or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Birth Professionals (Archive) › How much money midwives make
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How much money midwives make

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Around here homebirth midwives charge around $4,000. So if they take 5 clients a month, that's $240,000 a year! I know they have some expenses, but still, that sounds like a lot of money!

ETA: (post #29) Would everyone stop getting so hot and bothered about the "implications"?! I was just really surprised, because that seems like a lot of money to ME, and it is more than I would expect. I wish ALL midwives made one million dollars plus, then we'd have lot more midwives and fewer OB's.
post #2 of 35
I don't know of any homebirth midwives who take 5 clients/month, except perhaps at a place like The Farm.
post #3 of 35
Yeah, I think 5 clients would be a lot for one midwife. You have to consider they are paying for all the following:

Taxes
Health insurance
Book keeping (unless they do it themselves)
Possibly liability insurance
Rent on office space (unless they work out of their home)
Paperwork and office supplies
Birthing supplies
Transportation
An assistant if they need one
May still be paying off their education (student loans)

So, really, I doubt midwives are getting into the business for the money! But, I do think they deserve a comfortable living! When I'm in labor, I want a well paid, happy midwife by my side!!
post #4 of 35
A solo operating midwife could not handle 5 deliveries a month and keep up with 45 other pregnant clients' prenatal care. Malpractice insurance alone probably takes a large chunk of every medical practice's budget. They're not pocketing it all!! Taxes take atleast 35% off the top!
post #5 of 35
1) That's a lot of clients. There may be midwives (actually, I know there are) who take that many clients in a month, but to get that many every month is an unreasonable expectation (and also assumes no vacations).

2) That's assuming everyone can, and does, pay. I'd bet even if that were her standard fee, only a minority of families could actually pay it, and realistically she's getting 2-3K/birth on average.

3) It's before taxes - huge for a self-employed individual - and before expenses. When my mom, a family doctor, was in solo practice, her practice might bring in a quarter million in a good year (there were only a couple years that good), but she brought home, before taxes, maybe 2/5 of that. Her overhead was probably higher than the average homebirth midwife's (more employees), but it's completely unrealistic to look at a midwife's practice's gross and assume it's her take-home pay.

And to the above list of expenses, I would add licensing, certification, and continuing education, which are thousands of dollars a year.

Finally, yea, I do want my midwife to be well paid, to be able to support herself and, if she's doing well, her family. Midwives SHOULD be making good money - they deserve it.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
The midwife I'm thinking of DOES have 5-6 clients a month, works out of her home, and does not have liability insurance because the insurance companies require a doctor backup, and there are no doctors around here who will be a backup for homebirth midwives. I assume that in this area, the vast majority of clients pay the full $4,000, and I am not aware of any discounts that she offers. Everyone pays taxes. I do realize that self employed people have to pay around 7.5% more in taxes, (only up to the first $90,000 of earnings) but STILL!!! $240,000 is a lot!

Now I realize it would take many, many years to get that kind of client base. I certainly wouldn't expect to make that much out of midwifery school, LOL.

ETA: transportation--everyone has to drive to work, and some people have quite lengthy commutes! The difference is, a self-employed person gets to deduct that, while everyone else cannot.
post #7 of 35
I'm thinkin your average mw working solo makes somewhere in the $30,000's- easily less, but conceivably more.
post #8 of 35
The Social Security tax rate for 2006 is 15.3 percent on self-employment income up to $94,200. If your net earnings exceed $94,200, you continue to pay only the Medicare portion of the Social Security tax, which is 2.9 percent, on the rest of your earnings.
Most medical professionals that I know estimate that their office expenses are 40% of their income. That seems to have been true for me. I have a part-time bookkeeper, and 2 part-time employees. I am generous with them.
My two best midwife friends work for a hospital practice and make about 65k/year full-time, are not on call 24/7, and have benefits.
Health insurance for my family (myself and 2 children) is about 6k year. The expenses go on and on.........
Carla
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mendomidwife View Post
The Social Security tax rate for 2006 is 15.3 percent on self-employment income up to $94,200. If your net earnings exceed $94,200, you continue to pay only the Medicare portion of the Social Security tax, which is 2.9 percent, on the rest of your earnings.
Health insurance for my family (myself and 2 children) is about 6k year. The expenses go on and on.........
Carla

Yes, but the social security tax rate for non-self employed people is 7.65%, so self employed people pay only 7.65% more than everyone else. Self employed people pay 2.9 percent for medicare, but everyone else pays 1.45, so it is just 1.45% more. Lots of people don't get health insurance with work. My husband gets pretty affordable health insurance at his work, but if any family members want to be on the plan, it is VERY expensive. So expensive, that it is cheaper to get individual coverage for me and our daughter.
post #10 of 35
I don't know any midwives who are doing it for the money, and if the midwife you know really can't get liability/malpractice insurance, she'd best be stashing every penny she gets. Midwives are sued way less than docs, but it can and does happen.

