Author Topic: Strategies to keep birth cost low?  (Read 13718 times)

JustTrying

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Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« on: November 15, 2015, 05:27:43 PM »
I apologize if this has been asked many times - the search function on the forum does not seem to be functioning.

We are having our first child, and I've just started researching birthing costs. I'm hoping to keep costs as low as possible. I remember awhile back someone posted about how having a home birth is the cheapest option - for me actually, it may not be, given my insurance coverage vs the cost of hiring a midwife (see below). I'm looking for mustachian ideas to keep the birth cost low!

A little about me:
- I live in the United States - Washington State to be more specific.
- My insurance will cover 90% of the hospital bill with a $3100 maximum out-of-pocket cost.
- I don't have any deductible with my insurance as long as a use in-network providers (which I plan to do).

So far, my idea has been to call the hospital and ask them questions about normal costs, and see if there are ways to curtail those costs - for example, if I'll be charged for newborn diapers then perhaps I can bring my own.

What mustachian ideas do you have for lowering the costs of delivering a child?

Thanks!

FIRE Artist

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2015, 06:19:03 PM »
I can't give you any personal experience, but Frugalwoods are having a frugal baby and have been blogging about their preparations.  Recently they blogged about the fact that they prepaid the hospital for the deductible for the birth and the hospital gave them a discount for doing it.

Miskalkulation

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2015, 06:39:49 PM »
I VBAC'd (Vaginal birth after Cesearean) my last two children with a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) in 2002, and again in 2004 related to lack of insurance. (I was going to return to school, but then found out I was pregnant).  The first child cost a grand total of $1700. The last one went up couple hundred to $1900.  This included all prenatal appointments/delivery, and follow up. My average time at appt was 30-40 minutes face time with the midwife. Versus 5-10 minutes with an obstetrician who is continually looking at her watch, and not really listening to me...

Looking back, I really feel as though I received exceptional care from a midwife over an OBgyn.  A little scary at first, but did a lot of research, and figured that there were women all other the country (and third world countries) giving birth with very little intervention.  Also, I did not want to go through a C-section again...felt like I missed out on experiencing real labor. And felt like I was not a real woman, as far as experiencing birth...

justajane

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2015, 06:40:46 PM »
So far, my idea has been to call the hospital and ask them questions about normal costs, and see if there are ways to curtail those costs - for example, if I'll be charged for newborn diapers then perhaps I can bring my own.

These are flat charges likely included in the cost of the room. I doubt that a hospital would deduct these costs from your bill even if you brought your own. Don't tell them you are doing this, but one thing would be to refuse certain over the counter medications and just take them yourself. For instance, instead of paying $5 a pill for stool softener and ibuprofen after birth, just bring them yourself. I think this breaks hospital rules, but why do they even have to know? I had a cold when I gave birth to one of my kids, and they charged me an arm and a leg for cough syrup.

Obviously any genetic testing will raise your costs.

Blood tests (for STDs, etc.) are pretty expensive at labs. I wonder if you could cut the cost by having some of that stuff done at Planned Parenthood. Also, maybe the gestational diabetes test?

Honestly, the best way to keep costs low is to have your pregnancy run in one calendar year so you have only one deductible to reach.

But, truly, never ever sacrifice quality or health for cost. Don't not go to the hospital if you haven't felt your baby kick, just because you are afraid of the cost. Some things are more important than money.

MsPeacock

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2015, 06:55:16 PM »
Both kids for me had "flat costs" from the doctor that included all prenatal appointments, prenatal tests like labsm sonogram, hospital delivery (both ended up being C-section (maybe add'l charge - I can't recall) and post-natal follow-up. Insurance covered whatever percentage of that they coveraged and that was that.

I doubt the hospital is going to be welcoming to DIY bring your own medications.


justajane

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2015, 07:09:12 PM »
I doubt the hospital is going to be welcoming to DIY bring your own medications.

Of course they won't. But why do they even have to know? That's my point. If I need pain relief that isn't prescription, I don't know why the heck I can't take my own damned ibuprofen and just decline whatever they offer.

"No thanks, I don't think I need a stool softener."

See how easy that was?

This whole idea that we relinquish all control when we step in those doors and have to pay 100X the cost of something just because they say we have to is ridiculous to me.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2015, 07:17:55 PM »
Save on baby supplies, clothes, activities, and so forth. Give birth in a hospital to give you and you child the best chances.

Signed, a dad whose daughter could have died the night she was born.

JustTrying

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2015, 08:06:50 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions! Keep 'em coming!

I'll for sure take a look at the Frugal Woods blog.

I am pretty much planning on having a hospital birth, I'm mostly trying to figure out how to make a hospital birth less expensive. (I realize I didn't clarify that in my original post). I did briefly consider a home birth, but it doesn't seem like it will be much cheaper, and with the thought that if I needed to go to the hospital after trying home birth, I'd have hospital bills + midwifery bills, I just don't think a home birth makes sense in my situation. No worries about me skipping out on the hospital just to save money - I'm definitely not that frugal! (Plus I know my max medical bills will be $3100 for the year).

I was thinking about how timing should be pretty good for keeping most costs in 2016 - I should have just 2 prenatal visits in 2015! (I'm early on in my pregnancy right now).

I am interested in learning from the hospital whether they do "flat costs" vs charging a la carte. I have heard that some hospitals do charge a flat fee. I actually work for a hospital that is associated with the one I plan to deliver at, and I know that the hospital I work for charges things a la carte, but basic supplies (like syringes, diapers, etc) are included in the "hospital fee" that the patient gets charged for each night they're in. It would be nice if the hospital charged a flat fee for delivery to make things more clear as far as what charges to expect!

Like I said, I appreciate everyone's thoughts! I'd love to hear more!

