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Going to the hospital for financial reasons

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
saved $3000!!!”

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

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6 comments to Going to the hospital for financial reasons

  • Courtney

    So what is your suggestion when the only issue is not money, but a state with maybe only 10 midwives that will preform a homebirth, only 1 that will touch you because you are having twins and you dont want her because every twin birth she has ever attempted ended up in the hospital anyway? I know the easy suggestion would be to go to one of the neighboring states to live for a month and birth at a birthing center.. However, now we are talking a month away from your family, the possibility of your spouse not making it to the birth because there is no way you can afford him to be out of work for a month or more and the cost??.. approx $10k-15k.

    I want nothing more to birth at home, but unless a miracle happens.. Im birthing in the most horrible place I can think of.. the hospital.

  • home birther

    I completely agree! I spent the first 30 weeks of my pregnancy thinking that I had no choice but to birth in the hospital, mainly for financial reasons. My hospital birth would only cost me $500, while a home birth would run $3000. But after switching OBs twice and touring all the local hospitals, I realized that I had to make every attempt to birth at home. I e-mailed all the midwives in town and found two that could work with me on my finances. I met with them, and they were both wonderful. I had the birth everyone dreams of – easy, intimate, nearly completely pain free (and I’m a total wimp). I am eternally grateful to my midwife and I can’t believe that I almost allowed money and fear to make my decision for me.

    Courtney – I would urge you to look under rocks you may not have overturned. If I were you, I would hire that midwife that will let you try. Then you can decide to stay home, or transfer if needed. Hopefully, she will go with you and act as your doula if you must transfer. To me, having the option to stay home plus the support in hospital if transfer is needed – would be worth it. Otherwise, you could try unassisted. I’m not that brave myself, but many are.

  • hospital birther but believer in natural birhts

    I believe that home births are great for some people, and that hospital births are great for some people. I just get a little tired of people bashing one or the other, so let’s try to be fair to those who did give birth in a hospital. There’s nothing wrong with it, my baby is healthy and happy and so am I.

  • Alisamarie

    Is it possible to have an HBAC in Alaska with a midwife? I haven’t found any midwives that will. I’m not pregnant yet but want to be prepared because I’d love to get
    pregnant soon!

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