This is an incredible post I’m sharing with permission. So often I hear of women who chose to birth in a hospital simply because their insurance pays for it. Or they don’t want to hire a doula for their hospital birth because their insurance doesn’t pay for it. How much is a normal, vaginal birth worth to you? Especially women seeking VBAC, the hospital can be a very hostile place to birth. When you take into account the peace, security, and privacy, the cost for an out-of-hospital birth is very small.
When I hear people say they are choosing to go to the hospital because they can’t afford to
pay a midwife, I cringe. I almost did the same thing. I had access to free medical care
where the VBAC rate was close to 60%. I went back and forth then decided to follow my
heart and not allow my path to be chosen by the insurance company and their lawyers.
I have never heard anyone 10 years later say, “Gosh, we could have saved $3000 if we
wouldn’t have had that peaceful, intimate, loving birth at home.” Or “Gee, even though I
we had to fight the entire time and I got stuck with needles, my yonni cut and my baby
was drugged and I had no privacy and almost (or did) have a c-section, I am sure glad we
I don’t know about you but I know my pelvic floor is worth a whole lot more than that. I
know I would put myself in debt for a long time in order to know that I was with a
provider that is more like a mother..who will tenderly massage my perineum to insure that
I don’t tear and make sure I go to the bathroom to make sure I don’t injure my bladder.
My grandma has had 5 surgeries in her pelvic floor and has chronic bladder infections
from birthing flat on her back and knocked out. Watching her suffer has put the whole
thing in perspective for me.
I put a high price on my private parts and my continence. My midwife has had ONE 3rd
degree tear in almost 2000 births. I personally know a half dozen women who have come
home from the hospital with those. And those are just the ones open enough to share
that with me.
The midwifes I know have a VBAC rate of close to 90%. What is the going rate at your
hospital? How about with your prospective midwives?
I guess I am writing to say that it sounds nice to save a few thousand dollars an go to the
hospital….But what is your yonni worth? What is your dignity worth? Sure, if you really
don’t feel comfortable birthing at home that is one thing… But to do it to save money?
And divide that money out over the 60 years that you will remember this birth. Will you
look back with love and joy or with sadness and regret?
Elke in Alaska