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-   -   Considering a home birth (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f341-home-birth/1047809-considering-home-birth.html)

andi2284 May 2nd, 2008 03:06 PM

My first option of using a free-standing birth center may be out. Well, not out, but we are considering moving farther than we thought, which would put us at 1.5-2 hours from the center. I just don't want to drive that distance in labor, so I'm looking at all the other options. There's a hospital that offers jacuzzi tubs and water births in the city we're looking at being now, and they also have a midwife practice. I've gotten a few midwife reccomendations from Mothering.com, so I can start looking into them. DH did agree to a home birth though, and it's really tempting. I would love to do a home birth, but I'm not sure if water birth will be an option. Can you use your regular tub just to labor in at home with a home birth? Or is it best to find a midwife with a tub you can rent? I was really excited about the idea of a water birth, so I'm torn. The disadvantage to the hospital is that I don't want to have to stay long after the birth. I like the idea of never leaving the house, or wondering "Is it time to go yet?" and settling right in once the baby is born, having everything handy and being in a familiar environment.
What can you tell me about a home birth and the pros and cons of them?

Butter May 2nd, 2008 03:55 PM

Using a regular tub depends. Our tub is this tiny annoying thing that's really old and the stopper is in-line and has rotted away a bit so the water all leaks out. It just wouldn't be practical for giving birth. On the other hand, if you have a nice big tub you can labor and possibly deliver in it (depends on the midwife). You'd have to clean it well beforehand of course. The labor tubs you can rent are really nice and big. Most midwives have them and there are other places you can rent them from, too. I even know of a few regular people around me who have had a few waterbirths and just bought their own and rent it out.

Pros - don't have to go anywhere, don't have to fight stupid hospital protocols, homebirth midwives tend to be hands off and do what you want them to do, in your own place where you can move around and eat and drink however you want, comfort level is higher in your own space, around your own germs that you are already immune to

Cons - if something goes wrong you have to go to the hospital in hard labor or after giving birth, people think you are weird

*Vero* May 2nd, 2008 04:01 PM

Well I have now done a midwife assisted hosp[ital birth and a home birth and to be honest I loved both birth experiences pretty equally... the difference for me has been the after birth... I found it sooo much easier to settle in to a routine this time around! It just felt so much more "right" like she's always been around!! Last time in the hospital all I could think of is I wanted all this after birth stuff to be done with so that I could discharge and go home (I went home 3 hours after giving birth) This time I was able to just lie back on my own bed with my baby in my arms and let everything happen around me...

Another thing is that DH was not able to participate in much of the birth because we didn't have anyone to watch Elyssa and so he stayed downstairs with her and they both just peeked in every now and then... well if it had been a hospital birth DH would not have been able to be involved AT ALL and probably would have had to take Elyssa home and stay home with her... so we are happy this was the way it worked out...

Alison79 May 2nd, 2008 10:00 PM

I've had three hospital births and one home birth. I can't think of one single con for our home birth. I loved that during early labor DH and I walked around our neighborhood to get the contractions going. I had planned on a waterbirth in our tub (it's a garden tub) but in the end I was most comfortable out of the water. I had food when I was hungry and I labored and delivered in any position I wanted. I just felt amazingly at peace during Reid's birth. My DH, Mom and two midwives were present and it was a very low key birth. Afterwards we all took a nap in our own bed and were free to set our own schedule without anyone coming in every half hour to take a temperature, blood pressure, etc. I went well past my due date, delivering at 42w3d and I am sure that wouldn't have happened if I had been under the care of an OB. My midwife took excellent care of me, our baby and involved the whole family in the birth experience.

I know for me my home birth was much more than just the birth. The whole model of midwifery home care was amazing. I had hour long appointments, I was seen much more frequently after birth than I was by my former OBs. I formed a great connection with my midwife and still see her socially and it's a really cool thing :)

Pyrodjm May 3rd, 2008 09:26 AM

We will be having a waterbirth at home using an inflatable tub. They a pretty inexpensive and from what I hear comfy. Here is a site with some pool options.


andi2284 May 4th, 2008 04:18 PM

What about insurance? How do they usually feel about reimbursement for a midwife and homebirth? If not, if you don't mind sharing, what did you pay for your midwife?

inyourhonor May 4th, 2008 04:28 PM

We are having a HBAC with this pregnancy (due 11/21) and our insurance won't cover it. Her pay scale is from $1,500 - $2,100. I'll find out on Tuesday exactly what I'm looking at to pay out of pocket.

