After seeing "The Business of Being Born", my partner and I are absolutely positive that home birthing is for us. Partly because we will be having our daughter in Portugal and Portuguese is not my first language (infact, it is barely a second language). Also, we feel personally aligned with principals and practices of home birthing.

Due to a series of events (mainly immigration) I have had to return to Chicago while Bruno stays at home with my step-daughter and family. We have been living off savings as we transition to a new place in our life. With all the confusion, we started to feel that we might have to "settle" for a hospital birth.

During the process of excepting that we might have to give birth in a hospital because of financial blockers, I started to question could home births be a possibility for everyone? Or is home birthing a privilege.

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Shiren and Bruno (and baby)

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It seems ironic that home birth is more economical if you do not have insurance. I also wanted a home birth but because insurance wouldn't pay for it, it ended up being cheaper to go with a hospital, so that's what we're doing. It doesn't make sense to me. Insurance companies would pay so much less if they reimbursed midwives for home births instead of requiring that you be in the hospital. 

Even with insurance, in my case, homebirth was cheaper even though my insurance did NOT pay a single penny of my homebirth.

My homebirth: $5560

Hospital: $10,000+ (I would have neded up with a CSection due to my blood pressure and baby's heart rate, Unknown velamentous cord insertion and vasa previa).

I hope you know that a lot of midwives will actually "fudge" their fees in special circumstances. Just ask around.

I don't believe it's a financial issue, as much as a PRIORITY issue.  When your values and beliefs are in full will do whatever it takes to honor those values.  Maybe you don't go out to eat as much, not buy that brand new car, or upgrade to the bigger and better house.  I have an insurance plan that has a deductible of $2500 and then covers 80/ by the time I get my bill for what my responsibility is, I'd pay about the same anyway.  Even if I had a better policy, I'd still rather pay out of pocket to stick to my birth plan. 

I was pregnant the first time at 20 years old and knew nothing of my options.  Now that I know what I know, I am going to do things right.  I'm getting married in June and so will soon be starting preparing myself emotionally, physically and spiritually...three month detox, regular chiropractic care, intimate conversations with my fiancee about our intentions, etc so that our child can be concieved in the most loving and nurturing environment possible.  <3

Thanks everyone for the response thus far. Kellee, I agree with what you are saying mostly, but to have access is not always about shuffling money around. Sometimes there isn't even money for some to not go out to eat. 

I  believe if you are living in the midst of the middle class (even in the lowest rung of middle class) making things a priority is an absolutely probable way of affording various things in life. 

I think the assumption is that everyone is living in a financial situation where they aren't just in survival mode -- but rather in a place where the luxury of priority is a possiblity.

For some, your suggestion is to choose between the canned beans and the dried beans at the grocery store. Although that can help it is definitely not enough to find 5000 in 9 months. For us it is making those choices at the grocery store as well as choosing not to pay an extra transfer on the bus and walk the extra 1/2 mile in the middle of the Chicago winter. Which is not really healthy for momma all the time. 

As far as insurance goes, public aid does not cover home births.

Thank you, Shiren. I found Kellee's comments quite condescending. Sometimes our wallets aren't full enough to allow us to live our lives perfectly in line with our values and beliefs. 

I'm sorry, Amber...wasn't trying to sound that way.  After reading it, I see how easily it could be taken that way.  Email doesn't always show the heart behind or inside the message, of course. <3  I work in the TRUE HEALTHcare industry (ChiropracTIC) and see people making poor decisions, because of priorities or lack of knowledge on a daily basis and it's very frustrating...especially, when it's directly affecting their health.  In the movie "Food Matters" they talk about the exact same thing.  I'm just a very passionate individual who wants to educate the masses about TRUE health and save the world! <3

I know things can be tight.  I grew up on welfare, as my mom was disabled and I was a single mom for 15 years who refused to let her daughter grow up the same way.  I worked at least two different jobs at all times during this time...found extra income ANYWHERE I could.  So yes, I have a fire burning inside me, because I KNOW that if I could accomplish the things I have...ANYONE can!  We as women need to realize that WE ARE POWERFUL BEYONE MEASURE and can do ANYTHING!  We ONLY limit OURSELVES.  <3

Peace Kellee. Again, I think you are mostly right but there are some systemic issues presented in the world that might prevent people from accomplishing such goals. There are barriers of racism, sexism, ageism, classism, education restrictions and others that exist around the globe. 

I have an extreme privilege of holding a master's degree and I am still in a bind financially. I am also American, which for me, has proven to be an extreme privilege in my placement in the world. 

Regardless, I am still at the point of asking help from my community members to make this a possiblity. This is my effort to knock on every door. 

I guess what I am wondering, what about those who are in "worse" situations then us?


I was a bit offended at first but I also have to understand that is her reality and where she living and what has worked for her. I think she is correct for a lot of people who can make this a priority.

I just wanted to remind her of those that are not in a financial situation to make such changes. Additionally, the other systemic issues that are contributors to poverty and lack of access to many services in America and across the globe. 



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