Having an undisturbed birth in the comfort of your home shouldn’t be a financial burden. Unfortunately many women are choosing to give birth at a hospital because the upfront cost of home birth is daunting to them.
Here are my tips to make home birth more financially attainable.
1. Find a midwife with a sliding scale: Many midwives offer a sliding scale for clients that cannot afford their full price, a “pay what you can” type thing. Midwives have different criteria that allow you to quality for their sliding scale. A midwife’s time and knowledge is very valuable, so it’s important to only apply for the sliding scale if truly necessary. To my knowledge all midwives have payment plans as long as full payment is received before 36 weeks.
2. Add a home birth fund to your baby registry. Registries like Be Her Village and Babylist allow you to collect funds to help offset the cost of home births. The funds can be used towards a midwife, doula, birth kit, birth tub, etc.
3. Apply for insurance or health share reimbursement with a super bill from your midwife. Most insurances will reimbursement at least some of the home birth cost. You can apply for “gap” insurance and appeal any decision from the insurance company if you believe you should get more of a reimbursement. It can be a hassle, but it can be done. Health share companies like Samaritan Ministries and Christian Healthcare Ministries will cover 100% of home birth cost if you are on their top tier before becoming pregnant. Most health shares are Christian ran and require that you are married to qualify for maternity care coverage.
4. Doulas can be truly invaluable. There are doulas that offer sliding scales. If having a doula isn’t in the cards for you, have your partner read “The Birth Partner” to learn how to step into that roll. My husband and I found reading up on the Bradley Method helpful as well!
5. Birth tub rental can get pricy. Ask your midwife if she knows of any moms that purchased a birth tub, you can ask to rent their tub! You will have to buy your own liner for sanitary purposes.
6. Consider a free birth or unassisted birth if it is something you feel comfortable with! "Home Birth On Your Own Terms: A How To Guide for Birthing Unassisted" is a great book to dip your toes into.
This was the cost of my home birth in 2021, in Boulder County, Colorado!
Midwife cost: $4500 (ranges from $3000-9000 in the US) *I did not apply for sliding scale*
Birth kit: $75 (ranges from $50-90)
Birth pool rental: $50 (typically ranges from $150-350, I rented mine from a local mom who purchased one)
Insurance reimbursement: -$2716 (varies based on benefits)
That’s cheaper than most people pay out of pocket for hospital births, even with amazing insurance!
I would offer a mindset shift surrounding the cost of birth. Many Americans are more than willing to drop thousands of dollars on a wedding (the average cost of a wedding in 2022 was 30k) but are unwilling to fork up some cash for the birth of their dreams. Just something to consider, food for thought.
I hope this helps! I pray you get the happy home birth you dream of!