The Cost of Having a Baby
Why some moms-to-be choose home birth, midwife, or other alternative birth methods
Alternative Birth Method Choices
Robin Elise Weiss, a childbirth educator, doula trainer, and author of The Complete Illustrated Pregnancy Companion, says there are many choices for women searching for safe alternative birthing methods. “Women can choose between freestanding birth centers, in hospital birth centers (not just those with the name birth center) as well as home births,” says Weiss. “There certainly seems to be a trend upwards for alternative locations of birth, though it does vary by state. Some women are making this choice because they know it to be the safer alternative for them while others are choosing it for financial reasons.”
Weiss goes on to note that safety is one of the main reasons that women are forgoing the traditional hospital experience. Women are educating themselves and seeing that something as “simple” as an induction can lead to nearly double the already high Cesarean rate for a first-time mother.
“Women are starting to question the costs, financially and emotionally, of exposing their babies to these added risks if not necessary,” says Weiss. “When there is less technology used, the cost of birth drops in all arenas. When someone has insurance and has to pay even 20 percent of their hospital bill, you may think twice between having a really high-tech birth and trying to use fewer interventions.”
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