Saving Money on Childbirth
According to Weiss, studies show that you can save as much as 50 percent on your bill when you choose a birthing center over a hospital, and that's a normal vaginal birth compared in both places.
"Obviously a Cesarean section, NICU stays, etc., will increase the amount and the difference in price," says Weiss. "Some of the revenue is saved by having shorter stays and the use of fewer interventions."
The savings of a home birth is more difficult to track, but Weiss says that some studies show that you will pay between $1,500 and $4,000 for a home birth, compared to about $8,000 to $10,000 for a hospital birth.
Women should ask for references, doctors, midwives, doulas, etc. It is also important to find out the standard rates of interventions for their hospital birth center, midwife, and doctors. "Consumers can see some of this by looking at places like The Birth Survey, but also by asking," says Weiss. "If a practitioner or place of birth isn't up front about their statistics, ask why not?"
Research and education on alternative birthing methods, as well as attentive prenatal care, can go far in saving money without compromising safety and health.