DocMcStuffins

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2015, 08:59:23 PM »
A good in between idea would be a birthing center if you are in a metro area.  My wife has had a hospital, birthing center, and home birth.  The more you educate yourself the more comfortable you get with a home birth (at least that was us, and I am a doc).  Just have a plan in place with midwife in case anything goes wrong and you can be at the hospital in a few minutes.   When dealing with the hospital, you may be able to speak to the billing department and try to get some information from them but this is always dependent on the person you talk with.  I would physically get an appointment to talk with them.  It is always easier to get an answer in person than on the phone with billing people.  The big key I would assume from you is do you have a co-insurance and a significant deductible also.

midweststache

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2015, 09:12:51 PM »
I would also ask your hospital how many out-of-network specialists they employ. If your wife needs an epidural, but the anesthesiologist on call is actually out-of-network, that may figure into your costs, even though you're at an in-network hospital.

Some hospitals don't employ any out-of-network specialists; some do. It doesn't hurt to check. (Also, like the extra cost is going to matter to your wife when she's in the throes of pain during childbirth...)

Relevant story: http://www.vox.com/2015/11/4/9668534/birth-price-hospitals

Schnurr

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2015, 09:32:46 PM »
Blood tests (for STDs, etc.) are pretty expensive at labs. I wonder if you could cut the cost by having some of that stuff done at Planned Parenthood. Also, maybe the gestational diabetes test?

Before you do this, find out which preventive services your insurance will cover at 100%. I believe the ones mentioned above are required to be covered by ACA: https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-women/

Our insurance even covered all our prenatal and postnatal (well baby) visits at 100%, even though we would ordinarily have a copay for doctor's visits.

JustTrying

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2015, 10:03:43 PM »
Again, Thanks for the suggestions.

Yes, most preventative care is covered 100%, so I'm actually only really concerned about the cost of the actual birth - the prenatal stuff won't be too expensive. Even Urgent Care is really cheap for me. It's only if I have to be admitted to the hospital or go to the ER that things get a bit more expensive with my insurance.

You do make a good point about checking how often they have out-of-network providers on call at the hospital.

I think a birthing center would perfectly fit my desires for birth...but the in-network option is a "birthing center" within the hospital, so I don't think it's actually lowering cost for me at all. Perhaps the hospital itself is using the term "birthing center" loosely? I can choose to have a midwife ARNP, an OB/GYN or a Family Practice doctor, but I'm not sure there's actually a difference in cost, as I believe they bill using the same billing codes regardless of their specialty. (This is something I could ask the hospital though).

I will go ahead and make an appointment with the billing department! That's a great suggestion.

Also, to clarify: I won't have a deductible as long as I'm in-network, and my co-pay is that 10% that I'll have to pay, with the max at $3100. I really do have pretty good insurance. However, it's so good that I was surprised once I actually looked to see how much this birth thing would cost me! I'm so used to paying nearly nothing for meds, doctor's visits, etc. I've never had a hospital stay before, so it was a bit of a shock when I actually started looking at my responsibility for cost.

justajane

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2015, 06:06:12 AM »
Blood tests (for STDs, etc.) are pretty expensive at labs. I wonder if you could cut the cost by having some of that stuff done at Planned Parenthood. Also, maybe the gestational diabetes test?

Before you do this, find out which preventive services your insurance will cover at 100%. I believe the ones mentioned above are required to be covered by ACA: https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-women/

Our insurance even covered all our prenatal and postnatal (well baby) visits at 100%, even though we would ordinarily have a copay for doctor's visits.

Thanks. I recall pretty hefty lab bills for my first pre-ACA pregnancy, but come to think of it, I don't recall that for my last two pregnancies.

I definitely think medication is always a la carte in a hospital (hence why I focused on it). It was painful to read the itemized bill for my hospital stays and see how much I was billed for banal medications.

But I imagine the structure of other supplies would likely differ from hospital to hospital, so good idea calling and asking! Be prepared for some strange responses to the call, though. You're probably the first person to ever ask.

The obvious way to lower your bill is to not have an epidural if you just have a vaginal birth. But that was the only bill that I was more than happy to pay. Worth every penny.

NorCal

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2015, 07:39:35 AM »
Check your insurance options with open enrollment.  Insurance plans vary widely on what they cover for birth, and the "high end" plans are actually sometimes more expensive for birth than the less expensive plans.

The year our daughter was born, we had a choice between a "high end" plan with $3,000 out-of-pocket costs for birth, and a Kaiser plan with a $300 out-of-pocket cost.

partgypsy

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2015, 07:43:38 AM »
The most important thing is health of baby and mother, so this is not a time to choose medical decisions due to "cost".
1) That said make sure your preferred hospital is covered in your insurance (in-network). If there are multiple hospitals that are in-network, you can always ask them what the costs of birth is, and see if one is cheaper.  However I would chose one with pediatric ICU just in case.

2) Vaginal birth is less expensive than ceasarean, so do the things that help support that (regular exercise, good diet, taking a birth class, writing a birth plan/preferences that is brought to the hospital with you).

3) No pain medication is cheaper than an epidural so the things above that support a vaginal birth also support a no pain med birth. Also make sure you specify I think it's called a "hep-lock" basically an IV that can be disconnected. They automatically put an IV on you. However if you get the traditional kind you can't take it out, which means you can't get in a hot bath or other things to minimize discomfort, which leads to an epidural. Both times I asked for that and especially for the first it was really helpful because I could alternate getting in warm bath, and walking around.

4) Limit the # of days in hospital. For my 2nd I was admitted and gave birth Friday morning, and left the hospital Saturday at  noon, mostly because I had a child at home. It probably saved me money but in retrospect it would have been nice to have 1 more day of being taken care of, before returning to all the attendant stuff "normal" life.

But again, there are only some things in your control. I hope you have a safe and uncomplicated birth!
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 07:46:14 AM by partgypsy »

FLBiker

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2015, 09:28:24 AM »
I second the idea of looking into insurance options.  We paid $250 (!) for our birth AND all the pre-natal visits.  Crazy.  Our best local hospital was in-network, so it all worked out great.  We looked into home births, but decided that a hospital was safer, in case of complications.  Our hospital was very supportive of natural birth, though, and our delivery was done by a CNM.

