Affording the Birth You Want
Many times over I have heard something similar to “If only my insurance would cover the childbirth class, doula, that provider or birth location. Then I could have the birth I really want for me and my baby.” That statement sadly says to me that women are settling for a provider, birth location, type of birth even that would not otherwise be chosen. Even so far as having a repeat cesarean because the insurance covered location or provider does not “allow” VBAC.
So practically how is someone going to get the desired provider, location or birth? First think of appealing to the insurance company to add a specific location (even home) or provider (even a home birth provider) to the plan. This may or may not come to fruition, but unless the process is undertaken it isn’t even a possibility. Second, think outside the insurance box. Be creative. I am a believer that almost 100% of the time there is a way. It may not be easy, simple, or lack stress but likely possible.
Here are some of my ideas for paying for the birth location, care provider, education, or doula support really desired.
Ask for family, friends, co-workers to donate to fund(s) in lieu of routine shower gifts (you will likely not use most of that “stuff” anyway no matter how much you think you will).
Trimming Down = Money Savings
- Satellite/Cable tv – Lower or cancel service.
- Cell phone – lower minutes, negotiate new fee structure, change plans.
- Household utilities – Lower thermostat, take short showers, heat or cold proof home.
- House phone – Get rid of all extras on phone that you don’t need or go VoIP. Even set-up answering machine.
- Food – Grocery shop sales only (no impulse buying), use coupons, eat at home, brown bag to work, no more fancy coffee drinks.
- Entertainment – Get Netflix instead of going out to the movies, visit with friends or family in their homes or yours.
- Shopping – Cut back on extras you do not need to live.
- Vehicle – Car pool whenever possible, only run multiple errands together, walk if possible, use public transportation is available.
- Housing – Move to a lower rent area or to a smaller home. Even consider moving in with family to maximize savings.
- Sell any unneeded items via yard sale or something akin to Craig’s List. This can apply to second vehicle as well.
- Take on a second job that can be done from home or even with a multi-level company.
- Ask husband or partner to temporarily take on a second job.
- Do you gourmet cook, write, musically talented, sew, knit, paint or craft? You may be able to sell your creations or services.
- Ask for payment plan.
- Look for less expensive supplies such as a “fishy pool” versus renting an AquaDoula.
- Choose a birth center or a home birth as the cost is significantly less than even a no-intervention natural hospital birth. Also your prenatal care is included in the fee unlike a planned hospital delivery.
- Hire a training doula. Often a lower fee.
- Start a savings account before you are pregnant.
- Plan ahead and pay down any existing debt prior to getting pregnant or in early pregnancy.
I hope some “light bulb” moments are had and there is encouragement in the ideas. There is almost always a way.
If I have left anything off the lists, please feel free to leave a comment and I will add.