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Old 07-02-2012, 07:16 AM   #1
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home births in apartments? Tell me your story!

DH and I are discussing another baby and are interested in home births. I had DS in a hospital and there were many restrictions and labor went very quickly. I'm not concerned about the laboring at home part or anything but we live in an apartment. We are friends with our landlords daughter and we brought it up with her last night and she thinks her dad would be fine with it but my question is do we actually HAVE TO disclose our plans? I want to be honest and tell them but DH concern is that landlord won't allow it. Anyone have any experience in this area?

Also DH is concerned about the cost. We have insurance through United Health Care. I recently read that they do cover partial costs of home births but I do not know any specifics on that yet. Has anyone done home birth completely out of pocket? If so do you mind sharing an average cost? I know midwifes range costs but how much did you spend on your birthing supplies? I'm trying to do as much research as possible before it's actually time to make that decision that way its not rushed and we for sure know what we want.
Thanks in advance for any ones advice!

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Old 07-02-2012, 07:19 AM   #2
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My friend is having a home birth in a few weeks, she has spent about $2000 oop besides her midwife fee for birthing supplies, bloodwork, and an u/s but her regular insurance doesn't cover the u/s or bloodwork at all so maybe yours would be less?
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
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I had a home birth and paid OOP for the whole thing. It was $4000 for all prenatal care, lab work, u/s, delivery, and postpartum care. That cost is about average for our area. The only other thing we had to buy was the birth kit and it was like $30.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:36 AM   #4
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Re: home births in apartments? Tell me your story!

We're planning our third homebirth in August. =) We don't live in an apartment, so I'm not really sure about that part. Though, I don't think I'd ask for "permission" from the landlord about it unless you think it could be really loud or something.

Our first homebirth was $2600 for the midwife (3.5 yrs ago), second $2800 (17mo ago), and this one is $3200 (we were a little suprised her prices went up so much in the last year & a half). Other than the actual midwife fee (includes prenatal care, birth, etc. pretty much everything besides some optional blood work, birth kit, and the ultrasound). The birth kit was about $30-$40, first time we used a pool $7 on clearance (used the tub with #2 and planning to do that again this time). And prolly $100 or so for bloodwork testing, and I think around $230 for the ultrasound.

I don't know a ton about insurances covering the costs. We have a high deductable, so pretty much have to pay out of pocket (and would have to for a hospital birth too). BUT, our midwife does offer the option to bill our insurance company (which we've done every time just in case we had other medical expenses that caused us to reach the deductible). They bill it simply as a vaginal birth, so the insurance paperwork doesn't specifically say "homebirth", and therefore is covered.

We've paid out of pocket for all three births (I'm still preggers, but payment was due around the 28th week of pregnancy). With our first, we did get some $$ reimbursed from the insurance company because we reached/passed our deductible for other stuff.

Oh, and the MW costs do seem to vary on location/region. Just for reference we're in mid MN.

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Old 07-02-2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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My Mood:
I had DS2 in an apartment and it never even occurred to us to "ask permission". We pay rent, it's our home, we're not doing anything that would damage the property...not sure why it's any of the landlords business? None of our neighbors seemed to notice, our mind once they found out later. Really just wasn't a big deal!
As far as cost...we had state insurance as out back up, just in case we had to go to the hospital. So our home birth was all out of pocket. $2,000-$3,000 is the norm in my area, depending on who you go with.

God luck with your decision!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: home births in apartments? Tell me your story!

I hadn't thought about informing the landlord either until DH brought it up. I think he is just looking for any and all reasons to avoid it. He is a worst case scenario kind of guy but I think everything would be fine. I live in the St. Louis, MO area. Home births are not really common around here but then again I don't know of anywhere known for their home births.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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Re: home births in apartments? Tell me your story!

If homebirths are illegal in your state, then having a homebirth in your rental unit would be grounds for eviction. Also, many lease agreements restrict the use of large aquariums or waterbeds and things like that, so a birth pool may also be a no no. sometimes the building itself have a restriction on this. So (if homebirth is legal in uour state) you're going to have to go through your lease agreement and the building rules to figure out what you are allowed to do.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #8
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Re: home births in apartments? Tell me your story!

I hadn't heard about homebirths in our area either (I actually accidentally learned about it from randomly watching Business of Being Born). With our first, it was completely new and different and I had never heard of any "real" people doing it, much less anyone we knew. Both our families thought we were crazy.

My DH was quite skeptical at first too. He has some first responder training, so was concerned about possible complications. I think what helped most was interviewing with the midwife and going over "what happens if..." questions. She really is prepared for almost everything besides actual surgery (they have neonatal training, bring oxygen, whatever medications, etc). I actually hemorraged a lot with DS and needed to have my placenta manually removed (not fun!). I wasn't too worried at the time (I was too excited about the baby to pay much attention), but DH was quite concerned. The midwives handled it very well (the MW and assistant MW).
(Now, sometimes I'll even over hear DH recomend home births to other guys!)

Anyways, sometimes DH's can be harder to convince! I do think it helps to try to get him to say what specifically he's worried about and to talk with the MW about possible complications and how they deal with things.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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My Mood:
We didn't tell our landlord with both babies. We paid $2300 for MW, plus blood work etc... $65 for birthing supplies, plus birth pool with DD.. DD2 we went unassisted, paid similar for supplies (had some left over, wanted more pads, tinctures etc) didn't do any labs or anything.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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Re: home births in apartments? Tell me your story!

I had a homebirth in an apartment, but I don't live in the US so I can't really answer your questions.

Some things to consider though: Do you have a bathtub? Is there space to set up a pool if you want one. Could be an insurance issue if the pool breaks and leaks water into the lower units I suppose. I think water beds aren't allowed in apartments because of that.

We don't have a bath tub, but our shower is enclosed and does hold water. Our bathroom was large enough to contain the pool (which the midwife brought). However, by the time she arrived, I was too far along and there wasn't enough time to fill the pool. I really wanted a water birth so DH filled up the shower, but by the time that was ready and I got in, I couldn't get comfortable so I got back out and gave birth in bed.

Midwife cleaned everything up, so you'd never know, unless we show you the pictures.
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