The hep lock is good advice, too.  My wife really liked being able to get out of bed during labor.  Our room had a whirlpool tub, which was great, too.

Proud Foot

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2015, 10:14:37 AM »
Yes definitely get an appointment with the billing department.  While you're there you might ask what a normal delivery costs and have them run a mock with your insurance to see what your total cost would be.  From there you could see if they would give you a discount if you prepaid for your delivery.

catccc

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2015, 10:20:31 AM »
I think our co-pay was $50 or $100, and that was it, except a couple more specialist bills when our midwife wanted to do some ultrasounds because I was measuring measuring small.  We delivered at a standalone birth center.  It happened to be a couple blocks from a hospital, but if complications arise, they preferred to work with a hospital about 15 minutes away.  The birth center had a relationship with an OB so there were measures in place should additional care beyond a midwife's scope be necessary.

If you choose a hospital, I think an epidural can be pricey, and raises the likelihood of other complications.  It can be a bit of a domino effect, so if you are up for a natural birth, there's one more for the "pros" side.

It's totally doable, btw, a natural birth.  I mean, yeah, it hurts like hell, but nothing most people can't get through. 

lakemom

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2015, 10:53:55 AM »
OK, haven't read through the whole thread yet BUT one of the BEST ways to keep costs down when giving birth in a hospital setting is to wait at home as long as possible.  I'd personally recommend the Bradley Method of childbirth over any classes sponsored by the hospital or OB practice ( http://www.bradleybirth.com/ ).  If you can wait it out at home until you are at or near transitioning then your chances of interferences by the staff leading to yet more interventions leading to yet more expenses are drastically reduce.  Also, the "clock" starts once you are checked in so your chances of being misdiagnosed with 'failure to progress' are also greatly reduced when you get to the hospital near the end of your labor as opposed to near the beginning.  Finally, check to see if there are any free-standing birth centers near you that are covered by your insurance.  These are generally much more hands off births than the traditional hospital setting.

edited to add:  I've given birth 6 times and except with #1 when I didn't know any better (as far as my options) I've never taken any pain meds during labor and never needed anything except an otc pain reliever afterward.  My first was born in a hospital (30years ago and youngest is just 8.5yo), second in the car enroute to the hospital (he was in a rush and my most painfree labor), 3 ,4, & 6 were homebirths, and #5 was a hospital birth due to prematurity (6.5 weeks early).  And we took Bradley classes when pg w/ #2 and a refresher when pg w/ #5.  Keep a positive attitude and ignore all the naysayers in your life that tell you that you NEED that epidural or pain meds (#4 was 9lb 7oz and I'm 5' and 120 lbs).
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 11:03:04 AM by lakemom »

FrozenAssets

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2015, 11:41:51 AM »
OK, haven't read through the whole thread yet BUT one of the BEST ways to keep costs down when giving birth in a hospital setting is to wait at home as long as possible.  I'd personally recommend the Bradley Method of childbirth over any classes sponsored by the hospital or OB practice ( http://www.bradleybirth.com/ ).  If you can wait it out at home until you are at or near transitioning then your chances of interferences by the staff leading to yet more interventions leading to yet more expenses are drastically reduce.  Also, the "clock" starts once you are checked in so your chances of being misdiagnosed with 'failure to progress' are also greatly reduced when you get to the hospital near the end of your labor as opposed to near the beginning.  Finally, check to see if there are any free-standing birth centers near you that are covered by your insurance.  These are generally much more hands off births than the traditional hospital setting.

edited to add:  I've given birth 6 times and except with #1 when I didn't know any better (as far as my options) I've never taken any pain meds during labor and never needed anything except an otc pain reliever afterward.  My first was born in a hospital (30years ago and youngest is just 8.5yo), second in the car enroute to the hospital (he was in a rush and my most painfree labor), 3 ,4, & 6 were homebirths, and #5 was a hospital birth due to prematurity (6.5 weeks early).  And we took Bradley classes when pg w/ #2 and a refresher when pg w/ #5.  Keep a positive attitude and ignore all the naysayers in your life that tell you that you NEED that epidural or pain meds (#4 was 9lb 7oz and I'm 5' and 120 lbs).

Yes!  The best way to prepare yourself for an inexpensive birth is to prepare yourself for a birth with as little intervention as possible. Take natural birthing classes, read natural birthing books (NOT the "What to Expect" series...) choose a naturally-minded provider that believes in birth as a healthy process to oversee and assist, and not an emergency waiting to happen. Not only is a low-intervention vaginal delivery the least expensive, it is also the healthiest with least potential complications for mother and baby, and greater benefits. Win-win!

I highly recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.

honeybbq

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2015, 02:00:05 PM »
The birth day of your child is the wrong day to save pennies.

Have insurance.
Go to a hospital.
Be prepared for your max out of pocket.

The end.

nobody123

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2015, 02:24:54 PM »
The birth day of your child is the wrong day to save pennies.

Have insurance.
Go to a hospital.
Be prepared for your max out of pocket.

The end.

+1.  My wife was all worried about the costs for our first one.  I told her that I wasn't about to deny my wife or child the advances of hundreds of years of Western medicine because I wanted to save a couple of bucks.

If your company offers it, try to contribute to a flex savings account to at least make your out of pocket tax free.  I underestimated the amount, but then was able to increase it because the birth of a child is a qualifying event.

And for goodness sakes don't deny a $5 pill and secretly take it yourself.  If something goes wrong and you're unresponsive, you don't want to be given something that reacts badly with it.

justajane

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2015, 02:41:07 PM »
And for goodness sakes don't deny a $5 pill and secretly take it yourself.  If something goes wrong and you're unresponsive, you don't want to be given something that reacts badly with it.

Sheesh. You think I'd suggested a DIY episiotomy or epidural! ;)

Message received. People think I'm bat-shit crazy for suggesting this. But to clarify, I was suggesting this during the recovery period not during labor when you are given no oral pills anyway.

After delivery when you are hanging out in your room for two days, the likelihood of you becoming "unresponsive" is extremely low. Almost nil.

