Having difficulty finding a way to have a home birth...

Heather - posted on 01/28/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I am a first time mom and currently 23 weeks along. After doing much research my husband and I desperately want to give birth at home, preferably in the water. I have hit many road blocks though. I live in North Carolina and while it is not illegal to have a home birth, you must have a CNMW preform it and a Dr. to back her up and NO ONE will do it. I have literally had to go "underground" to find people who even do it at all. In South Carolina (30 mins from our home) there are midwives that will do it, but b/c they are doing it "underground" we have to pay out of pocket, which might not be possible. There is a birthing center and hour and a half away, but as a new mom, I dunno if that is realistic or too far away. Besides the fact the insurance may not pay for that either. Anyway, I am looking for any suggestions, advice, encouragement anyone has in this situation. Those of you who do not have this problem are truely blessed!

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Emily - posted on 02/13/2009

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I had my first two babies in a hospital, completely drug-free and as close to my ideal at the time as I could get. My third was a water-birth in a birth center. It was absolutely wonderful, but we did have to pay our deductible and a co-pay for that... the hospital would have been free. Now with our fourth, we're planning our first homebirth. In Utah, with our current insurance, the hospital would still cost us around $2000 and most midwives are only $1400-$2000 and there's a slight chance our insurance may cover a small portion of that. We decided that each birth is a once in a lifetime experience, and a very personal moment for the baby. Given our history and our research, we believe a homebirth is definitely the safest and best option for us, and we will pay more if we need to to make sure we get the best option available.

If you haven't already, attend a La Leche League meeting in your area and ask the women there about homebirths. If none of them have personal experience with them, they most likely know someone who has, who can find more resources for you.

Also, no matter what birthing environment you choose, be sure to take a good natural childbirth prep class. Birthing From Withing, HypnoBabies (my personal favorite) and the Bradley Method are all great full courses that will help you prepare for a natural birth.

1 1/2 hours away is normally not a big deal at all for a first time mom. My first birth was 13 hours, my second was 8, and my third was 2 1/2. Even with my third, the birth center was 45 minutes away, and we made it with no problems at all... in the middle of the night, in December, with icy roads. :)

And definitely consider a doula ESPECIALLY if you choose a hospital birth. A good, natural minded doula can make or break your birth. I recently acted as doula for my sister-in-law, and I spent a good chunk of my time working with the nursing staff trying to get her a squat bar for the bed, and bugging them about when she could get out of bed to try different positions... and when it was time to push, the doctor asked her to lay back farther so the baby could get out... she was starting to scoot back to do what the doctor said when I reminded her that she had wanted to try standing and squatting for this part. The doctor said that was fine and she ended up catching the baby by leaning around my brother-in-laws legs while he helped support my sister-in-law. Of course, this wasn't the most convenient position for the doctor... so she hadn't suggested it. My poor sister-in-law was exhausted from 32 hours of labor at that point, and wasn't ready to protest... and my brother-in-law wanted to help... but of course had never had any experience with labor before, so he didn't really know how. Anyway, my point is it's much easier to go through a hospital birth (or any birth) with someone who is familiar with the labor process and will help you advocate for the birth of your choice.

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Kristin - posted on 08/07/2013

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If you are close to Charlotte, contact Carolina Community Maternity Center, wonderful small birth center, they took my insurance. Or if you are close to TN, try Kathleen Davies in Mars Hill/Marshall, she was very flexible on cash payments.

Carlyn - posted on 07/09/2009

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I ended up having a homebirth even though our insurance didn't cover a cent. We managed to find a student midwife, and that made the birth cost less. It was actually great for me because I got to have two for the price of one (she has to be supervised during the birth by an experienced midwife)! If finances are a problem, you might look into having a student midwife, as they usually charge much less. Good luck!

Emily - posted on 03/17/2009

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Did you find a midwife? I know of a few in NC who will attend homebirths.

Crystal - posted on 03/05/2009

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It's crazy how against VBAC's hospitals are. It should be the woman's choice, in fact everything should be the woman's choice including where to birth. I keep feeling like America isn't as free as it used to be.

Emily - posted on 03/05/2009

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Darah - I have an aunt who had six children, five births (identical twin boys at the end), all were c-sec with vertical incisions... It is possible, you just have to find a doctor who knows what he's doing. If your sister truly wants more than three children, no doctor can stop her from getting pregnant again. If she trusts the doctors and decides that 3 c-sec are more than enough, she can always consider adoption for her last 3 (or more).

Crystal - I think it depends on where you are and how you look. I just finished interviewing homebirth midwives and 2/3rds of the midwives I talked to were totally comfortable with VBACs. When I was in Oregon for my 3rd baby a couple years ago, all of the midwives I interviewed were fine with VBACs as well. I also have two friends IRL who have attempted VBAC at home with midwives... one was successful, the other felt the need for a repeat c-sec, so she transferred during labor. In my research and experience, homebirth midwives are by far the most willing to work with VBAC moms.

