Last August I posted about costs of a homebirth, but it was still pretty early on in our pregnancy so I used estimates. Now that we’re ready to go any day now (baby, where are you?!), I thought I’d update the prices for those of you curious about paying for a homebirth with a midwife.
Please keep in mind that costs will vary greatly. It can depend on your location – some midwives charge much more, some charge much less. It can depend on what “extras” you need or want, such as having a doula or placental encapsulation. AND it depends on your insurance plan. Anyway, this is how it’s working out for US:
~prenatal care + labor/delivery: $2000
~GBS lab test: $20
~oral vitamin K drops: $20
~prenatal visits + L/D: $650
~birth kit (pads, plastic sheet, etc.): $35
~my extras (oils, sitz bath, salts, etc): $50
~thank yous: $50
TOTAL: $3160 (but lots of our costs were optional – see details below)
If you have good insurance, your homebirth with a certified midwife will likely be covered. For us, it is not. I opted for the GBS test and the oral vitamin K, so those costs were optional. Our doula is on the cheaper end for where we live, but I’ve heard that compared to other areas, she is “expensive” and so is the placental encapsulation… ah, a perk of living near Chicago. So both of those costs may be much lower wherever you live. Plus, you can find doulas-in-training or newly certified doulas for cheaper (check doulamatch.net and craisglist).
The supply kit… our midwife gave us a list of basic things we needed to have on hand. They could all easily be found at your local store, but my midwife is also set up with an online retailer and all I had to do was go to the site, find my midwife’s name, and add her specific kit to my cart. It was $35.… EASY! I would have spent at least that buying everything individually at the store. Off the top of my head, the kit has: lots of pads, disposable underwear, olive oil, plastic sheet, a couple large garbage bags, gloves, hydrogen peroxide, peri bottle, couple straws, gauze, bulb syringe.…
Our midwife also gave us another list of extra things it’d be nice to have on hand, but most are found around your house and you don’t have to buy: a bucket, extra sheets/towels, a flashlight… and also some electrolyte drinks (vitamin water, emergen-c)…
So what are MY extras? Mainly postpartum comfort things.. this is a totally optional cost and I estimated the $50. I wanted some essential oils for massage and aromatherapy (during labor), some New Mama Bottom Spray (Earth Mama Angel Baby), a sitz bath (bought on Amazon) with herbs (EMAB and Motherlove make some), and witch hazel and epsom salts (bought at Walmart). I also bought a vinyl mattress cover (on Amazon). Our mattress is brand new so we wanted to protect it – even if I don’t end up giving birth on the bed, friends reminded me of all the leaking/breastmilk postpartum ($20 to save our $2000 mattress? done.)
Thank-yous: another optional cost. I just got some little things to thank our doula and midwife when it’s all done and over. A handwritten note and photo of the baby would probably be thank-you enough, I’m sure, and free.
Clothes: another optional cost. I got a labor/delivery gown, a “born at home” t-shirt for the baby (newborn photos!), a “real men catch babies” t-shirt for Steve, and a VBAC shirt for me
~$3000 may seem like a lot out of pocket for a birth, but we ended up paying ~$6000(???) out of pocket for the c-section last time and, besides, I’m pretty sure we’d pay anything to have this natural birth – totally worth it Think of how much you’d spend on a wedding or car… your birth day is something you’ll remember and carry with you forever, you’re bringing a life into this world, it’s worth investing in.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask me! Did you have a homebirth? How did your costs compare or do you have anything to add to my list??