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Hi ladies,

I was wondering if i could get some advice please?

I was booked into a Family Birth Centre for the upcoming birth of my baby boy, however now i have been told because i have bipolar disorder i must go to hospital for the birth (and i don't get a choice of hospitals either.) My partner and i are currently trying to get this decision reversed, and if not we would like to try for a home birth. I really do not want to go to hospital.

My question is what costs are we looking at for this? and what do i need to organise in advance? i am in WA and do not have private health insurance.


The cost can vary with midwives so it is best to ask a few and sus out what services they provide for their money.
My midwife cost $2200 and that included initial monthly prenatal visits at my home. Then fortnightly visits, then weekly visits (more if needed), the birth (including pool), then visits for 6 weeks after. (daily then every 2/3 days then as needed - more or less depending on your needs) She was also available 24 hours a day to answer questions and put your mind at ease or come and check you out if you are worried about something. She also provided birth education to my husband and I and went into great detail explaining how the entire birthing process works and used things like model pelvises, books, posters etc to demonstrate. Her price has now gone up and rightly so. The services she provided were worth a lot more then what she was charging. Her friendship is priceless.

To organise a homebirth you need to do the following.

1. Find an Independant homebirth midwife that you get along well with, who shares your birth philosophies and you can trust. It is essential that you are honest with each other.

2. Prepare yourself physically and mentally for a homebirth. This means educating yourself about all aspects of birth including potential problems. You need to know what you are going to do if an issue arises. What type of birth are you after, lotus birth etc.

3. Physical things you may need are support people (do you want other people to be present?), a birth space (somewhere to have the baby - do you want a pool available: may need to organise one if your midwife doesn't own one), a bucket, towels, something to protect the floor/lounge with (midwife may have these), something to hold placenta once birthed, clothes for bubs and yourself (warning you may get blood on it due to bleeding after the birth) nappies, (i found a disposable newborn nappy brilliant after the birth to catch the initial bleeding, then switched to maternity pads), breastfeedig cream such as palmers cocoa butter nipple cream or lansinoh, food that yourself, midwife and support people can eat during labour, homeopathic remedies if you desire.....

Your midwife will go through it all with you though!!

Here is a link to some homebirth websites to get you started.


All the best with your journey!
thanks so much, thats all really helpful!

Good Luck Jemma. Good on your for being such a strong person. I feel that this 'elimination' process out of birth centres is almost discriminatory!
Absolute best of luck!

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Hi Jemma,

Well being in WA you are v lucky cos in WA we have access to free homebirths thru the Community Midwifery programme. Their site is:

It is a free programme run through KEMH and they are based in north Freo. You are assigned 2 midwives and have all your antenatal care at home and of course your birth. They do have a criteria as to whether you are accepted and can get busy so best to apply or get in touch with them asap if you decide that's for you.

I had my 2nd son in 2007 with this prog and it was absolutely fantastic and I would totally recommend it! He was born in the water at home and I had no stitches and a wonderful experience with my 1st son there too.

I am currently a student midwife at curtin so if you have any q's feel free to msg me. Also if you are interested I am looking for preg ladies to share their pregnancy, birth and postnatal period with, as for the degree we have to share a "continuity of care experience" with 30 women. It allows us to develop one on one relationships with pregnant women so we can support them through their experience - and hopefully learn something too! If you would like any more info pls msg me.

Good luck with everything.


Emma, WA

Just adding to the above post-my cousin recently went through the KEMH community program (she is also a midwife at the hospital) and had a wonderful homebirth experience.
Her previous pregnancy, she had pre eclmapsia and was induced at 36 weeks due to the threat to hers and bubbys life.
She had no troubles at all getting a homebirth for the second, they just kept her very closely monitered.

Hope you get the outcome you are after, good luck.

Hi I am in Qld and although the physical birthing process for us women is the same regardless which side of the country we live on it seems that the medical protocols and costs vary dramatically. In Qld I beleive a homebirth costs about $4000 hence the increase in the number of unassisted homebirths.

I wanted to ask if the birth centre explained how having bipolar disorder might affect your ability to have a natural delivery. Is their concern a very 'real' one or is it a 'just in case' fear? Also if you have a mental health practicioner do have they have anything to say in relation to your situation.

Personally I am very proud of you. I say stick to your guns!

Whataheart - Girls16/1/00, 28/4/05 & 04/09/08

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