As the cost of insurance and maternity riders continues to sky-rocket, many are looking for alternative solutions to save on healthcare costs.
Enter healthcare sharing plans.
Did you know that the cost for cash-paying patients is often up to 90% less expensive than those with insurance? I learned this the hard way last year after being stuck with a $13K insurance bill that would have been $2K without insurance. Cash-pay really is the way to go!
I have since dropped my insurance plan and switched to Christian Healthcare Ministries.
They also have maternity plans that will cover both midwife expenses and hospital charges. A story in their most recent newsletter is from a family who was charged $15K for their first child's delivery in a hospital, compared to only $3K for the delivery of their 2nd child using CHM. Plus, the $3K was reimbursed through the health-sharing plan! You can check out more maternity sharing stories on their website (click on each picture to expand the details).
Here's a snapshot of what the CHM maternity coverage looks like on their 3 different plan levels.
For maternity care, this is excellent coverage. You can also see below that their monthly plan costs are also quite affordable. I'm currently on the Silver Plan.
One key thing to remember when purchasing maternity coverage with CHM is that you must have an estimated delivery date of 300 days after you sign up, so you would not be eligible for benefits if you registered after becoming pregnant. There are a few other guidelines for signing up for the plan that you can learn about here.
If you decide that Christian Healthcare Ministries is right for you, please mention my Member ID at signup #234256, as referring new members helps me to save on my healthcare costs.
**UPDATE: Many have asked about home birth. I received a newsletter today, which confirms that that home birth charges can be shared under the Gold Plan. You can also share up to $2,500 in midwife charges under the Silver plan.
View the complete CHM Maternity Guide
This spring my friend convinced me to try the Trim Health Mama eating plan. I don't do diets but she was raving about all the yummy recipes so I gave it a try. I quickly learned this was not a diet. It was more like a different way of eating and it was indeed delicious! I can still eat all of my favorite foods including cheese, chocolate, bacon, muffins & milkshakes. I'm not even kidding.
I've been on plan about 2-1/2 months and I've just crossed a major milestone - 15 pounds lost!!! I've done nothing different. I keep thinking about exercising but that's about as far as that has gone. Just a thought. LOL!
The best part about THM is that it can be used by pregnant & nursing mamas too! There is a strong focus on healing your body from the inside out, which helps you to have more energy and feel stronger at the same time. It can help you to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and/or safely drop a few pounds postpartum. They make a point of combining foods that won't spike your blood sugar so this could work for moms with gestational diabetes as well.
I had heard about Trim Healthy Mama in the past but I didn't quite understand what it was. I thought it was a "diet" and that it involved all kinds of speciality ingredients that I had never heard of. Turns out this has been the easiest "diet" / "meal plan" / "way of eating" that I've ever tried in my life. There are just some basic facts about the way our bodies process foods & fuels that I had never learned before. THM made it click.
Trim Healthy Mama PLAN Book: This explains the science behind the plan, the basics of what foods to pair together, what foods to avoid, how often to eat, and other tips & tricks.
Trim Healthy Mama COOK Book: This book has all of the yummy recipes that they have perfected. You will not find these recipes on Pinterest. Their fans have been very loyal not to share publicly.
Speaking of Pinterest, there are some great starter guides available along with supplementary recipes so that's a great place to start while you are waiting on the books to arrive. There are also several Facebook groups to ask questions and get support.
Pregnant & Nursing
Turtles - Slow Losers
So, if you have been looking to get health and/or loose weight, I would highly recommend THM. If you have any questions about how the plan works or need help getting started, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Last week I showed you my favorite Instagram accounts. This week, I'd like to share my favorite pregnancy & birth blogs.
What are some of YOUR favorite blogs? Leave a comment below or on Facebook!
These are my favorite accounts on Instagram as they relate to pregnancy, birth and postpartum!
Sometimes we just need a pick-me-up or a little inspiration. It's all sunshine and roses over on Instagram. It's nice to see an inspirational quote or photo that spills out encouragement. There may even be an image that sparks a new idea.
Check these out and click to follow!
As a doula, I'm often asked for recommendations at various stages of pregnancy.
Now, you can find all of my top recommended resources in one place. I'll be adding more products and items to the list so bookmark this page and check back often.
I'm so excited to introduce you to WINK. I've been following the progress on this revolutionary device since December 2014 and I was lucky enough to be a Beta Tester in April 2016. The product is set to launch later this month and it is revolutionizing women's health.
Whether you want to get pregnant faster, avoid pregnancy naturally and effectively*, or better understand your cycles, Wink is here to help.
Wink will accurately record your basal body temperature up to 4x faster than other fertility thermometers and automatically sync your temperature to the Kindara app. Better data means you can take better ownership of your reproductive health and achieve your fertility goal with greater ease.
FERTILITY AWARENESS METHOD (FAM)
Wink syncs automatically with the Kindara app, which is a tool for tracking all of the information used in the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). Your body gives 2 primary signs when you are at your most fertile time. Your resting temperature rises and your cervical fluid changes. Wink captures your temp easily and automatically.
TRYING TO CONCEIVE (TTC)
I used FAM to conceive my daughter back in 2006 and we were pregnant right away. In fact, we were also using FAM combined with the Shettle's method in hopes of conceiving a girl and we did. In order for the Shettle's method to work, you need to be able to pinpoint your ovulation date, which is a breeze if you are already tracking your fertility signs.
TRYING TO AVOID PREGNANCY (TTA)
No hormones, no side effects. I love that I can use the same method to avoid pregnancy. It helps me to know my most fertile time of the month so that I can avoid sex or use an alternative barrier method of protection.
When used correctly, Kindara and Wink together can be as effective as the pill, patch, or ring when avoiding pregnancy.*
*Kindara is based on the Fertility Awareness Method, which has been shown to be 99.4% effective when avoiding pregnancy if fertility data is collected and interpreted correctly.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FERTILITY AWARENESS METHOD
LEARN MORE ABOUT WINK
If you are hoping to get pregnant or you want to avoid pregnancy without hormones, Wink is the way to go!
If you have any questions about Wink, Kindara, or the Fertility Awareness Method, please do not hesitate to ask. I absolutely love the freedom it has provided and the information it tells me about my body.
I'll admit. I'm a sucker for pregnancy progression photos. It's fascinating to me how a woman's body shapes and changes to adapt to growing a little human. Here are my top 5 favorite belly videos starting with a new one I came across this week.
Below is a video that shows what's actually going on inside with a woman's internal organs during pregnancy.
Bottom line. Our bodies our amazing!