" I just knew I wanted to have the baby at home," said Amanda Stone.
And Amanda's not alone. Licensed home-based midwives say they've seen a significant increase in businesses lately. Kristen Eggleston with Sunrise Midwifery delivered 15 babies last year," And pretty much this year, I've estimated that I'll have 30 or 40."
Doubling her numbers may be partly due to the economy. Home births tend to be less expensive than hospital births. Kristen charges $3,500 for the whole experience. That's including prenatal visits and care, calls, the actual birth and post natal follow up.
" Most people pay $3,500 to their physician to come do just the birth at the hospital. Hospital fees for a normal birth, like this one, can be $5,000 to $8,000 just to the hospital for the 12 to 24 hours she's in the hospital," said Eggleston.
The average vaginal delivery at Memorial Hospital, without any complications, runs about $3,900. Add an epidural and a 2 night stay and you're looking more at $5,400. And this year, at least for Amanda, there was another concern that pushed her toward a home birth.
" With the swine flu it was a big decision for us because our kids couldn't be part of having him, because no kids were allowed on the birthing room floor of the hospital," said Stone.
Wanting to share the experience and save money has more moms researching all their options. And with more people unemployed and without insurance, it could be their only option.
The thing you do need to consider for a home birth, is that it typically only makes sense for women with low-risk pregnancies and for those willing to forgo epidurals and Caesarean sections. For those with insurance, most carriers will cover your choice of a midwife and home birth.