Pregnancy and Access to Midwifery and Birth Center Care: Best Start Birth Center has served San Diego’s families for decades. Always providing access to women with MediCal, MCAP, TriCare and commercial insurances who desire personalized care. A sliding scale cash plan is also available for cash pay clients who are unable to qualify for assistance and do not have insurance. Our goal is and has always been to provide access to midwifery and birth center care. Cost to payers is less and outcomes are excellent for low risk women. So, with ample evidence of great outcomes, why is it so hard for women in the US to get their insurance plans to allow access to midwives and birth centers? This is the question that is puzzling. If you are a woman who wants midwifery and birth center care, speak up to your employers, insurance companies, and reach out to your legislators. This quote below is from Kitty Earnst, founder of the American Association of Birth Centers. At the wise age of 92 she is still advocating for a women’s right to choose her care provider:
“I concluded a long time ago that we – the providers, would not see significant change in our lifetime unless WOMEN rise up and DEMAND IT. They have the power and actually control the pocketbook and simply need to be educated and empowered to use it. They are the “consumers” meaning they are purchasing or not purchasing the product. Every working woman needs to confront their employer about what is and is not included in their health care policies. THEY need to be meeting with the insurers boards and administrators and demanding that the care they seek is not only covered but funded as a long term investment for increasing their profits. They need to ask them what is holding them up. After all, their business is run for profit and almost 100 years of evidence is showing them that care for less money with better outcomes will increase their profits. So, what is their problem???? We have spent too long attacking the providers who because they were taught to fear and invested in controlling what they have, resist change instead of getting to those who control the money – the middlemen payers – and educating them. Make your mantra “All of health care begins with the care of the mother”. That is indisputable if we really gave a tinkers damn about the mother. Who makes the decision relating to the health of the family beginning with pregnancy, birth, breast feeding, nutrition, immunization, etc. etc? We don’t even have a clue about the long term benefits or hazards we are perpetuating with all our mumble jumble and interference.”
Best Start Birth Center has been a model of good outcomes for decades and expects to provide this option to San Diego into the future. Natural (physiologic) birth with a midwife equals a low rate of cesarean section, high rate of successful breastfeeding, low rate of interventions and satisfied, informed, and empowered moms and families. A beautiful memory for mom and her dear ones. Good short and long term outcomes reduce the costs of childbirth thus giving a direct financial benefit to the community as well as enhancing family life. Best Start is committed to providing a space where the beauty of natural birth can be experienced. Best Start midwives also offers well woman care so you stay healthy beyond childbirth. Now go out and demand that you receive access to the care you want and deserve!