May I pose this question first: how much did your car, your wedding, your last holiday, your TV, or your house cost?
Did you research to choose exactly what you wanted, or was your choice simply about cost ~ or a compromise between the two?
The average cost of a homebirth on the Sunshine Coast is approximately $5000 – $7000. There is medicare rebate for all antenatal and postnatal care but some private health insurance companies such as Australia Unity can offer as much as $3000 back for a homebirth and midwifery care. It’s worth investigating if you have Private Health Insurance.
On the Sunshine Coast there are various groups of midwives; the total cost of care throughout your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care is best discussed personally with each midwife. Know Your Midwife will tailor any care program to your needs and payment plans are always an option.
Standard recommended midwifery care should include:
- A private booking in session where you discuss in detail your medical, surgical, pregnancy and family history. This is documented. Your antenatal program, frequency of visits, contact details of midwife and back up midwife is given. At this appointment we discuss our Know Your Midwife Midwifery Contract of care and any payment arrangements are documented. You also receive a schedule of visits ~ dates and times for the Circle of Care, Hypnotherapy, Pelvic Bodywork and Sound Healing plus access to the Membership site for online education, meditation, videos and resources. You will receive the date and time for the Dad’s night and your active childbirth session held in your home.
- Your bloods and scans are discussed and organized by the midwife if she is medicare eligible otherwise they will be organized by your GP. You should receive confirmation from your midwife concerning all results throughout your pregnancy. Mary at Know Your Midwife is medicare eligible & Jemma is working towards her eligibility.
- Monthly antenatal checkups until 32 weeks then fortnightly until 36 weeks, then weekly until birth; unless there are concerns about your health. Take a look at our Circle of Care program as these visits are typically 2 hrs including education, support, pregnancy assessment, fun and laughter and refreshments.
- A written care plan is formulated with you and your midwife detailing agreed expectations of care during the pregnancy, labour and delivery; details of health problems or issues; details of collaborative arrangements pertaining to you; details of medications required or those that may be required such as in a homebirth; details of referrals that may be required for you during your pregnancy. This care plan is explained, written and agreed upon between you and your midwife. At Know Your Midwife all care is woman centered and your choices of care are respected as the ultimate is a trusting relationship.
- A plan of communication with your midwife so that any enquiry is met by her within 24 hrs if not urgent and asap if it is urgent. You must have alternative hospital numbers and a back up midwife number in case your midwife is not able to be contacted for urgent concerns. We guarantee 24/7 contact for our women and a definite response within 24 hrs for non urgent enquires. There are two midwives always available for calls.
- A home birth midwife should carry all emergency equipment including Oxygen and drugs such as Syntocinon, to stop any postpartum haemorrhaging. If your midwife does not carry this, you should obtain a script from your GP and have the drugs available. We carry these drugs and all emergency equipment and are annually updated in emergency proceedures. We supply and use homeopathy effectively during labour and the post partum period.
- A postnatal program organized between you and your midwife according to your needs. We see our women until 6 weeks when they are discharged. Following a homebirth we stay with our women up to 4 hours and no less than two. We visit our women 3 – 5 times in the first week, twice in the second week and then weekly till discharge from our Circle of Care.
Most important in checking out the costs ~ you need to find out exactly what a midwife includes in her care and her pricing. Your midwife is part of a sacred, special event in your life. Your birthing experience will either be standard midwifery care where you may feel traumatised by labour and birth or it will be a transformative, empowering experience for you and your partner with your birth team.
Here are some important questions when you meet with a Private Midwife:
How long have you been a midwife for?
Experience is important, especially when you are employing a private midwife. If a junior midwife may be looking after you, you want to make sure she has a mentor to whom she refers. Midwives need to learn but they should be in a supportive environment when working in Private Midwifery.
Where has your experience mainly been – hospital or community?
A midwife who has worked extensively in the community is used to being independent and forming good networks for support in the community. She/he is not reliant others to make decisions for your care which is often the case in the hospital environment.
How many women do you take per month?
You want to make sure your midwife will be there for you and that she won’t be exhausted trying to juggle births, home and life. The recommended full caseload for a midwife (by the Australian College of Midwives ) is 4 women per month for 10 months of the year.
For homebirths – do you carry emergency drugs, oxygen and suction?
Every homebirth midwife or a midwife caring for you in labour at home should carry this equipment. The emergency drugs are those used in case you bleed following birth. She should also carry IV equipment in case you have a heavy loss requiring emergency fluids till you are transferred to hospital.
Do you work with a second registered health professional in homebirths? If not, who looks after me if you can’t be there?
The reason you are having a homebirth or a private midwife is so that you KNOW your carer. It is well researched that when you know and trust your midwife you are less likely to have any interventions and your labour will be shorter as you feel safe and secure with her/him. It is recommended by the Australian College of Midwives that for safety, a homebirth is attended by a midwife and registered health professional ~ in case of emergency. You also need to know your midwife’s back up person well so you feel safe and trusting with her also.
What skills and preparation do you include in your care/program?
You want to know that your midwife is experienced in “moving and shakin” to shift babies who are mal-positioned, that she/he will teach you breathing and meditation to prepare for birth (preparation of mind, baby and body) and that she refers to a number of health care professionals for optimal care during your pregnancy. You want to ensure your midwife is skilled and experienced with holistic tools and skills in preparation for labour, birth and parenting.
How much time do you spend with me antenatally, postnatally?
You want to feel listened to, supported and special. You want to know your midwife has time for you, for your questions and concerns. You also need to know how many home visits or clinic visits you can expect.
What is your epidural/intervention rate and why?
You are wanting to have a normal birth, that is why you’re seeking a private midwife. You need to know that she/he has statistics over the years that they have a minimal intervention rate and only use interventions when medically indicated, not because she/he is wanting to control or rush things along or simply doesn’t have the experience.
What is your caesarean rate?
This is most commonly asked in relation to an obstetrician, not a midwife but consider this ~ who looks after you in labour? Who’s experience, energy and hopefully intuition is guiding the labour and ensuring safety and ease through this natural physiological process? The midwife! Not the Obstetrician!The Obstetrician is the one who is called in when things have gone wrong and then, when nothing can be done to rectify a situation, then calls for a caesarean.
Since private midwives only look after low risk normal pregnancies, her/his outcome should be less than 3% ending in caesarean.
Who do you refer to when there is a medical concern?
You need to know whether you are going to be referred to a GP, Obstetrician or into the hospital so that you can be part of the decision as to where to go, who you would feel comfortable with. You need to know your midwife has an established referral system supporting her/his practice.