Thats what I thought. Thank you for your input.
Do you have any idea of how Kaiser allows births to take place? Do you know if you have to be on a bed for it? Or are you allowed to move around?
They wouldn't "allow" me to go past 41 weeks 3 days (i've been told by every dr there now that this is standard protocol). I had an induction with cytotec at 41 weeks and then pit at 41 wk 3 days (once again, standard for everyone). I was technically allowed to move around, but i was hooked up to monitors and an iv and was told to contact the nurse every time i wanted up so that she could unhook the monitors and then re-hook them as soon as i was done (soooo much fun when you're 10 months pregnant and have to pee every half hour). it was very difficult to maneuver around in a small room with short wires. i begged for a yoga ball and it took them about 3 hours to bring in. the nurse complained after they broke my water about the mess, so i eventually stopped getting up and just tried to rest. they came in hourly to ask if i wanted an epidural so after 15 hours or so i gave in. then i was stuck at 8 cm for 5 hours so they labeled me failure to progress and took me in for a c-section. i'm sorry if i sound so down on kaiser... i had an ob appt with them yesterday and came home feeling as enthused about their care as i was for the first pregnancy.
i have no idea if they will let you labor on anything other than your back. i know the beds are set up with stirrups underneath, and it does become problematic anytime you don't just go with the flow. our kaiser doesn't have tubs... i know of at least one in nor cal that does. but if i remember correctly you are not allowed to give birth in them.
my ob the first time told me absolutely do NOT make a birth plan... if you do go with kaiser, make a birth plan, get a doula, and be prepared for a steep uphill battle. you get whoever is on call at the time and it does rotate every shift. so, while one nurse or ob might be completely open to anything you ask, the next on call might just tell you no.
if there's anything else you want to know, just ask! i felt so uninformed when i went in for ob care there the first time.
Wow so sorry your experience with your first was like this! I had no idea that insurance companies could dictate HOW you could give birth, just who they cover in terms of providers, and then the 'how' would depend on the provider/hospital.
OP I agree that you should create a birth plan and spring for a doula, and get a spunky one as she may have to do some pushing (figuratively ) for you during birth.
ETA: as I re-read it it doesn't even make sense! Kaiser (and others) have no concept of how those policies perpetuate the exorbitant cost THEY end up paying for your additional interventions/services...
I live just outside of San Francisco, and the prices for a midwife for home birth range from $4000-$6000. I have a PPO which covers 60% (out-of-network cost). My midwife works with Larsen Billing Service. They take a small percentage of whatever money you get back, but it is so worth it. You just give them your personal info, and they take care of all the paperwork with your insurance company. With the insurance companies, everything is about wording and codes, so having a professional deal with that aspect makes it so much easier. I was actually advised NOT to personally call my insurance and ask about home birth coverage, because they would red flag my account and try to deny coverage. Also, if you interview midwives, they should be able to give you an idea of what insurance companies/types they have had success with, and how much they covered, if any.
Aside from the insurance issues, I have found working with my midwife invaluable. She provides me with so much more time and info than my doctors did. ( I started out getting prenatal care with an OBGYN, but switched to a midwife around 16-17 weeks) She has allowed me to feel so much more confident in my ability give birth. And I am so glad that when labor arrives, I will actually have control over how I want things to go. ( I won't be confined to my bed, I will be able to eat and drink as I choose, etc)
Think about how much money people spend on a new car, or on their wedding, etc. Giving birth to your child is the most important thing you will ever do. So if you can afford it, and having a home birth with a midwife is what you want to do, then I say go for it!
Around here in Northen California $3000 to 5000 is about right. I would call the midwives in your area (if you've haven't already) and ask if they would be willing to negotiate their prices if you do your testing at Kaiser. A few moms I know have done this and one mom managed to save $1000. It couldn't hurt to ask, right? Good luck to you and I hope you're able to find a great midwife!
I agree with LittleOnes, if you decide to stick with Kaiser, get a doula!
CJ~ I know how you feel, my last birth with my son ended in a c-section too. His was for prematurity though, and while I agree that the c-section was the way to go, the treatment by the staff was inexcuseable. I'll spare details but I have no confidence in So. Sac Kaiser's L&D anymore. My plan is to have a VBAC at home with a wonderful midwife.
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