What to expect at prenatal visits
People are amazed when they hear my prenatal visits (with my home birth midwives) are at least an hour long. This is a common occurrence among home birth and free standing birth center midwives. No, insurance doesn’t cover home birth (and rarely birth centers) however you do get the time to bond with the people who will be assisting at the birth, and sharing one of the life’s greatest miracles with you! In return, they get to know you, your desires, those of your partner (yes, they actually involve your partner as much as he wants to be involved. my husband delivers our babies with a midwife watching – but he wants to be right there and not just standing off on the side waiting to cut the cord).
What is a Prenatal Visits?
A prenatal visits is a normal visits you make to your specialist or maternity specialist while pregnant. You should hope to make a few visits to your specialist or birthing specialist over the span of your pregnancy.
I do get amazed when the insurance/home birth topic comes up. Home births are so much cheaper in comparison to hospital births – think of the money they save with the lack of intervention, medication, etc.-only what is needed is done! I was recently sent a bill for a few months of prenatal care back 2 years ago when I was pregnant with my son (why am I getting a bill in the first place? two years later?? When my insurance covered it completely? anyway – being taken care of). I had started prenatal care at a hospital before my husband and I decided for sure on a home birth. Just for 4 prenatal visits, the bill was near $1000. Nothing out of the ordinary, no ultrasound, just those early prenatal visits. Already were near the cost of a home birth – including all prenatal and continual care by my midwife’s during my entire labor, delivery, and a few hours postpartum at my home. And I don’t have to share them when I’m in labor :-).
What Happens at a Prenatal Visit?
Even each visit may vary marginally, here is the thing that you can expect at a prenatal visit at the main visit, the specialist or attendant will probably take your therapeutic history and your imperative signs, including your tallness, weight and circulatory strain. The specialist will tune in to child’s pulse and believe and measure your mid-region. At times, you will give a urine and blood test and you’ll likely have a ultrasound or two. Around the finish of your pregnancy, your specialist will likewise verify how far expanded.
particularly if this is your first pregnancy or if something doesn’t appear to be correct.
Imagine there are people out there without insurance, or with insurance but they still have to pay high deductibles or co-pays, having to pay these rates out of pocket for a hospital birth. Imagine their frustration when they realize an out of hospital birth could have been cheaper, and it was what they wanted in the first place! I’ve talked to people like this, and it’s inspired me to bring up this option in every class I teach – I teach to all couples – those desiring a medicated birth, planning a cesarean, or wanting a natural birth. Home birthing couples, hospital birthing couples, and birth center birthing couples. It’s never too late to change care providers, and women need to know their options. Many times I find couples never even knew home birth was an option!
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Why is prenatal care important throughout pregnancy?
Insurance companies and hospital policy limit the amount of time you can have with your OB or hospital-based midwife. Last I heard, many insurance companies only covered 15-minute appointments – but you rarely get even that much time with your care provider! Hospitals continue taking in more and more clients which reduce the amount of time your doctor or hospital based midwife can spend with you. That will carry over into labor and delivery – with fewer and shorter check-ins with the person who will be helping you birth your baby. This is one reason why its great to have someone experienced that you can build a relationship with during your pregnancy, such as a birth doula or labor assistant, who can be with you during your labor and birth so you can have continuous support (for you AND your partner).
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Then there is the other side of the coin – people who have insurance but have to pay out of pocket for their births and sometimes the co-pay/deductible of a hospital birth is far greater than that of an out of hospital birth! Amazing!
Anyway, I guess this is more of a rambling than a why do they do that but I’m interested in hearing your thoughts either way. I don’t cover insurance issues during my classes unless asked, so I don’t know all the details surrounding it. I’d love to know why insurance won’t cover a home birth when they’re proven safe. I can imagine there would be a lot of red tape surrounding that issue though if insurance started covering it, but then women would truly have a choice as far as where they can birth. For some, the cost of an out of hospital birth is not obtainable (though let me say this – home birth freestanding birth center midwives want to see women have the birth they desire. Many are willing to work out payment plans with low monthly payments, and some will even do bartering).
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