• Amy Miller

Regarding Finances...

Let's address the elephant in the room: finances. Financial concerns are a huge challenge in midwifery and it's one that we don't frequently talk about. So let's...shall we?

Birth work is the only service th

at I know which is slightly "afraid" to charge for services. Other service industries such as lawn care, for example, will create an invoice for services and expect that invoice to be paid in a timely manner according to agreed upon terms. If financial problems come up, one would likely not consider calling your lawn care professional to ask for a discount or to ask for an extension. However, most of the doulas or midwives that I know are willing to work on a sliding scale...charging different amounts for different families with various levels of resources available to them. On top of that, we allow flexible payment plans, the opportunity to barter for services and sometimes work for free.

Why do we do this? We do it for love!

We love you, your family and your unborn baby. We won't let anything, including money, come between you and your desired birth experience. The manner in which your baby is born is of utmost importance to us! We'd rather work for free than see you travel the journey of childbirth alone or with care providers you don't trust.

However, we also have families to feed, student debt to pay and supplies to purchase. We need income too and serving you is our job. Being on call 24/7 makes it very difficult or even impossible to have an additional part time job to make ends meet. For this reason, it is essential that we work together as a community to find solutions to this financial conundrum. What can we do?

1. I offer extraordinarily flexible payment plans up for up to 1 year after the birth of your child. We can agree on any amount to be paid per month, I just ask that we adhere to that plan strictly once the agreement has been made.

2. Save money and plan ahead. Most of us can find small ways to save money if we look hard enough. Could you stop eating out and plan meals at home instead? Subtract a few dollars from the grocery budget? Shop in bulk? Purchase less convenience foods or specialty drinks?

3. Ask for help. Instead of the latest and greatest baby gadgets, ask for money for your baby shower and then put that money toward getting the support you want for your birth. Those flashy baby items will be obsolete in a few months, but I promise you, you'll remember your birth forever!

4. Pay above and beyond your birth fee. Occasionally a client feels passionate about the type of services I provide for families with low resources. When they pay an amount higher that the required birth fee, any overages goes directly into a "benevolence" account that will pay for services for those who need them the most. The more clients who pay the full birth fee or slightly above, the more clients Red House can serve at reduced or free rates when needed. This is your community! We can make things better!

5. If you truly can't squeeze any extra out of your household budget and your heart truly desires to work with Red House, have an honest discussion with me. I don't deny services to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Let's have an honest conversation and create a plan that works for both of us.

I'm so excited about the interest in natural birth building in our Hagerstown, MD area! Please join us for upcoming events and education.

Here's a snap shot of the events happening soon...please RSVP to 240.643.8768 or redhousebirth@gmail.com as soon as possible to hold your spot. Remember, please check the Red House Birth Care Facebook page before all events. I work on call 24/7 and may need to cancel at the last minute!

July 22 4:00 pm-7:00 pm-FREE Community Gathering--family hike on the C&O Canal!

July's gathering will meet in the parking area near the C&O Canal Visitor's Center in Williamsport, MD. Families welcome! Bring a picnic dinner to enjoy along the way. We'll hike until the smallest kid gets tired, share our picnics and then hike back to the parking area. Meet at 205 W Potomac St Williamsport (Cushwa Basin Visitor's Center)

Please RSVP to redhousebirthcare@gmail.com or 240.643.8768. If you're coming, I want to know so that we don't leave without you!

August 3 6:30 pm-7:30 pm-First Friday knitting/crafting circle @ The Red House Bring a snack and/or drink to share and something to work on while we chat! FREE

August 10-1:00 pm-4:00 pm FREE workshop on Undisturbed Birth

@ Red House Birth Care. This highly attended event focuses on the physiological process of birth. Open to anyone. Adults only, please. Learn about what truly undisturbed birth looks like and why it's important to preserve. RSVP required, please.

September 1 & 8 10:00 am-3:00 pm-Physiological Childbirth Workshop-$240.00

This is an extension of the FREE undisturbed birth workshop and will walk families through the physiological process of birth in more detail. We will also look at the birth process in a holistic way, discussing the family's transformation physically and psychologically. The last class will be a discussion about the postpartum time, breastfeeding and newborn care. RSVP required, please.

September 23-FREE community gathering...time and place TBA...stay tuned!

Learn more about my classes and services at www.redhousebirth.com!

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