The OP asked ways to save, and the way hospital stays are billed these days there are very few places to save. I was just pointing out one of the line items on any hospital bill. Every time they scan that pill before you swallow it, you are billed individually (cha-ching!), unlike for other supplies that are just included in one charge.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 02:43:16 PM by justajane »

partgypsy

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2015, 03:00:19 PM »
And for goodness sakes don't deny a $5 pill and secretly take it yourself.  If something goes wrong and you're unresponsive, you don't want to be given something that reacts badly with it.

Sheesh. You think I'd suggested a DIY episiotomy or epidural! ;)

Message received. People think I'm bat-shit crazy for suggesting this. But to clarify, I was suggesting this during the recovery period not during labor when you are given no oral pills anyway.

After delivery when you are hanging out in your room for two days, the likelihood of you becoming "unresponsive" is extremely low. Almost nil.

The OP asked ways to save, and the way hospital stays are billed these days there are very few places to save. I was just pointing out one of the line items on any hospital bill. Every time they scan that pill before you swallow it, you are billed individually (cha-ching!), unlike for other supplies that are just included in one charge.
Probably in the TMI category, stock up on doculax, and any otc med you may need in the days following the birth. Even if don't need it it doesn't hurt to have it!

KisKis

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2015, 03:03:37 PM »
I paid $300 total for the birth of my first child, including all prenatal checkups and post-birth care, and $400 total for the second child because deductibles went up.  Childbirth is really not expensive at all if you have good insurance.  Just be sure you know what is covered and what is not.  Try to save on the stuff that is not covered, but maximize your use of the resources that are covered.  I also strongly agree with the previous poster who suggested you sit down with the hospital's billing department.  Pre-paying is a good option to explore.  Make sure you pre-register and all that good stuff.  Also ditto on the poster who said to avoid false alarms.  You'll have to pay an admittance fee every time you show up at the hospital, so that can add up quickly if they are $200 a pop like they would have been for me. 

Reading and talking to other people who have been through the birth experience is extremely helpful.  If your wife reads and posts on forums, she might want to check out TheBump.com.  You can ask all sorts of questions there that people don't normally talk about in public (mucous plugs, boob leakage, constipation, fun stuff like that) but it is super helpful when you are going through pregnancy for the first time and your body is doing all sorts of crazy things that you have never heard about.

justajane

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2015, 03:08:16 PM »
Does anyone know if there is an itemized charge for the lactation consultant in the hospital or is that "free"? That could be a way to save if you are doing pretty well with nursing or if you have a friend or relative who could advise you instead. I could go back to my bills and look. And if you are deciding not to nurse, of course you should double check that you don't get charged for that.

Whatever you decide to do, definitely request the itemized bill. They don't give it to you initially but will send you a copy of it if you request it. It is an eye opening experience to say the least.

JLee

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2015, 03:23:28 PM »
So far, my idea has been to call the hospital and ask them questions about normal costs, and see if there are ways to curtail those costs - for example, if I'll be charged for newborn diapers then perhaps I can bring my own.

These are flat charges likely included in the cost of the room. I doubt that a hospital would deduct these costs from your bill even if you brought your own. Don't tell them you are doing this, but one thing would be to refuse certain over the counter medications and just take them yourself. For instance, instead of paying $5 a pill for stool softener and ibuprofen after birth, just bring them yourself. I think this breaks hospital rules, but why do they even have to know? I had a cold when I gave birth to one of my kids, and they charged me an arm and a leg for cough syrup.

Obviously any genetic testing will raise your costs.

Blood tests (for STDs, etc.) are pretty expensive at labs. I wonder if you could cut the cost by having some of that stuff done at Planned Parenthood. Also, maybe the gestational diabetes test?

Honestly, the best way to keep costs low is to have your pregnancy run in one calendar year so you have only one deductible to reach.

But, truly, never ever sacrifice quality or health for cost. Don't not go to the hospital if you haven't felt your baby kick, just because you are afraid of the cost. Some things are more important than money.

Price that before you do anything! I had an STD test at Planned Parenthood and it cost me $160.  I've since learned that our county public health department does it for $20, so that's where I went after that.

KisKis

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2015, 03:50:45 PM »
Does anyone know if there is an itemized charge for the lactation consultant in the hospital or is that "free"? That could be a way to save if you are doing pretty well with nursing or if you have a friend or relative who could advise you instead. I could go back to my bills and look. And if you are deciding not to nurse, of course you should double check that you don't get charged for that.

Whatever you decide to do, definitely request the itemized bill. They don't give it to you initially but will send you a copy of it if you request it. It is an eye opening experience to say the least.

I think this will depend again on insurance.  My insurance covered it completely because it is less costly for them in the long run if the mother is able to nurse versus going to formula feeding because of the health benefits for both (according to insurance actuaries). 

SailorGirl

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2015, 04:17:16 PM »
My niece had her baby in a hospital associated with the clinic where she worked.  Everything not covered by insurance was written off by the hospital.  It was brilliant on her part.  :)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2015, 05:57:38 PM »
Did you mention having the choice of a midwife? That MIGHT help reduce your chances of a medicated birth (which is more expensive).

Assume that you are going to have to pay for a bunch of interventions and a c-section. Budget for it. In your head, make it so that money is already spent. If you don't need that much, great.

I had good (though expensive) insurance and did not pay for anything separately. I tried really hard, twice, to have a natural childbirth, but it was not to be. When I couldn't breathe from the back labor and just couldn't take it any more, I needed not to feel like I was costing a bunch of money by asking for an epidural. (Ditto the shot of Stadol I had first, the pitocin, the internal fetal monitor, and the trip to the OR.)

At my hospital, the diapers and whatnot were free, but do ask. I DON'T justajane's suggestion to bring your own ibuprofen and whatnot is outrageous! It might be included, though, depending on your hospital--I don't recall paying separately for my pain meds received in hospital, just the bottle I got from the pharmacy. There's also a time factor. It took like 6 hours to get a damn saline nasal spray because the doc had to prescribe, and my poor nose was so dry from the oxygen tube. Anyway, you can probably find out from the hospital what's included and what they charge extra for.

