This is only for those who feel comfortable enough answering questions that some might think is personal, but I am curious to know how much you have paid (past and present) for the assistance of your MW at your birth(s)? Our total bill for a birth center birth 2 years ago was $4200. We were self pay, as our insurance does not cover out of network providers until a $5000 deductible has been met. The ultrasounds and labs were extra. This time around, a different MW is cutting me a HUGE deal because we couldn't afford a homebirth through our insurance and only charging $1500 + labs + ultrasound + birth kit. Medicaid only pays about $2000 for homebirths or birth center births in Florida. Our birth center midwife was very pushy on her website about "Do you REALLY need to be on Medicaid, or could you just work 2 jobs?" and that always rubbed me the wrong way.
How much for prenatals and blood tests? Prenatals are included in our fee. Ultrasounds run about $200 each at the place they utilize if you are uninsured (we were for ultrasounds with our first child, and we needed 3, because according to birth center midwife, we needed proof in our chart that our baby was not transverse and that an issue with the 18wk ultrasound with her brain self-resolved). Homebirth midwife doesn't require any ultrasounds. Blood tests were ordered through our regular doctor, and I just took copies to the midwife.
If your MW didn't make it in time to your baby's birth, and you (and hubby) did all the work, did she still charge you full price? Or any at all? Yes, we would be liable for the full fee regardless. This to me, is the biggest concern with choosing a birth center or a homebirth. If we have to transfer for any reason, we are financially sunk.
Does your MW ever offer discounts or help you pay a price that your family can personally afford? Or is she, cut and dry, the same price for all, no matter their financial situation or this downturn economy? Both midwives I used offer payment plans. Neither offers any discounts. Our homebirth midwife is doing it on the cheap for us because our daughter was her first student midwife birth and when she heard that we'd have to do a hospital birth for baby #2, she offered us a birth at what we felt we could afford. $1500 is about what we'd have to pay for a hospital birth through our insurance and she accepted. I wish I could pay her more, as she really does deserve more.
I'm Brooke! I'm a breastfeeding advocate and IBCLC. Homeschooling mama to my girls, Maiya (4/2009) and Jenevieve (2/2011) and my new baby boy, River (9/6/2013).
we just paid the midwife at 36 weeks for the discounted rate of $2,200. if we waited any longer we would have had to pay full price of $2800. we actually borrowed money from my folks to pay early because i didnt want to pay full price. It covers prenatal, birth, postpardom/baby check i think up till 6 weeks. Does not cover labs, ultrasounds. i went to very few prenatals but really enjoyed them when i did, she came to the house once for a visit and i think will do all remaining visits at our home which is worth it right there!! I had an unassisted last time so sometimes it seams silly to pay someone to be there, but in the end its worth it if she shows up afterwards and does the birth certificate and baby well visit and post pardom stuff. we will call her when labor starts mostly because we are paying her so why not, but she will only come into where i am once ever 30 minutes to hear a heartbeat unless i want her there more. remember we are paying for them to be on call for almost a month! she cant leave town, or go to a bar, ect.........
The CPM MW I thought about hiring charged $4500, which included everything except lab fees and pool if you wanted one.
For comparison- my OB got 4k for all the pre/post natal, US, and the birth- I had a 36 hr labor and a CS. I thought they got paid more, but I have the insurance paperwork that proves it. He is in practice with a CNM and is very generous with his time. I could see either for Pre/post natal care and never felt rushed, never waited either.
The hospital is another story- THEY made a fortune. They got like 20k off of me, and My sons NICU stay was 145k- and he didn't need IVs or anything complex. he made them work, as he's a little screamer, but one night I went in there at like 2 am and found him sleeping with a paci in his mouth (ok) held in forcibly with a cloth diaper (not ok).I took a pic, I couldn't believe it. I mean, I know they're busy but geez, he was already isolated in hos own little room because how loud and active he was (full term babies don't sleep like preemies I guess). I thought they would at least look surprised that I caught it, but NOPE. hmmmmm....
