Guide To Home Birth In Vermont



In a recent article written by the New York Times on the role of midwives in American births, Mary Lawlor, a Vermont CPM and Executive Director of the National Association of Certified Professions Midwives, wrote the following poignant Op-Ed:

 Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are specifically trained in providing care in homes and free-standing birth centers.

Out-of-hospital birth is on the rise in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 55 percent increase from 2004 to 2013, and a growth in birth centers from 195 in 2010 to 248 in early 2013. Certified professional midwives attend approximately 41 percent of these births.

In 2012 the United States spent more than $55 billion on childbirth-related hospital stays (not including provider fees), more than any other industrialized nation, with poorer outcomes relative to countries where midwives are the primary maternity care providers. As your editorial points out, doctors are much more likely to use medical interventions that often cause unnecessary harm; midwives promote normal labor and birth processes.


Home birth is a safe option for women with low-risk pregnancies. Having a home birth in Vermont is relatively easy compared to many other states. I will highlight some important facts, resources, and tips for helping you make an informed decision about having a home birth in Vermont.

Guide to Home Birth in Vermont

  • Here is a fact sheet summarizing what new research says about the benefits and risks of home birth. This fact sheet is short and easy to follow.
  • Here and here are the rules and regulations that govern the practice of home birth midwives in Vermont. You can read for yourself what is considered a “high-risk pregnancy,” as well as the scope of home birth care.
  • Here is the most comprehensive and up-to-date online listing of Vermont home birth midwives.
  • Here is a previous post on the Burlington VT Moms Blog website I wrote titled, “Considering An Out-Of-Hospital Birth?” I pose some provoking thoughts to help in the decision making process, as well as some common answers about home and hospital birth.
  • The lack of insurance coverage and the cost of home birth seem to be the greatest barrier to accessing the care of a home birth midwife. Didn’t Vermont pass this bill mandating out of hospital birth insurance coverage? Yes. However, many private insurance companies find loopholes. The vast majority of Certified Professional Midwives in Vermont do not carry malpractice insurance (or a the right policy). Thus, insurance companies deny families coverage. The out-of-pocket expense for a home birth is roughly $4,000. Although this is cost prohibitive to some, many families have (high) deductibles with their health insurance policies. Hospital birth is much more costly than home birth, so it is important for all families to have a very clear understanding of the scope of their insurance coverage.

It is also important to know 1. Medicaid covers two-thirds of the cost of a home birth; and, 2. Certified Nurse Midwives practicing out-of-hospital and Naturopathic Doctors with midwifery certificates will often accept private insurance (such as Blue Cross Blue Shield). Ask your insurance company if there are any in-network home birth midwives.


I hope this guide is helpful. Please pose any questions in the comment section of this post, and I will answer them!


  1. What are the rules and regulations regarding this found? Are there any rules and regulations regarding unassisted home birth?


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