Minor, but if you plan to have any more, save any meds they prescribe post-baby. I got through two babies on one bottle of Percoset :-).

And congrats!

Krnten

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2015, 07:18:13 PM »
I agree with justjane on bringing your own basic meds.   I had a c section and got ibuprofen, colace, and simethicone from the hospital.  If I'd had any foresight I would have brought my own.  The only drug they had that I couldn't BYO was Percocet. 

Also, not that you're in this situation, but I had an emergency c section and then a planned c section.  Although the bills aren't in yet for the planned C, I believe it will be less expensive than the emergency one, because they tried all sorts of interventions to allow me to have a vaginal birth the first time.  All of those interventions cost money and I didn't have them the second time around.

I also agree with staying away from the hospital as long as possible, and staying super healthy during the pregnancy to give yourself the best shot at an uncomplicated vaginal birth. 

JustTrying

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2015, 07:33:25 PM »
Hey! I love all the ideas.

I'm super jealous of all you people out there who had births that were a couple hundred dollars!

I love hearing from you women who have done it before and say the epidural was worth it or that natural birth is possible. I'm pretty undecided on that - I think I need some more education on side effects, etc. I have been terrified of labor since around age 11, so part of me thinks, "Give me the drugs!" but I tend to be a naturalist in many other ways, so maybe I'll go natural. We'll see. There are whirlpools in all the birthing suites to help with pain relief and all that.

I also love the suggestion to wait at home as long as possible. I hadn't really thought about that, but I can see why that might be advantageous. I am really concerned (for non-financial reasons) about certain interventions being pushed on me if I labor too long, so if I can labor at home as long as possible, that would help with that. I live super close to the hospital, so can predictably get there in less than 10 minutes, which will help with delaying arrival at the hospital.

Let me just clarify: I would never sacrifice my own health or my child's health for the sake of saving a few pennies (or a few thousand dollars). That being said, I work for this hospital system, and so I see how medical bills can add up for unnecessary services. In fact, I am a provider and am often called in to see patients when the hospitalist has not done a good job screening, and I know the family gets a fat bill because the doctor consulted me when they really shouldn't have. It's really not crazy to think about ways to deny certain services that are unnecessary in order to save $$. I would NOT deny helpful services - but oftentimes services get offered that cost money but aren't really helpful at all. For example, they may just always send the lactation consultant to all new moms. If I'm having trouble breastfeeding, it would be fabulous to get help from a lactation consultant. But if breastfeeding goes great and I agree to see the lactation consultant anyway, I might get a bill for a service that wasn't really necessary. (Again, I'll want to call the hospital to find out of lactation consultation is an added service or is included in the regular cost of labor & delivery).

So thanks for all the replies! I'll keep reading any ideas that come in!

letired

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2015, 07:40:26 PM »
My friend who just had a baby used a midwife practice that partnered with a local hospital, so you can have the security of the hospital with the (possibly) less expensive midwife. She and her husband did the Bradley class, and said it was really helpful. I think it goes into great detail about pregnancy and labor, so you know exactly what is happening, and what to look for in terms of if you should be worried or not, and generally how these things work.

As far as costs, I'm not sure since her focus was on finding people that would support her having a 'natural' birth. On that topic, she is really happy she did it that way, and her and the baby (who was big!) came through perfectly. I think the Bradley class was a big help on that front as well.

Christiana

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2015, 07:49:17 PM »
A freestanding birth center is not necessarily going to be safer than birthing at home. It depends on who is there, what training and equipment they have, and time needed to transfer to hospital.  Midwives do have a lot of low-tech tricks up their sleeves that most doctors and nurses don't bother with anymore.

It's good to have some idea of the relative risks involved...here is ACOG on on the risks of (planned) home birth versus hospital birth:  http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Planned-Home-Birth 


MayDay

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2015, 06:42:21 AM »
I had a natural birth with my first largely because the medical profession interventions freaked me out. I picked the best hospital in the area for that- super lo c/s rate. They did not require iv or continuous fetal monitoring which is huge for avoiding unnecessary interventions.

The bigger thing is that when 84% of their births are vaginal, the nurses are supportive of it and aren't rushing you towards a c/s.

I also came in very late, I was in transition. The admitting dude in the lobby was taking his sweet time, and I may have started screaming at him that the baby was coming now, lol. It wasn't, quite, but dammit, lets get moving. This meant I basically has one monitoring strip done and then I was in the tub pushing. No time for any nonsense.

elaine amj

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2015, 08:29:57 AM »
This is interesting. I am going to have to ask my husband what we had to pay for both my kids. As far as I know, we didn't pay anything.

Although I had coverage in Canada, DH also had health insurance in the US (he worked in a hospital). We chose to go to the US for all my obstetrics care - partly because the US system is a bit more luxurious (private room in a gorgeous L&D suite vs shared ward), has "better"/more prompt care, and partly because he thought it was cool for me to give birth where he worked. I did get a couple of extra little perks and an avalanche of visitors :) Explaining to the guy at the border that I need to cross over because I was in labor was interesting though! I can't imagine DH wouldn't have mentioned it if we had to pay anything OOP for this. I had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries (did get an epidural AND stitched up for #1) if that makes a difference.

Is there any way you can get better health insurance if you know this is coming up? Or is it too late already? (I know only very basic stuff about insurance in the US - ours always felt very adequate and we often crossed over for medical things).

flan

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2015, 08:40:47 AM »
I doubt the hospital is going to be welcoming to DIY bring your own medications.

Of course they won't. But why do they even have to know? That's my point. If I need pain relief that isn't prescription, I don't know why the heck I can't take my own damned ibuprofen and just decline whatever they offer.

"No thanks, I don't think I need a stool softener."

See how easy that was?

This whole idea that we relinquish all control when we step in those doors and have to pay 100X the cost of something just because they say we have to is ridiculous to me.