Anyway, Birth just doesn't pay well-it pays fair, but not well for what they have to do. OBs make make more because they cram more women in, but they have to pay for malpractice insurance, which HB MWs don't have to. I get tired of hearing about greedy OBs that make double to cut women open. this just isn't true- He only got $300 more for the CS! All good birth professionals care a lot and work very hard, and deserve the pay they get.
Southern Indiana/northern Kentucky
When I had my homebirths I paid $1500. I am now a midwife and I charge $1500- $2200... the fee is mainly based on location, ie do I have to make a special trip to that client's city for each prenatal or am I able to see 3 clients each time I drive to said city. How far away do they live? For example, I put a lot of time and miles into driving 2 hours to see just one client there. On occasion I have offered a discount to those who qualify for state assistance but I reserve that for cases where I know they are in need.
Some of my clients live in an area where a couple of other midwives' service area overlaps... some of them charge $2400 and clients have to go to an office for visits and another one charges closer to $3000 and has extra fees for home visits etc so clients would end up paying somewhere b/t $3000-$4000.
Prenatals were part of the fee, and that is how I operate. If I wanted blood tests I had to go to the backup doctor... I offer this to my clients but they pay whatever fee the lab charges.
She made it in time, but not by much. I would have paid her regardless for her effort to be there and the time she and her apprentice spent on call.
Ditto this, exactly. Perhaps we are using the same midwife group?
Adrienne - Loving my DH, our daughter Harper Emaline (3/2011), and maybe a baby?? (5/2013)
I decided halfway through my 4th pregnancy that I wanted to homebirth. I always wanted to but I finally got DH on board. I called around and there were only 2 midwives that serviced my area. Both were 2 hours away and were about 2500$. No discount really coming in late. The last one I called was so very nice though and told me about a DEM (Direct Entry Midwife) who she refers people to some times. (also known as lay midwives) She had been delivering babies since the 70s. She actually had more years experience and birth under her belt than my OB and that midwife combined. Only difference is, she was only a midwife (yeah she did complete school for it) but was not or never had been a nurse. In most states, midwives allowed to do homebirths have to be CNM's. Midwives as well as nursepractictioners (or RN at the least). I contacted her and was blown away that she lived 5 minutes down the road from me. Women like this fly under the radar all the time and I never knew they existed!
She gave me a student midwife's name who was apprenticing under her (because of financial reasons) both would be attending my birth though the student midwife would be in the driver seat and do all of my prenatals, etc.
My student midwife was a very young grandmother who spent 10 years plus as a doula. She was amazing and we only paid around $500.
Later me and my hubby split and I remarried. I knew I wanted another homebirth when I concieved my next child. I lost insurance 3/4 way through and looked up my old student midwife who was now an official MW and she was more than happy to deliver for me again.
I was DH had been off work for 2 years and we were barely making it, bless her heart I believe in all, minus birth supplies, I only paid 200$. She supplied the birthpool, liner, I did pay for the PKU test, which is state required. Bless her heart would you believe this woman is backing me yet again knowing I can't afford much? I can do better than $200 this time but she basically told me, don't worry, we will work it out.
A lot of midwives, especially ones just starting out (though they usually work under a more experienced midwife) are very flexible with their fees. Now DEM's aren't for everyone. Some just want to know their midwife is a nurse as well. Others are bothered by the fact that in some states (mine included) they aren't technically legally able to attend births. They work in a really gray area flying under the radar but are amazing women. They are more willing to have sliding fees that even me, being homeless at one point, could afford. They are an option. I would ask around and join local natural birth groups. They always know who these ladies are!
mama to the Brady bunch 3 boys, 3 girls.
DS Jan '02, DD Jan '04, DD Oct '05, DS Spt '07, DS Jan '10, DD Jun '11 Our
We've been all over the country and paid anywhere from $1500 to $4200. Those fees included prenatals, labs, birth, and postnatals, but not ultrasounds or birth kits. I've gotten a small refund twice. Once when mw didn't make it for delivery and once when I had to transfer. Both times, they refunded around $400.