Butter May 5th, 2008 06:10 AM

The insurance we have (Anthem) flat out said that they don't know what/if they will pay. They said it is not excluded and it is not not excluded by our policy. The supervisor said sometimes they pay, sometimes they don't and there is no rhyme or reason. So my midwives joked that they'll have to be kind to the universe when they send in the bills. They billed for the first appointment to see what would happen. My midwives bill the insurance quite a bit more than they bill the moms in the hopes that a decent percentage gets covered. The first appointment for me (what I paid) was $100. They billed the insurance $250 and they allowed $168 of it and applied that to our deductible. So they are at least covering the prenatals. They had another mom recently that Anthem paid her homebirth so chances are we'll just have to pay the deductible (out of network is $1200, but we could possibly get an in-network exception making it half that much since there are no in-network homebirth midwives) and the co-pay for the rest. Our part should end up $1400 or 1500. The total is normally $2500.

Jamie changed jobs while I was pregnant with Fritz and the insurance refused to cover his birth at all (United Healthcare). Of course they worked really hard to not cover anything. My friend had a homebirth in December and has UHC and they covered a whopping $300.

When we had Cameron at a freestanding birthing center we had Alliance. They paid $800 of the $3600.

Motherbird May 5th, 2008 07:41 AM

Go for the Home Waterbirth! You will love it!

LaLa May 5th, 2008 12:51 PM

WE had a home waterbirth wiht our second :)

Insurance didnt cover it only b/c I went with a lay (Unlicensed) MW. I had a licensed MW as an option, but preferred the lay midwife over her.

It cost us $1700 including everything. I bought my own birth tub for about $100 (the La Bassine from yourwaterbirth.com) and we still use it to play in during the summer :)

Even if your insurance initially refuses to pay (up front or reimbursement) you can usually get it covered by appealing it - they dont really have a good solid reason to decline & a carefully worded letter citing research usually gets it covered (I know more than one person to have gotten it covered under a policy that otherwise didnt - at least 2 of them were BC/BS).

Either way, even wihtout our insurance covering it, it still cost less by the time I factored in copays, deductibles, our % that we had to pay for both the OB, hospital, and everything else (remember, they bill & you baby seperately in a hospital too!).

I loved my homebirth, I couldnt imagine doing it any other way now!


andi2284 May 5th, 2008 07:00 PM

I'm becoming more and more convinced that this is the option for me. I contacted a woman on Mothering.com who replied to my post and she said the midwives charge around $800-1500, which is much better than I expected! We were going to have to pay over $1000 out of pocket for the birth center, so we were prepared to pay around that amount anyway. She also mentioned that at least a few of the midwives she knows do waterbirths. It's such a relief that things are starting to come together. I was worried I would end up having to drive 2 hours to the birth center to get the birth I wanted. The hospital doesn't sound all that bad, but a home birth is much more appealing to me. I'm sure I'll be back through the pregnancy with more questions, thanks ladies!

littlebabydolly May 8th, 2008 11:46 AM

My midwife said she would charge $25 for the use of her La Bassine waterbirth tub and would just have to buy a liner for it. It all depends on what kind of $ we have towards the end to maybe rent a more expensive tub that keeps the water heated. She said some women don't even like the water and it's a waste of $ so that's an argument for the cheaper.

I just feel so comfortable with the choice to stay home. Hospitals are just so sterile. I might have to give my neighbors some warning though when the time is near. I don't want them calling the police when I start moaning.

I'm also coming at this from a POV that I may want only want one child. I want to make the most of the experience the first time around. I feel like I am learning so much and am not being just talked at like the OB/GYN did with me.

Good luck with making your choice! These women in the boards have been great help to me.

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