They need to know because they need to watch out for potential side effects from those medications. For example, ibuprofen is a blood thinner, so that may be contraindicated if you're going in for additional surgery. Tylenol needs to be processed by the liver, so if you're prescribed something else that uses the liver because the docs don't know that you're taking Tylenol, it could cause some liver damage.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be frugal with birthing costs - obviously it's fricking expensive already, but just do some more research beforehand or ask some "hypothetical questions" to those docs and nurses to make sure you're not accidentally causing medical negligence that could harm yourself.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2015, 08:50:44 AM »
Hey! I love all the ideas.

I'm super jealous of all you people out there who had births that were a couple hundred dollars!

I love hearing from you women who have done it before and say the epidural was worth it or that natural birth is possible. I'm pretty undecided on that - I think I need some more education on side effects, etc. I have been terrified of labor since around age 11, so part of me thinks, "Give me the drugs!" but I tend to be a naturalist in many other ways, so maybe I'll go natural. We'll see. There are whirlpools in all the birthing suites to help with pain relief and all that.

I also love the suggestion to wait at home as long as possible. I hadn't really thought about that, but I can see why that might be advantageous. I am really concerned (for non-financial reasons) about certain interventions being pushed on me if I labor too long, so if I can labor at home as long as possible, that would help with that. I live super close to the hospital, so can predictably get there in less than 10 minutes, which will help with delaying arrival at the hospital.

Let me just clarify: I would never sacrifice my own health or my child's health for the sake of saving a few pennies (or a few thousand dollars). That being said, I work for this hospital system, and so I see how medical bills can add up for unnecessary services. In fact, I am a provider and am often called in to see patients when the hospitalist has not done a good job screening, and I know the family gets a fat bill because the doctor consulted me when they really shouldn't have. It's really not crazy to think about ways to deny certain services that are unnecessary in order to save $$. I would NOT deny helpful services - but oftentimes services get offered that cost money but aren't really helpful at all. For example, they may just always send the lactation consultant to all new moms. If I'm having trouble breastfeeding, it would be fabulous to get help from a lactation consultant. But if breastfeeding goes great and I agree to see the lactation consultant anyway, I might get a bill for a service that wasn't really necessary. (Again, I'll want to call the hospital to find out of lactation consultation is an added service or is included in the regular cost of labor & delivery).

So thanks for all the replies! I'll keep reading any ideas that come in!

Natural birth is not all or nothing. You can match your effort to your commitment level! I wanted to go natural; I made it about 24 hours of back labor before asking for an epidural. Had my baby been positioned properly, I might have made it all the way. (He was stuck good.) Another mother would have been in the OR hours before me; yet another mother would have waited hours more (as the baby was not in actual distress, but I could tell that, as my father used to say, I was pushing a bad position :-).) And none of us would have been wrong.

Do you work out? Yoga, that kind of thing? I found things I had learned working out, like breathing and relaxing all one's muscles (especially the face) to be really helpful. I used to practice deep breathing and other relaxation methods while holding plank positions!

I never pushed a baby out, but I did see it done at my sister's home birth (3rd baby, proven pelvis). I'm not gonna say it was pretty, but it's not like it was so traumatic I needed therapy. There was an 11-year-old in the room having a grand time, in fact. And it was over quickly. You're an adult. You're a responsible person. If you are well-educated and well-prepared, you can trust yourself to make the right decision when the time comes.

catccc

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2015, 09:19:57 AM »
If you decide to go natural, I think freedom of movement is important.  The pain was the absolute worst when I was reclined on pillows on a bed (like, the standard).  Standing, leaning over the bed, something was the best for me both times.  So make sure whatever monitoring stuff they've got going on jives with your plans/goals.

KisKis

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2015, 10:51:49 AM »
Natural birth is not all or nothing. You can match your effort to your commitment level!

Agree.  Sharing, because the OP may appreciate hearing a happy delivery story.

The women in my family all went natural and are pretty anti-medicine, so I was pretty convinced going natural was the way to be.  I got basically every woman genetically related to me to tell me her birth stories.  However, they all also had second to fourth degree tears.  ...so... yeah, I was a bit terrified.

Anyways, I told my doctor I wanted to go natural when we were going over the birth plan, and he was like..."I'm going to put you down as a 'maybe' on the epidural.  We'll have one standing by."  Our hospital was an hour away, and I didn't go until my water had broken with my first.  My labor went pretty quickly.  I realized that I could survive natural, but decided to go with the epidural, because why suffer for no reason, and I was still worried about the "ring of fire" part of delivery.  The labor pains are like the worst menstrual cramps you have ever had in your life - doable, but yuck.  Getting the epidural is rough.  You have to lean forward over your gigantic belly and hold really still through the contractions.  The epidural itself was perfect.  It felt like my waist down had gone to sleep -- those little pinprick feelings, you know?  I could still move completely independently.  I have heard a lot of horror stories about epidurals, so I guess I must have gotten one of the better ones.  Hard labor just felt like pressure down in that area.  Hard to describe to someone who hasn't felt it before, but I wouldn't describe it as bad at all.  I did have to get a second degree episiotomy, but it was no big deal.  I have had no problems after childbirth, other than a ton of stretchmarks that are genetic and also because I had terrible self-control during pregnancy so I gained a ridiculous amount of weight.  Do lots of kegels, and be patient with the weight loss.  Nine months on, nine months off.  I arrived at the hospital around 3AM and my daughter was born right around 7AM.  Only about 15 minutes or so of actual pushing. 

Second child was even easier.  The epidural didn't kick in until after he was born because the delivery happened so fast.  Doctor just came in to catch.

