Offering these insights as fodder for thought, grist for the mill…for anyone wondering about the cost of midwifery care and also for midwives that are afraid to increase their rate or that undervalue their own care.
So, I am on call 24/7. When someone needs me, I stop whatever I am doing and rush to the side of whomever calls. When a baby is on the way, it’s not only the lights of one little home that glow in the wee hours of the night, houses scattered across St. Pete begin to light up as I start making calls…there’s a formidable little tribe on call for each new life. First my sweet, ever loyal assistant and student midwife, next my own two children get the news that a baby is on the way, then the entourage of friends that agree to keep them at any hour, and my dear sister midwives that act as back-up and consultant. Finally, there’s the barrage of calls to rearrange any plans that were made for the next 48-72 hours.
Throughout the year of care that homebirth midwives provide, we customize care plans well beyond what is standard in the medical community, we drive to the family’s home and spend (literally) 10 times the amount of time of any other care provider. We love getting to know our clients personally and we spend countless hours thinking about each family and their personal circumstances. We root for them, we cater to them, we make certain they feel comfortable calling for the smallest question. We make approximately 20 trips to each home and we will make as many more as are needed to ensure that all is well and comfortable. Stating that each family’s well being and emotional comfort are the most important to us, isn’t just a tag line. We do not clock out….homebirth midwives are truly dedicated through and through, heart and soul, to every family we serve.
We are in a constant state of political activism, standing up for the rights of families to birth as they choose. We are continuously questioned and criticized by the medical community at large and must repeatedly engage governing bodies that threaten our right to practice and women’s rights to birth freely.
I charge $6,000 for this commitment, of which maybe 50% reaches me. For a lovely, but mild comparison…I’ve included a receipt for four hours of hospital care in which a kidney stone was assessed…4 hours of care…4 hours…and charged more than my year.
I LOVE WHAT I DO, it’s my highest honor to be a midwife and a mother. Daily I spontaneously spill out with laughter, “I am so lucky!!! I have THE best life!” It’s a worthy commitment, a valuable endeavor, a noble way to spend life and thoughts.