Home Births And Birth Centers Are Increasing In Wisconsin


Census data indicates home births and use of birth centers is increasing in Wisconsin, but expectant mothers may find limited locations.

There are only a handful of free-standing birth centers in Wisconsin. The American Association of Birth Centers says most major health insurance plans cover their services. However, four HMOs in the Madison area don’t. According to staff, that’s causing the Madison Birth Center to close.

Hannah Bernard-Donals is a certified professional midwife who works independently and has delivered babies at Madison Birth Center. She says the center can be a “stepping stone” to eventually giving birth at home.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Families and women who perhaps don’t want to birth in the hospital but aren’t quite ready for home birth, the free-standing birth centers often are a halfway point for people to explore what it would be like to have midwifery care and to not birth in the hospital.”

Medicaid covers birth centers, and the association of birth centers lists national plans that do. Bernard-Donals says in general birthing centers are cheaper than hospitals.