Moms have so many decisions to make during pregnancy. From picking the perfect color for the nursery to finding the safest car seat, the planning never ends. But the ultimate climax of pregnancy — giving birth — requires the most planning, and many women are frequently choosing to give birth at home. One of the factors in choosing a home birth over a hospital birth is the financial benefits, so it's important to know how much home birth costs in comparison to a typical hospital birth.
Romper reached out to Alexandra Wyatt, licensed midwife, certified professional midwife, and owner of Heritage Home Births, based in Lubbock, Texas. She says that most midwives charge anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on the area they live in (supply and demand), which includes the cost of things like birth supplies and lab work.
But this cost is usually all-inclusive and goes above and beyond just your baby's birthday. Wyatt says that this fee usually covers seven months of prenatal care, including 15 prenatal visits, three postpartum visits going up to six weeks after the delivery, the cost of having two licensed professionals at the birth, and being on call 24/7.
How does that compare to a hospital delivery? Wyatt says that when you look at the average hospital and doctor's fees for visits and delivery, including things like the hospital fee and lab work, many women will pay $10,000 to $15,000 for an unmedicated vaginal birth. "So not only do women choose home birth for the personalized quality care given to them by a licensed professional in the comfort of their home," Wyatt says, "but for financial reasons as well."
What other benefits can you get out of home birth? Wyatt says that many women choose home birth because they want to be treated as individuals rather than patients, and at home they are allowed the freedom to move and birth however they like, eat and drink as they wish, are never separated from their babies, and aren't stuck with strangers during labor. She notes that many times the complications that develop during a hospital birth are caused or related to the overuse of interventions and the restriction of maternal movement, so with home births, women are able to take control of their care and have true informed consent regarding options and choices for them and their baby.
"Some moms don't want pain medication, constant medical monitoring, and interventions that come with hospital delivery," Wyatt says. "Midwives still monitor each patient to ensure the safety for her and baby, but not continuously, which has become a standard in today's medical community."
Wyatt suggests that not only do home births cost less and give you more personalized care and freedom, but they can also create lasting friendships and bonds. "Most of my clients turn into friends and we stay in touch for coffee and tea long after care is done," she says.
Delivering your baby at home or at the hospital needs to be a well thought out decision you make with the advice of your doctor so you can rule out any risks in your pregnancy. The costs of home births are comparatively less than a hospital birth, but the freedom and comfort they can give you are priceless.