Personally, I hated pregnancy.  The last two months of lightning crotch and loose hips were uncomfortable as hell.  The delivery was actually enjoyable (seriously) in comparison.  It's all for a reason, I guess.  The late pregnancy sleeplessness also made handling a newborn not as tough.  Also, a heads up to enjoy the feeling of the actual moment of delivery.  The gloopy plopping out feeling was euphoric.  Haha, I don't know how to explain it.  It's like all the tension in your body has been released after seven months of noticeable building.  Plus, you finally get to see your baby's face.  If DH and I could skip the pregnancy and just go through delivery, we would have a lot more kids.  There are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding and vaginal birth, including that they are a lot cheaper, but if you have problems with either, don't feel guilty about doing what has to be done.  Nursing was a struggle for me, but I toughed it out and made it 23 months with both.  I completely understand that this doesn't work for everyone, but it definitely made my life a lot easier, so I hope it will work out for you, too.

So, to sum up, do your research, but understand that delivery (and parenthood) cannot be planned out.  Prepare as best as you can, but once it starts, just go with the flow and things will be fine.  Good luck!


 
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 11:04:10 AM by KisKis »

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2015, 04:31:49 PM »
If you decide to go natural, I think freedom of movement is important.  The pain was the absolute worst when I was reclined on pillows on a bed (like, the standard).  Standing, leaning over the bed, something was the best for me both times.  So make sure whatever monitoring stuff they've got going on jives with your plans/goals.

Yep. I even had some freedom of movement when I was on the fetal monitor--was able to use a birth ball, stand up next to bed, get on hands and knees in bed, etc. Must have had a pretty long cord.

justajane

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2015, 04:46:01 PM »
@KisKis
Your epidural sounds like mine were. I still felt a little bit of pain and tons of pressure but it wasn't bad at all. I much prefer this to actually being numb, because then you know when to push. I couldn't walk, though. Does a "walking epidural" actually exist?

On my last birth, his heart rate kept on plummeting. Because of very close monitoring (attached to his head), they figured out that if I laid on my right side that his heart rate stayed normal. What this meant, though, was that for some reason all the anesthesia from the epidural went to one side. So I was completely numb on one side but felt most of the pain on the other. That was enough of an experience of the pain of transition for me to be eternally thankful for the epidural. Holy shit, that hurt...on half of my body! Some women must be made of tougher stuff than I am, because I was shaking uncontrollably from the pain. If I had lived in an earlier pre-epidural age, I would have coped, but I probably would have had less children.

It turns out that the cord was wrapped tightly multiple times around his arm. This made me an even bigger proponent of close monitoring than I already was. In hindsight it was pretty scary. The nurses stayed cool, but once or twice three of them came running into my room, so the heart rate drop must have been pretty dramatic.

JustTrying

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2015, 07:34:26 PM »
Thanks for all your birth stories!

I do work out - I ran a marathon a few weeks before getting pregnant. This is what freaks me out about no epidural though - I have marathoner friends (e.g. women who I've seen push through pain time and time again) who regretted not getting an epidural because it was so incredibly painful. But then, the opposite is true too - I have friends who are not very tough or athletic who have had natural childbirth with very minimal pain. It kind of just seems like you really can't know what to expect!

Okay, I have NO IDEA what "lightening crotch" is! I'm still in the first trimester! I have generally always thought that pregnancy seems to be a very uncomfortable thing though! I always thought I'd adopt, but that isn't possible for us, so we had to go for bio kids!

It is currently open season for changing medical insurance, but I currently have the best coverage that my employer offers. I've checked this many, many times.

The hospital's c-section rate is average for the area, so definitely not great, but I live in the Pacific Northwest, so it's a bit more of a naturalist culture here. I know that my physician will be fine with whatever I choose, but it's not 100% that she'll be at the delivery!


La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2015, 09:33:30 AM »
The hospital's c-section rate is average for the area, so definitely not great, but I live in the Pacific Northwest, so it's a bit more of a naturalist culture here. I know that my physician will be fine with whatever I choose, but it's not 100% that she'll be at the delivery!

Just wanted to give some assurance on this front--I had different docs BOTH times and both times were great. First time, I had been in the hospital for 13 hours (in labor for 24) when the doc comes in, 3 pm Friday,and says--I am not making this up--that is going to Turks and Caicos for the weekend. I was like, whatever. I'm done with you. Just send the anesthesiologist. The sub doc was perfectly pleasant and did a beautiful section.

Second time, I come in early Sunday morning. My doc's out of town. Sub doc, they say, does not do VBAC. I panic for twenty minutes, then they tell me that my doc has arranged for a VBAC-friendly doc to cover--on a Sunday when she wasn't supposed to work. While the outcome was exactly the same (stalled at 6 cm, baby never descended, sunny-side-up and crooked), I had an excellent experience. If anything, I liked the replacement doc BETTER! She let me off the monitors to walk around and use the tub (my other doc does not let VBAC moms off the monitors ever), she had concrete advice about helping my chances of VBAC, etc.

So ry not to worry about a covering doc. Most of them are fine, really!

RunHappy

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2015, 09:55:45 AM »
I'm still totaling the bills from birth, but it seems as though they will be around $1000 for out of pocket  medical expenses.  My hospital offered a 15% discount if I paid the bill in full within 15 days of receipt so except for 1 bill I'm still disputing with the insurance company, I paid everything in 15 days.  You can also set up a FSA to help with expenses.

I second everyone here that says birth is not the place to save money.

With that having a healthy and natural birth is probably the easiest way to save money and ensure a healthy delivery.  Education about childbirth will help.

Eat well. Exercise.  Get rest.

I ended up with Gestational Diabetes and I was 39 years old, so towards the end I had to go the hospital for monitoring twice a week.  Every other week I had ultrasounds.  Yes this was more expensive and I could have said no, but I opted for the extra monitoring.  I also hired a doula.

The doula was 100% out of pocket, but I never had to go to the hospital for false labor.  She gave me a TON of assistance with my gestational diabetes diet and exercises to get the baby in the correct birthing position.

In the end, I spent a little more than 48 hours in the hospital and that included being induced (balloon and pitocin induction).  I did not have an epidural and did not tear.  The doula was fantastic. I just wrote a blog article about it, I can post here if you are interested. 

