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How much to pay a midwife?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My husband and I me with a midwife a few days ago and we’re ecstatic. We both felt very comfortable with her and she answered all our questions in a very reassuring way. We are planning  to move forward with a home/water birth! (With the knowledge that if something goes wrong we will have to transport to the hospital. As a side note, she has been doing this 15 years and has transported 15 total women out of hundreds!! Very encouraging.)

 

My question is about payment. We asked and she said it was on a donation/pay as you can basis. Talk about mind blowing. She just asks that she gets enough for gas money. She lives an hour away from us and travels even further for prenatal appointments and births. (All done right in your own home.) She works with some Amish families that have paid her in Thanksgiving turkeys and homemade quits. Some have paid as much as $3,000. They typical range, she said, is between $500 and $1,000. Even though my husband is in school and working only part time as a certified nursing assistant I have a good job and we do have some money in savings. We definitely plan to pay her a fair amount of money, especially considering that a hospital birth, even with insurance, can cost several thousand dollars or perhaps even $5,000 for an emergency C-section. (According to my research.)

 

What I’m wondering about, specifically, is how much should we pay her for each prenatal individual visit? The first visit, we gave her a check for $100. We’ll likely meet with her once a month between now and the birth, with a couple visits to a traditional doctor for blood work and an ultrasound. So possibly between 4-5 more visits before the birth. I want to pay her for her time and gas money, but I don’t want to pay too much until after the birth. If we end up with an emergency C-section at the hospital we may not have the money to pay her as much, overall, if we had had a successful home birth. A prenatal doctor’s visit in a traditional setting would typically cost me only a $25 copay. (Unless there are other charges I am not aware of.)

 

What’s a fair amount for each visit?

 

A.      $25

B.      $50

C.      $100

D.      Other

 

Out of curiosity, if you had a home birth, and you are comfortable sharing, how much did you pay in total and for what? (pool rental, midwife, doula, ect.)

post #2 of 15

Last time it cost us $4000. We got some back from insurance, but also ended up having to pay for a few ultrasounds.

 

This time it will cost $4500 upfront and we are hoping to get all but maybe $800 of that back. 

 

However you pay, I think it is only fair that you are paid in full by 36 weeks. As a doula, I am paid in full by 38. Whatever you decide, make sure you have a written contract that you both can agree on (add in those extenuating circumstances you mentioned) and sign it! 

post #3 of 15
Our midwives charge $4400 (+$60 or so for a birth kit). We generally pay $200 per visit, but basically we're just making payments towards the $4400 total. Last time we did have a transfer and an emergency c-section, so we were glad that we had already paid for the midwives so at least that bill wasn't coming at the same time as the hospital bills.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilaMarila View Post

Last time it cost us $4000. We got some back from insurance, but also ended up having to pay for a few ultrasounds.

 

This time it will cost $4500 upfront and we are hoping to get all but maybe $800 of that back. 

 

However you pay, I think it is only fair that you are paid in full by 36 weeks. As a doula, I am paid in full by 38. Whatever you decide, make sure you have a written contract that you both can agree on (add in those extenuating circumstances you mentioned) and sign it! 

 

SilaMarila, is this cost for a midwife? For a home birth or at a birthing center? Clearly the cost of things is much different where you live than the rural area I live in. The most our midwife has gotten is $3,000. Also, we can't use insurance at all for a home birth.

 

Thanks for your input, it gives me a lot to think about. I don't, however, agree with the idea of fully paying before the birth. That may be common practice where you work, but that's not what is typical with our midwife. And, if we were having a hospital birth, we wouldn't be paying in full until after either. (That having been said, I'll repeat what I said earlier--we fully intend to make sure we pay her well and pay her for every prenatal appointment. We already gave her $100 for the first visit and we will be continuing to pay her for those, as we go.)

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by escher View Post

Our midwives charge $4400 (+$60 or so for a birth kit). We generally pay $200 per visit, but basically we're just making payments towards the $4400 total. Last time we did have a transfer and an emergency c-section, so we were glad that we had already paid for the midwives so at least that bill wasn't coming at the same time as the hospital bills.