Crystal - posted on 03/05/2009

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There are some midwives who will attempt VBAC's at home. It's rare, but there are some.

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Sometimes a hospital doctor promises you things and doesn't follow through. As a first time mother, it is very, very unlikely that you will have a super short labor and the 1 1/2 hour drive isn't that far. If the distance still concerns you, I would try really hard to come up with the money to pay out of pocket so you can have the birth you want. Worst case scenario---my sister was forced to have a c-sec and now where she lives she cannot find anybody who will let her do a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-sec) and she wants lots of kids (at least 6) and they limit you to having only 3 c-secs= so 3 babies tops.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/04/2009

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I watched my mother give birth to my brother at home when I was 9 and it was the most amazing thing ever! I really wanted my son to be born at home, but I felt like the whole thing ended up happening too soon, and I ended up in hospital. By the time my 9lb 15oz baby was born I'd been induced, had two lots of pethidine, gas and air, an epidural, forceps and finally an emergency c-section! I was then told I could never have a homebirth, and would have to have a c-section if I had another baby......

I am now pregnant again, and just want a natural birth...........there must be hope??!!

...am in the UK!

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You may be surprised that your insurance will pay for a birthing center.  I have Aetna and did not even have a copay other than my first prenatal visit of $30.  My birthing center was about an hour from my house, so I just went in earlier than I probably would have if it was closer.  If you can't find a way to have a homebirth, I would consider the birthing center even if it is 1 1/2 hours away.  Call them and ask about your insurance, I'm sure they'll be happy to help you figure out if you'll be covered. 



 



Two of my friends that have had unmedicated births in hospitals and birthing centers say they would never have a hospital birth again.  Both of their first children were delivered by doctors, and they both say that was a big mistake--very long, unnecessary episiotomies.  Stick with a midwife no matter what you do and the advice to get a doula is great!

Erica - posted on 02/20/2009

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We had our little boy at a birthing center and it was the most wonderful experience. My labor took 26 hours, so we had plenty of time if we needed to travel somewhere. Plus our insurance covered the costs of the birthing center. We had to ask for an exception, but since they had no birthing centers on their included plan within an hour of us, they added them and covered all of the costs which was great!



We felt very comfortable with the birthing center since I was a first time Mom and wasn't ready to do a home birth. I love the staff so much at the birthing center that I would have my next child there too.

Erica - posted on 02/20/2009

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We had our little boy at a birthing center and it was the most wonderful experience. My labor took 26 hours, so we had plenty of time if we needed to travel somewhere. Plus our insurance covered the costs of the birthing center. We had to ask for an exception, but since they had no birthing centers on their included plan within an hour of us, they added them and covered all of the costs which was great!



We felt very comfortable with the birthing center since I was a first time Mom and wasn't ready to do a home birth. I love the staff so much at the birthing center that I would have my next child there too.

Tara - posted on 02/20/2009

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Hiya, I don't know anything about where you live. But i live in England and after a lot of tension between the midwifes and so forth that my husband and i decided to have a home birth. We still didn't get any cooperation with the NHS staff (not a surety that some one will come). So we went private. Most midwifes will let you have a payment plan. But they really incourage woman who want a natural birth that you can do so. As they believe that women have been bringing babies into the world naturally for thousands of years and that we are still capable of doing so now. But they will not put you or your baby at risk if they feel there is a problem. There is a websites out there that might be of help. I used these ladies www.wessexindependantmidwives.co.uk

Sherry - posted on 02/19/2009

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Unless there is a medical reason for you be in a hospital then HOME is the way to go .  I have experience both and much prefer home.  Midwives a so very much qualified to do this job.  My first home birth was my 4th child.  She was born posterior in a little over an hour.  9 lbs 4 oz, 22 inches long.  The cord was around her neck ,  not just once but twice.  My midwife just asked me to get in another position and voila,  there she was.  Anyway....to each his own.....it really is a wonderful experience to birth in your own surroundings.  :)

Vashti - posted on 02/14/2009

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Hi Heather, just writing to encourage you on this journey. In my opinion we in the west are behind with natural birthing. Sure we're all ready for when things go wrong but the reality is society isn't ready for the 90% of the time when things should go naturally and smoothly. If a woman is lying on a bed through half her labour the baby will not decend as smoothly and quickly, it's also more painful for us, but this is when women ask for an epidural or get a cesarean because maybe the baby gets distressed or mum becomes too tired to push. I am dutch and my husband is from Pakistan and my mother in law had all her five at home, did not lose any through birth. I am having the same struggle and I feel that it is so wonderful to just be able to stay at home and do what you want during the labour, maybe clean up here and there have the comfort of your own surroundings and family around. Walk, have showers etc without having heart monitors strapped to you etc. I believe that doctors and hospitals and midwives should stop focusing on the small percent of what could go wrong and give women the liberty to give birth however they feel comfortable. Also that society should start looking at giving birth as a beautiful and positive experience that has been going on forever. It is not a sickness, sickness is for hospitals in my opinion not having a baby. 

