Where Should I Birth?

by | Jun 16, 2020 | 0 comments

At a very early age many of us don’t question about birthing at the Hospital.  However, there is a growing population and better understanding of the various options women and families have.  As everything else in life, there is no cookie cutter way to birth.  What is right for one person may not be right for the other.  As someone who has attended many births, all different in so many ways, I encourage everyone to really dig deep into what is important to YOU and do your research. 
Some links and info can be found in this blog but I will also be posing some questions for you to really think about things.

Basics of Homebirth

  • Usually paid out of pocket or only partially covered by private insurance.  If you are in Minnesota, State insurance does NOT cover homebirth.  If you are in Wisconsin, State Insurance covers homebirth.  With that said – it is YOUR job to talk things through with your midwife and insurance company to know the exact figures.  Prices will range from $2k – $5k in total.
  • Medical professional is a Midwife.  Prenatal care might be at home or it might be at their clinic.  Each midwifery group/practice is different.  Interview and research a few different midwives/midwifery groups in your area to know what they offer and what their process is.
  • Best option for low risk pregnancies and mother’s who have given birth before.
  • Don’t be fooled.  A home birth does not mean, not prepared.  Homebirth midwives will go over back up plans for emergency situations, have medical equipment with them at the time of birth as well as a team of usually 1 birth assistant and a second midwife for newborn care.
  • Drug free option.
  • More comfortable in your own space.  Don’t have to travel before or after the birth.
  • For more Evidence Based Research and Information, check out What Is Home Birth? By Rebecca Dekker from Evidence Based Birth.

Basics of a Freestanding Birth Center

  • Simply put, a freestanding birth center is a birthing facility that is NOT linked with or at a hospital.  A freestanding birth center is usually run by a group of midwives who have a more “homey” feel in each of their birth rooms and may not look like a medical facility.
  • Most take many different types of insurance.
  • Drug free option.
  • First time parents, or parents who are worried about medical emergencies may see freestanding birth centers as a great option because if any medical emergencies do come up, families feel that there is better access to emergent care.
  • Some travel but most families are discharged between 4-8 hours after the birth of the baby.  No overnight stays unless transferred to hospital.
  • Lower chance of intervention & c-section.
  • Great option for low risk pregnancies.
  • For more evidence based research and information, check out The Evidence for Birth Centers by Rebecca Dekker from Evidence Based Birth.

Basics of Hospital 

  • Usually at a hospital/clinic you are already comfortable with.
  • Insurance will usually cover most of your appointments and birth.
  • Great for high risk pregnancies.
  • Access to medical pain management.
  • Controlled environment during the labor and birth process.
  • Sometimes have access to both Midwives & OBGYNs.
  • Some hospitals have a NICU for special cases.
  • Access to C-sections (planned and unplanned).
  • Stay in the hospital for 2-4 days (depending on how things went and the health of everyone).

So which one is right for you, you may ask.  Before you can answer that, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my pregnancy high risk?
  • Which hospitals, birth centers and home birth midwives do I have access to (location, financially/insurance coverage)?
  • Will I want pain medication?
  • Which provider/location will respect my wishes (medical, religious/spiritual needs or requests)?
  • Where will my partner feel the most comfortable and supported?
  • Can I have visitors?
  • How many support people may I have?  Will my mom, sister or doula be able to be there?
  • Does this location/provider allow birth photos/video being recorded (WATCH OUT – NOT ALL HOSPITALS WILL ALLOW THIS.  ESPECIALLY IN THE O.R.)

The above questions can get very deep.  And sometimes, you and your partner may not agree.  Having a doula can help sort some of the questions and concerns out that both of you may have.  As a doula, I am trained and in touch with the birthing world to help provide my clients with unbiased, evidence based information on questions & concerns many couples face when making these decisions.  However, I cannot make them for you.  I cannot tell a client which is “better”.  It is all about what is important to YOU.  What is both physically and emotionally best for you & your family.

Written By Amanda Anderson

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