 

That makes sense, Escher, the amount you pay per visit goes toward paying down the total. Thanks for your feedback! Like I told SilaMarila, it's clear that the cost of midwives in the area I live in (a very rural Midwestern state) is much lower than in other areas! Pretty wide variations.

post #6 of 15

You're pretty fortunate to have that kind of "pay what you can" setup.  My mind would be blown!  lol  I think $100 per visit is adequate.  And you may only be paying a doctor a $25 copay in a traditional setting, but believe me.  He/she gets way more than that which you never see.

post #7 of 15
We paid $3000 for our midwife, and she usually charged $3800. We paid every visit at least $100 and more if we could totalling $2000 and then the remaining $1000 after the birth. She usually requested to be paid in full before the birth but it wasn't possible for us at the time so we agreed to that plan. This time she has reduced her price to $2800 and that's awesome! Also, this is the best midwife around. She has been delivering for years and is fantastic.(my mother used her 20 years ago for my brothers births!)
post #8 of 15
Hi, I'm new to the group, but I have had 4 homebirths. 1st and 2nd, with a cpm I paid just over $3000 if paid before the birth. 3rd, lay midwife $1500. 4th, cnm just over $4000. This time will be the same midwife as the 4th. So I'm assuming it will be about $4500. She gave me a discount last time because she didn't get certified until a couple months before I was due. But she's my only option for a legal homebirth.

For the original poster, I think the $100 a visit would be accurate.
post #9 of 15

Our midwife charges $4500 plus extra for travel/gas at $34 x 4 trips to my house.  10% discount if we pay in full by 36 wks. Labs not included so hoping they are paid by insurance.

post #10 of 15

My midwife charges $2900 for first babies, $2500 for subsequent ones with her. I have had to may minor amounts for my U/Ss which are covered through insurance, and I will pay her $75 for a birth pool liner. All prenatals are covered in this cost, and I can pay her however I want- monthly, or all up front one month before birth.  I would pay $50-$100 for a prenatal if I was you :)

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrafighter View Post

You're pretty fortunate to have that kind of "pay what you can" setup.  My mind would be blown!  lol  I think $100 per visit is adequate.  And you may only be paying a doctor a $25 copay in a traditional setting, but believe me.  He/she gets way more than that which you never see.

Believe me, I agree! It's pretty amazing. That's a good point about copays--it's not the only money a doc sees, but it is all the midwife gets, thanks.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post

My midwife charges $2900 for first babies, $2500 for subsequent ones with her. I have had to may minor amounts for my U/Ss which are covered through insurance, and I will pay her $75 for a birth pool liner. All prenatals are covered in this cost, and I can pay her however I want- monthly, or all up front one month before birth.  I would pay $50-$100 for a prenatal if I was you :)

Thanks Amila, I think $100 or $50 is about right too. We'll probably stick with $100.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies, all this is helping a lot! I can't believe how much variation in price there is, depending on the type of midwife and the area you live in, likely. Then again, I guess I can believe it.

 

My husband tends to overpay (in my opinion), I talked him down quite a bit to $100 for that first appointment. And I probably tend to be overly cautious. Hearing from all of you has really helped me figure this out and also think of a few more questions to ask my midwife. Thanks again!!

post #14 of 15

Babywaiter - Sorry, I'm late to respond. Yes, the midwife we are going with is actually the cheapest in the area. We live in a large metropolitan area where home birth and birth center birth is very popular (yay!). The birth center I used to work for charges $7000 for birth center birth and $6500 for home birth. Average going rate is $5000 and they are all completely booked. It's crazy how different things are in different parts of the country! It is common practice here to be paid before the actual birth, or at least that is what all the midwives I talked to said had to be done when I asked about pricing. I'm glad you figured somehting out that works for you!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for answering, SilaMarila! Better late than never! smile.gif Yes, it really is pretty amazing the wide variation in prices.

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