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Homebirth vs. hosptal dilemma. Thoughts?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I'm about 8.5 weeks now, and I still don't what I'm doing as far as hospital vs. homebirth.  I do know that I will have midwife care rather than OB, but thats all I'm sure about.  Here's my delimmia.  I don't have heath insurance.  Planned on getting some before next baby, but then, well, this little one is a total surprise.  So I think I will quaify for pregnancy Medicaid, which is great.  But in Ohio, homebirth isn't covered by Medicaid.  I've been told that homebirth midwife care costs between 2500-3000 dollars, possibly more if you want a birth tub. 


Without writing a book and going into a ton a detail I'll just say that I've realized that we can't afford to pay for a homebirth if I want to take more than a few weeks maternity leave.  The $3000 I could spend on a homebirth could easily pay for a 10 week maternity leave for me plus hiring the awesome doula I had at my last birth.  If I do end up with another hospital birth, I will NOT do it without a doula.


So I keep trying to figure out whats more important?  Having a homebirth or having a nice long maternity leave.  I'm really leaning toward the maternity leave.  Babies need their mamas a lot in those early weeks. But I'd love to hear some other opinions.  Be honest!


P.S.  My last birth in the hospital was great. My entire labor was 7 hours from the very first contraction to having the baby in my arms.  No interventions I hadn't agreed to.  Just a hep lock in my arm (which after I pulled out twice, the midwife told the nurse to leave it out) and a few minutes of external monitoring every now and then.  Our doula was amazing and really supported me in reminding me to be up, moving around, etc.  My L&D nurse was really supportive of my natural birth, even though I left my birth plan in the car.  All of my nurses afterward kept telling me what a great job I did and just generally seemed supportive of natural birth.  I breastfed immediately, and didn't feel pressure from anyone to do any newborn procedures I didn't want to do.  It was nice having an IBCLC on hand for when I had questions.  DS slept snuggled in my arms, 'cause the bassinette made him cry.


I realize that maybe I got lucky, and things might not go as well every time.  But I guess I'm just trying to give you all a little bit of an idea of where I'm coming from.  I just don't have all the horrible hospital birth memories that some mamas have, kwim?   Still, I'd love to try a homebirth, and I just can't get that out of my head....

post #2 of 14

I think spending the time with your baby is very important. BUT so is starting out this journey on the right foot. I don't think you have to do one or the other. I would call around to every midwife that you have heard of, interview them and see if you like them and then see if anyone has a sliding scale or is willing to barter. $3,000 is the going rate around here as well but my midwife agreed to $1,500 (just cuz she is awesome!!!). That we can handle, although it is tight. We are selling lots of stuff on craigslist and am already up to the $700 range (but have been selling stuff and saving christmas money, etc. since oct). I have loved my hb's and am so grateful for the experiences I have had with them. I would highly recommend ruling out all possible options before giving up on it.

post #3 of 14

As someone who pretty much automatically "risks out" of a homebirth or a birth center, here is my prospective.


Labor and delivery is a powerful experience.  The environment it takes place in can make it different.


In my mind, location isn't always the primary factor in that, though.  Comfort, support, autonomy can exist across settings.  Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.


However, at the end of the day, be it at home, in a hospital, in a hammock thirty feet above a lake, or the back of a car, natural or caesarian, there is one common hope, and that is a healthy mom and baby.

Would you deliver at the same hospital as before?  That would be a major factor in my decision as well. 


I probably would go with the longer maternity leave, but that is pretty easy for me to say as my options are more limited. :)

post #4 of 14

I would go for maternity leave, especially since you seem to have a good hospital option. Bonding aside, a newborn is just so exhausting and you really need that time to heal physically.


I have to birth in a hospital for medical reasons, so I guess I'm coming from the perspective of, "you make the best of what you have to do."

post #5 of 14

loved my homebirth (even after a natural hospital-based birth center birth) but I'd definitely choose maternity leave. 3 weeks is not enough time.

post #6 of 14

As much as I love homebirth and would avoid a hospital birth if at all possible, if it was a choice between homebirth and maternity leave, I'd take the maternity leave.  Those weeks are precious, and I'd want to stretch it out as long as humanly possible.  And if you can have a hospital birth like your previous one, that makes the decision even easier, in my head.  I was able to have relatively pressure-free natural hospital births, but it was the stay after with all the harassing for procedures I didn't want that really bothered me.  If you get to avoid that, awesome!

post #7 of 14

maternity leave, hands down.

post #8 of 14

I am assuming you are not considering UC.


Given that, I would go for doula & mat leave in that situation. Given that you've already had a good hospital birth (and I am assuming this is the same hospital), your chances of having a good second experience there are quite good. It sounds like they have great nurses, and that is one of the big predictors of how a hospital birth will go.

post #9 of 14

Maternity leave.  No questions.

post #10 of 14

I have had good hospital births too.  If you are with a MW in hospital you will be fine!  Go with the cheaper option.

post #11 of 14

I, too, would choose the maternity leave, I think. I have also had positive hospital births - two of them. :) It sounds like you know what you're looking for and the hospital staff have a good history of being supportive.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks, ladies, for your thoughts on this.  I'd pretty much already made my decision when I posted, but I just wanted to get some other perspectives. I've put a lot of thought into whether or not we can afford for me to take a long enough maternity leave and still pay for a homebirth.  I think I could MAYBE do 5 or 6 weeks off.  I know that 6 weeks is considered standard, but it's really not long enough to me.  That homebirth money would extend my maternity leave to 13-14 weeks.  So that's what I think I'm going to do. I think I'm ok with my decision to have another hospital birth.  I just hope I don't regret it this time.   

post #13 of 14

Maternity leave for sure. 
Hospital birth with a doula is still better than the typical hospital birth!

post #14 of 14

also if it makes you feel better I am 9 weeks and still don't know either!

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