Hi there! Another OB RN here and I had my youngest baby at home. It was so much nicer for both me and my baby than the previous hospital birth!
No way do I have time to read the replies to this thread so my apologies if all of this has already been stated.
Of course it cost a bunch, it is a business. I'm sure she doesn't get to pocket all of the money as she has business expenses and overhead to cover. That said, a midwife is still a lot cheaper and also spends way more time with the laboring mama than an MD. My insurance would have paid for the hospital birth but paid nothing for the homebirth. It was worth it to me to pay out of pocket.
Some things to consider:
-You may be able to get some early prenatal work and lab work done by an OB (thus, paid for by insurance) and then transfer the medical file to a midwife midway through pregnancy. I did that and it probably saved me $400 or so. You don't have to tell the OB that you plan on transferring out (I think I transferred around week 18).
- You may be able to deduct all or part of the midwife/hb fees from your Federal Income Tax. Check online for specifics, but if any given year out of pocket medical expenses total a certain percentage of your annual income, you can write them off. My hb wouldn't have been enough to deduct but later in the year I paid for laser/corrective eye surgery. That made it enough to write it all off! I always save my medical receipts all throughout the year because you just never know if you'll meet the requirement or not.
- Your midwife may offer a discount for a cash payment paid in advance. Mine did!
-Some midwives will let an apprentice work with her and reduce fees that way. It doesn't hurt to ask.
- A family doctor may be able to order things like lab work for your midwife and your insurance may cover it that way. Or, maybe your mw can arrange for some prenatals through the county health department and I think those are offered for a sliding-scale fee. Maybe your mw will be okay with lowering her fees for last trimester care & birth only.
- If you still think you can't swing it, ask your mw if she can work out a deal via bartering. Maybe you can do some web work, office work, house cleaning, etc. for a discount.
- If you haven't verified coverage w/ your insurance yet, do so. I don't know this personally but have read if your insurance says they'll cover homebirth but don't have any mw's listed as providers, that you can call and ask for an "out of network" provider to be covered. I don't know all the details. Maybe someone can pipe in w/ advice on this if they haven't already.
-If you can't have a homebirth and are worried about having an advocate for you in the hospital, you can hire a doula to help you!
Good luck with everything!
Mom & RN
Pardon the typos - CWOK (cat walking on keyboard)