Tomorrow, I’ll pay the balance we owe our doula and Michael Ryan’s birth will be paid in full. Here’s a break-down of what a home birth cost in our particular situation:
Midwife fee (including a first time mom’s fee for extra assistants and mileage for a 72-hour home visit) $2900.00
Blood work at 12 weeks $100.00
Various supplements and herbs $100.00
Birth kit $110.00
Doula fee $500.00
Bradley Method Classes $350.00
Travel to Bradley classes (60 miles each way) $200.00 (!)
Travel to Chattanooga for prenatal visits $420.00 (!)
That comes to $4660.00. We were able to access $1900.00 from an insurance policy to pay towards the birth, making our out of pocket costs $2770.00 since February. One cost I wasn’t expecting and didn’t calculate in the beginning was all the gas we’ve purchased while traveling to and from classes and appointments. That’s added over $600.00.
We still may have to pay for a hotel room in Tennessee for a night or two, depending on the length of my labor. I’ve also got at least one more major trip to Wal Mart for snacks, batteries, supplies, etc. to use during the birth. My midwife has encouraged me to visit a chiropractor several times. I haven’t yet because I’ve met none of my health insurance deductible and would be paying entirely out of pocket. If baby has any positioning issues or I begin to feel a little off kilter in the next few weeks, that might be another expense to consider. Of course, if I should require transport to the hospital for any reason, we would have a massive medical bill to attend to. That’s a factor we took into consideration when we decided to pursue midwifery care and a home birth.
An uncomplicated vaginal birth in a hospital (assuming I could make it without an epidural), would cost roughly $6000.00, depending on the hospital we chose to go to.With a C-section rate hovering close to 40% here in Alabama, the reality of a much higher medical bill for an operative delivery must also be considered. Also, these numbers do not include any prenatal care.
I include this balance not because I feel we found a bargain in home birth or because I feel that the cheaper route is better when it comes to something as important as the safe and healthy delivery of a child. I include this information because I feel that I have received much better care for a lower cost. A lower cost that my insurance company refuses to pay. From a highly trained and skilled care providers who is not allowed to practice in my home state, partly, in my opinion, because her less expensive and higher quality of services would pose competition to (literally) lawfully imposed hospital births.