Post # 1
My husband and I have been talking more lately about starting TTC sometime later this year/early next year, and while we agree on most things, we are at odds about whether to do a home birth or a hospital birth. And while we could both Google the subject until our fingers fall off, I’d rather get some real insight!
If you are willing to share, here are a few general questions we have:
- Did you choose a home birth or a hospital birth (or even a birthing center)? Why did you decide the place that you did?
- What did you like?
- What didn’t you like?
- Financially, if you’re comfortable answering, how much did the delivery process cost, and how much did insurance cover (as far as doctors, midwives, medication, etc.)?
Thank you for any input and answers that you provide. I’m much more for a home birth, where my husband is a worrier, and would rather we be at a hospital in case of an emergency.
Post # 3
I have nothing against home births, it just wasn’t for me. I had my baby at the hospital. I’m glad that I did because the cord was wrapped around her neck and she was stunned at birth. They had to immediately call the peds team, and they got her breathing. It was so scary, but I was glad to have emergency help so quickly. I also was happy to be in the hospital because I was able to get an epidural, which was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I didn’t like that they wouldn’t let me eat anything. I had a 26 hour labor, and I was starving! I also didn’t like that I had to wear the BP cuff at all times, but I went to the hospital with signs of preeclampsia, so it was necessary. The bed was also pretty uncomfortable. The bed in the recovery room was much better.
I’m not sure exactly what the cost is yet because they billed us incorrectly and it’s in the process of being fixed, but my portion after insurance looks to be about $430. This will vary greatly depending on your insurance.
Post # 4
I chose to deliver in a hospital, but I was followed by the midwife practice so I didn’t see an OB. I was able to have a med-free birth and really had a say in how my labor and birth went.
I liked the safety net of being near emergency services should something have gone wrong. I liked that the hospital I chose has a lower c-section rate than many other local hospitals, and an episiotomy rate of less than 2% as well. I like that the birthing center there had many things available to me that other hospitals don’t (birthing ball, birthing stool, squat bar, they welcome doulas, shower, & labor tub… they were renovating at the time and now offer water births which they didn’t at the time I had my baby.)
I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about my particular hospital, but I’ve had friends who delivered at other hospitals and they told me they felt like they didn’t get as much of a say in their births. The hospital had protocols and basically that was that! I had much, much more flexibility. I was an active participant in my birth process, it wasn’t something that happened to me.
I think our total bill for everything ended up being about $10k, but I had no epi/c-section/etc. My insurance covered everything. I had a $100 hospital admit fee BUT my insurance actually reimbursed that before I even got the bill for it.
Post # 5
@Twyla_Smith: Sorry, no advice here but commenting to follow. We are in the same situation – I don’t want to step foot in a hospital, but my husband is not comfortable (yet!) with a homebirth. (Side note – have you watched “The Business of Being Born”? Very interesting documentary on natual childbirth)
Post # 7
@Sea_Ashley: I have! That’s what go me thinking about home births when I first watched it a few years ago.
Post # 8
@DaneLady: I’m wondering if I can’t get my husband to compromise on a birthing center that is attached to a hospital (I think that’s what they’re called) – I’d be able to have a say, and he’d have the peace of mind being right there by a hospital just in case.
A question on your mdiwife – when your first found out you were pregnant, did you ask your doctor about a midwife, or how did you go about finding one?
Post # 9
I’m still pregnant (7.5 months) and we are also giving birth at a hospital but with a midwife– I haven’t seen a single doctor yet. Everything has gone really well so far and I feel confident– them certainly make it feel like a normal process and not a “medical condition” which sets me at ease.
Post # 10
@Twyla_Smith: I work for a hospital anyway, so I kind of already knew they had a midwife practice that works out of our women’s health department. I just called women’s health after my BFP and asked if I could be scheduled with any available midwife. There are five of them I think? They rotate being on-call just like most OBs, so throughout my pregnancy I requested that I be scheduled at least once with each midwife so I didn’t have a stranger in my hoo-hah on the big day!
I think a free standing birthing center near a hospital might be a good compromise.
Check out some evidence-based birth resources… your husband might be surprised to find that the rates of favorable outcomes and complications between birthing centers and hospitals.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Twyla_Smith: I think the bes tof both worlds is being able to go to a birthing center in a hospital. That way if there are complications you and/or the baby can be immediately moved to a hospital floor or ER. Unfortunately, they aren’t available in all areas.