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I live in NC and had a homebirth. I did have to pay out of pocket b/c it is not covered by insurance. However, it still cost about the same as the part that the insurance didn't cover of my sister's birth in the hospital. Even if you get insurance to pay, you'll still have co-pays, hospital deductibles, etc. There are a lot of hidden costs with having a hospital birth, and with my homebirth all of the costs were laid out in advance. I also worked out a payment plan with my wonderful midwife (who lives in SC). Email me if you have any questions at all--I live in the Charlotte area. joceyej80@yahoo.com

Faye - posted on 02/02/2009

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i had my little girl at home in july last year and it was the most relaxed birth i could imagine. they kept saying it is not the best but it is by far, as i also have a 3 year old who was in bed and woke up just as she had arrived downstairs. i hope u can have your baby at home or find another way. All the best good luck

Nichole - posted on 02/01/2009

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If you do decide to go with a hospital (Home is best though). But if for some reason you do go with a hospital please please please get a Doula to help you. A natural minded doula can make a world of difference! Lay out exactly what you want and what you expect to get from your birth and she can walk you through it and even help your husband/SO help you. I especially highly recommend a Doula for first time moms. 

Crystal - posted on 02/01/2009

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I'll be paying out of pocket to give birth in a birthing center in SC, in Columbia, because Ga does not have many midwives available for home births and because my husband would feel better with me being there (don't ask me why). He knows I'll refuse to have a baby at home, so the birthing center is a great compromise. My insurance won't pay at all for midwives in Ga that do home births and they probably won't pay for the birthing center either.

1 1/2 hours away is not really a big deal with a first baby usually. My first labor was 10 1/2 hours long.

Christy - posted on 01/31/2009

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I have had a homebirth in NC, and it can be done.  There are plenty of Certified Professional Midwives in NC, and just because they aren't recognized by the state doesn't make them any lessed skilled or experienced.  You will have to pay out of pocket either way, unless you can find a CNM your insurance will cover.



 



Homebirth and hospital birth are NOT the same.  Some people will prefer one, some will prefer the other, and some people won't care either way as long as certain requirements are met.  So, If you really want to have a homebirth, you CAN find a way to make it happen!  If hospital is not ideal, and if you don't have any factors that make homebirth a bad idea, don't give up until you've really exhausted your options.



 



There is a site www.nchomebirth.com (I think).  You can fill out their "find a midwife" form and get some good responses.  NC has a VERY active midwifery community.

Heather - posted on 01/29/2009

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Quoting Julianna:



If you can give me your information, my mother can try and find you a CPM in your area through a midwife emailing list, RMA, Radical Midwives Association. 





My email address is heatherjoycollins@gmail.com Thank you for your help! I would really like to make this work!

Julianna - posted on 01/29/2009

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If you can give me your information, my mother can try and find you a CPM in your area through a midwife emailing list, RMA, Radical Midwives Association. 

Katrina - posted on 01/29/2009

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Wow!  I like what Bethany said!  If you can find a hospital that will allow you to do what you want that is great!  Very hard in some parts!  My friend just had her baby in a birthing center and it was so great!  It was about an hr and 1/2 from home.  We made it in plenty of time.  I had all mine at home with a certified midwife and it was a wonderful experience but I understand when you say that it would be "underground".  It is kinda going that way over here again too-sad!  Water birth is nice but you may not want to do that at the end.  I know several midwives and they all say that they get the mom out before she gives birth because the water is so gross by the time the baby is about to be born. ( something to think about anyway.)  You and the baby will both be so blessed with a natural birth weither it is in a birthing center, at home, or in the hospital.  Just ask lots of questions and educate yourself.  There are 2 books that I recomend.  "Ina May's Guide To Childbirth"  by Ina May Gaskin and "The Birth Partner"  by Penny Simkin.  Both are very good and educational in choices that you have in todays society.  Many Blessings to you!  Aloha!

Bethany - posted on 01/28/2009

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I had my babies in a hospital at my husbands request. He said I could be as granola as I wanted, but please do so in a hospital. So, for him I did. But I had it MY way. I think the main thing is that you have confidence in what you want to do and don't back down. I refused any and all drugs, IV's, interference. I kicked nurses out of my room if I didn't like them, I refused to get into the bed to push and stayed on the birthing ball. I had whoever I wanted in the room. The point is, I totally understand the insurance and money thing. Insurance will cover a hospital birth. It may not be the way you want to go, but just because it's in the hospital doesn't mean you can't have a natural, positive experience. With you as the mom making all the decisions. I still had a midwife who was fantastic. And I was very specific with my husband as to what I wanted and he backed me up every time. I also brought my very mouthy sister just in case! If you know what you want and refuse to 'conform' they are going to help you. They might talk about you when you leave, but who cares? You get to leave with precious baby!

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