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Old 07-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
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How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

I want to ask my homebirth midwife for a partial refund of the $2,000 my DH and I paid her for prenatal care (starting at 29 weeks) and a homebirth that didn't happen. Here's what happened...I had back labor on and off for a week. Midwife suggested DH and I dtd to get things moving. While dtd, I had a lot of bleeding. The bleeding continued for a bit after we stopped. I was 41w6d. I called the midwife and she told me to go to the hospital (she also said she was risking me out of homebirth). So I went. My midwife's assistant met us there and worked as my doula. The bleeding had stopped by the time they did an exam there and they figured it was just due to dtd while 4cm dilated. I was having contractions 2 minutes apart at that time. I got an epidural and had my water broken. My contractions became irregular so I got pitocin. I only dilated to 6cm after about 10 hours and then the baby's heartrate started to drop low. So I got a c-section. My baby ended up in the NICU for 9 days for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). I passed the 1 hour glucose tolerance test at 24 weeks (before I switched care providers) and my homebirth midwife tested my urine for sugar at every appointment and said I never had any. The NICU doctors seemed to think I may have had gestational diabetes anyway.

I think she should refund part of our money. She has made no mention of this and I would like to ask but I'm not sure how to word it nicely. The problem is that I think the contract she had me sign says that no refunds will be given in the event of transfer. In my opinion, (I don't remember exactly what the contract said and I don't have a copy ) this pertains more to transfers during the labor/birth. Since I wasn't in active labor or anything, I think she owes us some money back.

Opinions/advice welcome. Thanks mamas!

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Old 07-29-2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

Usually a midwife will charge a per visit fee in case of transfer plus you will need to pay for the doula services. Quite honestly once you calculate this up there may not be much money left. It is worth a try asking though.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

She never was at your labor, right? My contract does say no refunds for a transfer, but that's after being with the MW for labor and then she goes with me to the hospital. . .I would try to get a copy of the contract and read over it.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

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Originally Posted by foxygoober View Post
She never was at your labor, right? My contract does say no refunds for a transfer, but that's after being with the MW for labor and then she goes with me to the hospital. . .I would try to get a copy of the contract and read over it.
Agreed. It sounds like she wasn't present at all during your labor. Unless her assistant being there counts as her "service". Definitely worth asking her for a copy of the contract and reading over the fine print.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

Yea, you need to check your contract. Mine stated a fee for prenatal visits and delivery. It also mentioned the lesser amount that we would be responsible for if we ended up transferring to an OB/hospital before or during labor. That amount was the charge for prenatal care alone.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

You can ask her about it, but I wouldn't expect my MW to refund me. Then again both my MWs came with me to the hospital when we transferred (well one came with, then went home to sleep and the other was there when I delivered)... I would just ask her if she is going to refund you, since she didn't attend the birth.

I felt a bit cheeky asking if I would get a discounted rate since I switched to my MW's prenatal care at 22-24 (something like that) weeks and she said no, but it was worth asking!!!
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

IDK mama...you might be able to get a little $$ back, but she did provide you prenatal care from 29 weeks up until 41 weeks. I know that my MW's global fees (for prenatal care) ranged from $1000 to $1500 (I had each of my children in a different state) and then the rest of the $$ would be for the birth. So it sounds like you hadn't even paid the full amount for the homebirth? $2000 seems really low for all the expenses. Not saying you shouldn't inquire, but I'm wondering how much wouldn't be covered by global fee, tests, etc...
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:12 PM   #8
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

Also, FWIW, I transferred from an OB office to midwives at 32 weeks and had to pay the global fee for both. There was no refund to ask for from the OB, because I did receive care from them.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

The midwife did not attend the birth, just her assistant. $2000 was the total fee for prenatal care and homebirth and we paid all of it by my 37th week.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:49 PM   #10
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Re: How to ask homebirth midwife for a refund

I wouldn't expect her to offer. You're going to have to ask - which I think you have every right to do under the circumstances. She should have a per-appointment fee, which may or may not be spelled out on the contract. If you have trouble, I'd suggest contacting the midwives' guild.

Good luck!
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