This question is so popular that we dedicated an entire post to it!
The #1 way to locate a midwife is by word of mouth. Seek out other home birth families in your area. Talk to local doulas and childbirth educators. They often will be connected to other birth professionals in the area, including midwives. Look for places where holistic or naturally-minded people tend to frequent, such as health food stores, etc. If you live near an Amish or Mennonite community, they may have information to share. Finally, use online resources such as our post mentioned above.
The short answer is no, it is not illegal to have a home birth in Kentucky. There are no laws stating where a woman can or can not give birth.
The long answer is that there is some legal liability, but it rests with the midwife, not the family who wishes to birth at home. We’ve dedicated an entire post to this question because of how often it is asked, and the length of the answer. Click here to visit “Is Home Birth Legal in Kentucky?” to read up on our current situation surrounding the legality of home birth midwifery, and the current laws in place.
A home birth in Kentucky can range anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 depending on the midwife you choose, what area she is located in, and her experience. Most often, this fee is paid out of pocket. Typically, insurance companies will NOT cover a birth attended by a CPM, as they are not yet licensed in our state. We are hoping the licensing process will be finalized during the summer of 2020.
Some individuals have luck submitting a claim with their insurance company after the birth and receiving a partial reimbursement afterwards. Insurance may fully cover birth with a CNM, depending on if she is in-network.
*You may be able to use HSA/FSA funds to pay your midwife, but YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED TO PAY THE FULL FEE OUT OF POCKET.
A midwife’s fee includes all prenatal care, the birth, and postpartum/newborn care. the supplies for prenatal care, the birth and supplies needed for it, and postpartum/newborn care and supplies. It includes the time she is on call for you for 24/7 for weeks at time, the gas it takes to visit you, the charting and paperwork, the extremely detailed and personalized care for you as an individual and her expertise and knowledge. There may be other costs involved, such as birth supply kits or pool/pumps (for water births, if your midwife does not supply a pool). Outside tests and ultrasounds are NOT included in the initial fee.
DO NOT expect the midwife to charge only part of her fee just because you are coming into care late in your pregnancy.** A midwife’s fee is not just for the one day you give birth. It includes all prenatal, postpartum, and newborn care, including catching up on information if you transfer to her late. Some midwives may offer sliding scale payments based off your income. Ask your midwife if she offers payment plans.
This is one of our most common questions, so we’ve dedicated an entire post to it. Click here to read the post.
Prior to July 15, 2020, paperwork was processed through county health departments. Now, everything is processed directly through the Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort. If you are working with a Certified Nurse Midwife or Licensed Certified Professional Midwife, they will be able to take care of most of this for you using the state’s online system.
The Kentucky Vital Statistic website with information for home birth is here: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/vsb/Pages/homebirths.aspx
By law, each live birth is to be registered within 5 days of the birth.