Dwindling options in the Boston area?

31 March 2009 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

The options for out-of-home birth in the Boston area are moving further away from the midwifery model of care.

The BirthPlace in Wellesley closed down a few years ago, and we said goodbye to our one freestanding birth center. The Cambridge Birth Center and the North Shore Birth Center are both affiliated with hospitals, which can mean that midwives who might make certain decisions in a freestanding center are under the thumb of hospital personnel, who have a very different model of care. Plus, after the North Shore Birth Center’s doors threatened to close this past winter, women who birth there will be under the watchful eye of hospital personnel by external fetal monitor. Midwife decisions can be overridden by OBs at the hospital who are seeing nothing but the EFM readout.

More and more families in this area are turning to homebirth as a viable option, but unfortunately, many insurance companies will not provide any reimbursement for this whatsoever. Especially given today’s economy, it is not always easy for families to pay upwards of $3,000 for a midwife-attended homebirth when they could pay $500 or less at one of the birth centers or area hospitals.

Why, Boston area, why? Families here who trust in birth deserve to have affordable options. A freestanding birth center would be fantastic. Hospital-affiliated birth centers where midwives can be trusted to make decisions would be wonderful. Insurance coverage for homebirth would be amazing (and the insurance companies stand to save some money as well, since homebirth can be 1/5 or less the cost of a hospital birth).

It is gratifying to see that people are standing up and speaking out in support of midwifery. I am hopeful that one day soon, this blog post will be made completely invalid, with mothers and midwives given more respect and power by the people who are in charge.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

NY Magazine crowns homebirth priestess…and then royally screws her Idaho is the 26th state to license homebirth midwives!

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