definitely call yours to clarify your options. Ours did not cover planned home births, which is why we paid our midwives out-of-pocket. If you’re denied coverage and are willing to appeal your insurer’s decision, the midwife must submit a claim within 90 days and prove that your home birth was medically necessary.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire The Midwife?

During our home births we had 2 CNMs (certified nurse midwives) and an apprentice (midwife-in-training). You do not hire them separately. The $4,500 birth cost covered their time no matter how long/short your labor and delivery is.

This price also included prenatal care, which starts off with monthly hour-long visits, that become more frequent the closer we got to our due date.

If you want to cut cost, you can definitely hire the midwives for just the delivery (no prenatal visits). This isn’t something I’d recommend as the whole purpose of a home birth (for me) is to build rapport and connection with a holistic team helping you bring new life into this world. It also gives your family members the option to meet and ask questions before your big day.

The only time I‘ve heard of mothers requesting a birth-only midwife, is if this was their third or fourth pregnancy with a particular midwife.

What About Labs And Ultrasounds?

Our base fee ($4,500) covered standard labs like iron and hematocrit, gestational diabetes monitoring (GDM) and group beta strep (GBS).

Are There Additional Costs For A Water Birth?

Yes and no.

Our midwives brought a pool to our home around our 37th week of pregnancy (that’s when you are considered full term). It comes with a single-use plastic liner that is discarded after your birth.

You will need to purchase a heavy-duty garden hose, kitchen sink adapter, and will probably have a slightly larger water bill (if you choose to use water therapy during your labor). It can take 100 gallons or more depending on how big the pool is, how hot/cold the water is and how full you want it.

What About Birthing Supplies?

Your midwife should give you a birthing kit list. It will have all the items you need for a safe, sanitary and cozy afterbirth. Most of the items like towels and trash bags, you may already have in your home. You will also need…

Here’s my complete idea list if you are interested. As a cash back lover, I regularly use this rewards card and this one to help off-set costs.

Are There Other Post-Delivery Costs?

Our midwives’ price also included 5 post-delivery visits up until 6 weeks post partum.

You may also want to consider childcare costs (if you have older children), an at-home first appointment for your newborn, grocery delivery services (since you may not be cooking) and restaurant delivery services (Apple Pay offers 3% cash back for UberEats).

Your family and loved ones can definitely help cut down on costs. For example, I prepared to send our girls to camp after our baby was born, but being the intrigued homeschoolers that they are, they preferred to be right up under me helping to feed, bathe and cuddle with the baby. You can also enlist family to prepare the most hearty soups (and other wet foods) to help in your recovery (instead of ordering out).

Any More Costs?

Not that I can think of. With a budget of $5,000 (per birth) you should have plenty of wiggle room for all of your home birthing needs.

Aren't You Wasting Your Insurance By Not Using Your Benefits?

I used our health insurance to pay for our initial labs and ultrasounds up until the 5th month. Then I resumed prenatal care at home. Hiring birth specialists (for me) is an intentional investment in myself and our unit.

I found our home births to be economically beneficial, because of the high-quality of care and long-term value on my maternal health.

I’ll end this post with the cutest video from a doula dad. The Business of Being Born was a pretty eye opening documentary as well.

I really hope this post helps. If you still have questions, and need to schedule a one-on-one? Use code: HEART2HEART.

Until next time...

Love The Journey,

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