If you’re considering a home birth, or just curious about what it may look like, chances are you have some questions. In this last section of our home birth series, we’ll cover the most commonly asked questions and help dispel any myths.
Q: What if something goes wrong?
A: Something could go wrong anywhere you give birth. This is by far the most commonly asked question when it comes to home birth, and comes from the assumption that if something goes wrong, the hospital is the safest place to be. Midwives are experts in birth and handling common complications that could arise, regardless of birthing location. If needed, they know how to resuscitate, maneuver through shoulder dystocia, assess a wrapped umbilical cord and so on. If a situation presents itself that a midwife is not equipped to handle, such as a dangerously low heart rate in baby or birthing person that cannot be remedied at home, a transfer to the hospital will take place.
Q: Is home birth a good option for everyone?
A: Midwives typically work with birthing people who are not considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. Each midwife or midwifery practice has slightly different comfort levels, so be sure to have honest conversations from the start of your relationship. Midwives help birth multiples, babies born vaginally after a cesarean (VBAC) and some will deliver breech babies.
Q: What supplies do you need?
A: Your midwife will provide you with a list of items, which most commonly includes lots of towels, pads, receiving blankets, a bowl for the placenta, a shower curtain to line your bed, cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide, and snacks and beverages for you. Some midwives bring all of the disposable medical supplies, while others have you order a kit that costs less than $100.
Q: What about clean up?
A: Pop culture has led us to believe that birth is a messy and rushed process, which isn’t true the majority of the time. Depending on where your baby is born at home, clean up can be as simple as draining the birth tub, rinsing the shower, scrubbing the floor, or changing the sheets on your bed. Midwives take care of all the clean up before they leave, including the house, the birthing person, baby and laundry.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: The average cost for a home birth in Minnesota is between $3,000 and $6,000, which includes all prenatal visits, the birth and all postpartum visits for mom and baby from a midwife over the first six weeks. This cost doesn’t typically include any labs or ultrasounds that would take place outside the midwife’s office. Additionally, depending on the midwife, the cost of using a birth tub may or may not be included. Some midwives accept payment through HSA or FSA accounts and it’s possible to receive reimbursement for the costs through your insurance provider.
Q: Can I have a doula at my home birth?
A: Absolutely! Doulas are always welcome at home births as they work to physically and emotionally support the birthing person during labor. The role of a midwife is to provide medical care for the birthing person and baby. When doulas and midwives are both present, a home birth can be a truly wonderful experience.
The Twin Cities and surrounding metro is home to many wonderful and talented midwives, so if you’re interested in a home birth you have the opportunity to choose from a large group. Are there any questions we didn’t answer here? Leave a comment below and we’ll respond!
Here are just a handful of the incredible home birth midwives we know and love (in no particular order):
Twin Cities –
Twin Cities Midwifery | Geneabirth | Thrive Midwives | Metro Midwifery | Northstar Midwifery | Trillium Midwifery Care | Mandala Midwifery Care
Rochester/Southern Minnesota –
Nourish Midwifery | Rochester Community Midwives | Rochester Midwifery, Birth & Wellness | WomanCare
Duluth Midwife | Advent Midwifery | The Birth Servant | Lake Superior Midwifery | First Memory Midwifery