I know that for a staff nurse with more than five years' experience in my area, it's actually a pay cut to work as a CNM or ARNP. It ain't the money.
post #11 of 35
all the midwives I have talked with consider 50% for expenses, actually have looked at the actual bills... now maybe this midwife you mention does make a good living- she doesn't pay for coverage? does she pay any office help? also I am wondering about billers and you must live in an amazing area where 5 couples / month can afford $4000 out of pocket for birth- and they pay the entire bill... just amazing
so depends on the area you live in- I know an excellent, experienced midwife in Portland who charges $1800 or less
another very busy mw in Penn who charges $300-600
even these gals who get low pay- do not always get paid.. on average consider that you will have 1-3 non-payers/year and more than that may ask for reduced payment.
realistically look at travel expenses- I assist at an average of 2/mo and in 3 months I put 10,000 miles on my car... that is 40,000 in a year --- someone doing 5/mo must have even higher mileage -- if you are driving and out that much you are also eating out more- can't immagine the amount of time this gal must have off. there is one gal who will do 4/month tops and she has 4 assists and pays for another on call midwife when she has this many in a mo so that no one will end up birthing alone.
post #12 of 35
amen to the above! I know I do not do it for the money. As stated above, my autos...You go thru a lot of them. High milage. tires, with nails in them on a regular basis from those back roads, food on the run, even if you buy it and 'pack' it as a lunch.... cost of making charts, giving handouts as you educate your clients, esp the amish who have no internet service to look up and 'read to learn'... clients who dont pay... clients who cant pay (there is a difference).
we only get about $1300 (or more if very at a greater distance from us) around here for a birth. I use about $200 for gas in my auto a week...if not more. 3 births a month, that is really not very much income after expenses.
Yes there are some who make more, and are a little more busy, but not too many.
Midwifery is a calling...a service to the community that chooses the best way for their little one to come into the world. Home.
post #13 of 35
More power to her!

I am happy to see one of my sister midwives make an excellent salary for her hard work. Obviously $4000 is not too high of a fee -- the market seems to bear it well if she is busy. I also think that 5 births a month is a totally reasonable amount as well for a midwife who is well-organized and who has a good backup system or good helpers.

I am getting this weird vibe from this thread that it is not ok for midwives to make above a certain salary. I think that this line of thinking comes out of some dark, patriarchal places. This midwife has built a successful business, she is being well-paid for her work, and people are happy enough with her work to refer her to others and to come again. Sounds like a win! win! situation to me.

Maybe the OP is just amazed at the fact that a homebirth midwife's salary could be so high. I certainly won't be on the sunny side of six figures for quite a while, if ever, but there is a long, long history of women taking traditionally low-paying occupations (like housecleaning or craft work) and turning them into profitable businesses. Sometimes, too, people can charge a premium when they convince others that they have a skill or product that is unique in their market.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by janellesmommy View Post
Around here homebirth midwives charge around $4,000. So if they take 5 clients a month, that's $240,000 a year! I know they have some expenses, but still, that sounds like a lot of money!
Why do you care? She is a professional providing a skilled service. If people are willing to pay her fee, then she must be worth it. Most importantly you are paying for a mw to be on call 24/7. It's a sacrifice to leave your family at unexpected times, even it's a holiday, birthday or other special occasion. She deserves what ever compensation the market will support.

BTW I'm not a birth worker, just a hombirthing mama who thinks my mw is worth every penny I paid.
post #15 of 35
I think you are deluding yourself that she makes this much money as profit on a consistent basis. However, if so I wish more midwives made what you estimate your local midwife is taking home as profit $240,000. a year.

I'm curious Why you post it like there is something wrong with making money for work she loves providing a professional service to her community. Do you think it is wrong that because a woman loves their work or feels it is her calling to serve other women it excludes her from making a very good living?

ITA with OP why do you care what she makes, we all deserve to make a good living.
post #16 of 35
btw, if the average midwife made $240K/year, wouldn't EVERYONE want to become a midwife? Forget Donald Trump and buying property! Go to midwifery school!

More thoughts after sleeping on it...

(1) After reading all the posts above me, it apears that her overhead is really low for some reason, and the fact that she doesn't have liability ins seems very strange to me. But whatever -- I'm not a midwife so I don't know how it works.

(2) Okay, let's assume that she DOES make $240K/year. Or maybe that she clears approx. $150k/year. Do you think she's just in it for the money?

(3) What's wrong with a midwife making good money? As many have mentioned, midwifery is NOT a minimum wage skill! Doctors make good money, so why shouldn't a midwife?!?!?!?!?
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by angington View Post
Most importantly you are paying for a mw to be on call 24/7. It's a sacrifice to leave your family at unexpected times, even it's a holiday, birthday or other special occasion. She deserves what ever compensation the market will support..
very true.

by my post, I hope that none of you got the message that I do not agree with making money from doing midwifery. I think that is fine, its a wonderful way to make a living!
I just hear this same type of thing from being a nurse, when I use to do nursing. People would say they wanted to become a nurse for the money, and I would tell them, that is not why you become a nurse. It s a calling, a service. It is a bonus if you make good money from it! Same is true with midwifery. And I agree that some do take on more clients a month, Some choose not to. Both are fine. Making money from it is fine too. We should take care of our midwives.
post #18 of 35
You're assuming that every client actually pays her bill, and that all the insurance companies pay-up after the birth. Most midwives I know are actually paid by about 2/3 of their clients, and very very few midwives do 5 births/month. Most I know do 1-3.
post #19 of 35
My midwives do not carry liability insurance either. I don't think that this is uncommon in my state.
post #20 of 35
$4,000 per birth is very high, and 5 clients a month is burnout level. Most midwives do not make that much. In my area the going rate is about $2,000 per birth and most midwives take 2-3 clients a month. Works out to about $60,000 a year before expenses and taxes. Possibly $40,000 after. It's enough, but not affluence by any means You also have to count on a few people not paying, and paying another midwife to back you up if you go out of town or have two births at once (and with 60 births a year this is more likely).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth Professionals (Archive)
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Birth Professionals (Archive) › How much money midwives make