Post # 12
@Twyla_Smith: Partially commenting to follow. DH and I have had similar conversations. I like the idea of home birth, but he’s not comfortable with it. I think our compromise will end up being a hospital birth with a midwife, hopefully a similar experience to what @DaneLady had – close to all the resources in case of an emergency, but with a lot of say in how I want my birth experience to be.
Post # 13
I had a planned home (water) birth for my first and am about to do it again soon for my second. I work in the healthcare field and am pretty wary of Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI’s) which was my primary driver for staying out of the hospital. Supporting my decision was the fact that we used the two most highly qualified midwives in our area and also that we lived very close to a great hospital. My husband’s entire family also works in healthcare and were VERY opposed to my homebirth plan, but we basically just answered their questions factually and told them to back off when they started saying crazy things. It took a great deal of effort to convince my husband but he came around when he saw all the evidence-based facts. In many ways a homebirth can be safer than a hospital birth (for appropriate candidates) and so that supported me in making my argument with him.
I liked that I was able to relax completely and manage my pain myself. I am certain I would not have been as successful at relaxing at the hospital.
The part we liked the least was the amount of cleanup we had to do after the birth. I had a very long labor and our entire birth team was exhausted by the end so they basically just left a mess for my husband to clean up. He had to drain the birth tub, sterilize it twice, launder everything, and do tons of dishes from everyone’s meals during the labor. We are using a different birth team this time, and this team includes cleanup in their basic services, so this is something you should inquire about.
Financially I think it cost us about $1,250 each time for the birth and $750 for the doula, so about $2,000 total out of pocket. This was after all insurance payments went through. I think insurance paid roughly another $3-4,000 each time. Every insurer is different and I would urge you to google YOURS+homebirth before speaking with them – there may be specific things you should and should not say to them in order to receive homebirth coverage.
Post # 14
I gave birth at the hospital on Joint Base Lewis McChord, as DH is in the Army, and it was lovely. I also had a natural unmedicated birth, and was able to have a midwife attending me for most of the birth (right at the end, OBs had to get involved due to fetal distress, but we all know that story …). I didn’t have any complaints about giving birth at the hospital — there are a few things that I had to be a bit of an ass about in order to get my way, though.
One was fetal monitoring — I wanted intermittent, hospital wanted continuous. I won that battle. I was “not allowed to eat” … but for vast portions of the time I was laboring, there was nobody in the room except me and my support people, so I could easily have eaten had I wanted to. We brought in a ton of different snacks and drinks just in case I wanted them (I didn’t). And the other biggie was the hospital policy of giving a shot of pitocin after the delivery to help shrink the uterus back down. I didn’t want it, and my doula practically had to tackle the person coming at me with a syringe, because they didn’t even think to ask if I wanted it since it was hospital policy to give it.
So the moral of the story is, giving birth in a hospital can be fine if you’re willing to push for what you want. Especially good if you have a doula or midwife on hand to help advocate for your choices if you’re hoping to go natural! The hospital had pretty much everything I could have wanted for laboring naturally, including birth ball, squat bar, tub, shower, birthing stool, etc. So you’ll definitely want to find out about those accommodations as well! Many hospitals seem to be getting more on board with the natural childbirth thing these days, so they tend to have more of these labor helpers than they used to.
Post # 15
I had all 3 of my babies in the hospital. For each one I was able to be up moving around as much as possible. I did have an IV that was capped so I didn’t ahve to push a pole around. I was in a large bath for most of my second labor, and would have with my thrid if there had been more time (she came super fast). Never was I pushed to use pain medication by my nurses, they were so great. I had tons of tools like PP have mentioned to labor/push on. My doctor actually asked me to try different pushing positions. I did have an eppisiotomy with my first, but also tore significantly, she needed to get out quickly so I didn’t mind.
For me the biggest thing was finding a provider that meshed well with what I wanted. I knew with my birthing history (with my oldest I ended up having abruption of the placenta) I knew that I would always want to be in a hospital, I had a a healthy pregnancy and there were was no warning anything was wrong-if I hadn’t been there she would have died. but it was still important for me to feel comfortable too. Luckily our doctor was great and I had great deliveries with him.
Post # 16
@beachbride1216: A birthing center is starting to look more and more appealing..
@FreeRangeMom: Good tip on the insurance, with being careful with what I ask!