KCM5

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2015, 10:38:27 AM »
Another happy birth story for you:

My first child - used a midwife practice with about 5 rotating midwives. Delivered in hospital. (located in the US)

Took Bradley Method birthing classes. I don't think these helped that much with coping mechanisms, but really it was nice to just get more familiar with the birth process. This probably depends on your instructor.

I'm not a super athlete or anything. But I did exercise regularly during pregnancy. Towards the end it was just walking or elliptical at the gym.

Started feeling contractions at about 2 in the afternoon two days before my due date. Contractions got uncomfortable at about 9 pm and that's when I figured out I was in labor. Called midwife, who told me to get some rest. Laid down to rest and water immediately broke. Packed stuff and left for hospital about 10:30.

Checked in to hospital at about 11 (had amusing moments where spouse thought I was going to give birth in the long hallway as I was in transition and it hurt!).

Started pushing just before midnight, pushed for about an hour. At the beginning of the pushing process there was a moment where the baby's heart rate dropped and everyone rushed into the room. Midwife called supervising doctor, who discussed emergency c section. Received an IV then (no IV in place before) with saline. Pushed pretty hard for a bit, baby's heart rate never dropped again and I pushed for a long time before the baby was born, so it was no longer an issue. The baby did break her collar bone in the process, so I wonder if that's what happened? Anyway, she was born pretty easily and I had a small first degree tear.

Total cost out of pocket with excellent insurance was about $300 and the bill cost was about $18k, if I remember right (I was curious and totaled all of the bills). But I'm not sure if that bill cost was actually what the insurance company covered or just what they were billed and then they negotiated down.

 

elaine amj

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2015, 07:35:38 AM »
You may want to consider hiring a doula - while it may cost more, it may save you in extra hospital bills because she can advocate for you and what you want. I found labor and delivery a hectic time. My head was not on straight and my husband was also in a tizzy. I had expected him to be my advocate as he is a nurse and had also done some time on L&D. However, he confessed to me much, much later that he was in a mental daze too and was in no position to question anything.

With my first, I was nicely in labor but I guess not progressing as fast as they liked so they put me on pitocin to speed things up. I was aiming for natural but things got bad and after a couple of hours I had to get an epidural. To this day, I still have no idea how many stitches I got. I asked, but they refused to tell me and I just wasn't in the right headspace to demand to know.

I wanted a different delivery for my second so I seriously considered a doula. DH ended up insisting that he would do much, much better the second time around. This time, I actually used a birthing ball (sooooooo nice!) and everything went super smoothly. DH was incredible. He played music for me and was really helpful. he was in the right headspace and was able to advocate for me and whatever I needed. My labor was going so well, the nurse didn't bother to stay. They did insist on putting the fetal monitor on me which I found an annoyance so I ignored it when she was out of the room and would hurry to try to shift it back into position when she came back lol. As for my tearing, the nurse was very very helpful. When I felt the urge to push, I just wanted to bear down hard and get it over with. She pretty much forced me not to push and to wait (mostly because she insisted I could not have the baby until the OB was there to catch it lol). When my OB showed up, he also insisted I not push but to let it happen much more slowly. He spent a fair bit of time massaging my perineal area. When I did start pushing, he continued the massage and made me take it slow. The baby came out with absolutely NO TEARS. I really believe that going slow and steady, giving my body time to stretch, made all the difference.

Wishing you a safe delivery!

little_brown_dog

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2015, 08:35:16 AM »
i have a unique perspective as someone who experienced both natural labor/pushing with no meds and an epidural in a single birth. i had a natural, unmedicated labor through hour 3 of pushing. my labor progressed normally and within 12 hours i was ready to push. i will not lie, labor is very very very painful. however, if you are good with pain/physical discomfort and know what natural methods help you most (ex: mine is heat/hot baths) you can definitely do this. labor pain is hard to describe - yes it is extremely painful, but also totally doable. it's not like getting your arm cut off. honestly the hardest part is the psychological component behind it - it is exhausting and upsetting to know the pain will keep coming and only you can fix it (by giving birth).

at some point in pushing, my daughter shifted and began to present diagonally right into my pelvis. as a result, she was barely moving down despite my best efforts. after 12 hours of labor, and 3 hours of pushing, i was given the option for an epidural since there was worry that i would become too exhausted to safely deliver her without serious intervention. i opted for the epidural to avoid a vacuum extraction or csection, and received one from an amazing anesthesiologist who actually inserted the needle in the middle of a contraction so i couldn't feel it. after an hour rest, i was able to resume pushing and delivered my daughter. the only part of birth i didn't experience without meds was that final part of crowning/baby exiting.

the only thing i would do differently next time is ask for the epidural sooner if i hadn't made significant progress in pushing after 2 hours. remember, an epidural doesn't mean a woman is weak, selfish, or a bad mom. sometimes, like in my case, it is the safest option for mom and baby.

note: do not let my story freak you out! very few women have to push as long as i did, and overall i think i had a great birth experience. if my little one hadn't shifted, she would have been out within an hour or two of pushing. i had no tearing/scarring, minimal soreness afterwards, and i am still planning on having more children :)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 08:47:24 AM by little_brown_dog »

Dezrah

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Re: Strategies to keep birth cost low?
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2015, 01:16:27 PM »
My brain still has the silly notion that things that are more important ought to cost more.  Even the most expensive costs listed here seem way lower in my own personal scale of “what is important”.  Tax-advantaged retirement?  Pretty important, better chuck $18k at it.  Reliable replacement vehicle?  Definitely worthwhile, how about $10k to budget on the luxurious side?  A healthy, safe delivery by people who have gone to school for a decade+ to become the experts at it?  That’s the most important of all, will $40k cover it?  I think it’s actually cool that bringing a person into the world costs less per month than I pay in rent, even with comparatively “bad” insurance.

We don’t have any current timeline for children, just a vague “someday” notion.  Regardless though, I have been frantically maxing out our HSA for the 2.5 years we’ve been on it terrified it would never be enough.  The anecdotes here have definitely assured me we’ve done a decent job crisis-proofing ourselves.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!