Tricare Friendly with Natural Births? — The Bump
Military Families

Tricare Friendly with Natural Births?

Hi ladies! I have been researching birthing options, & ideally I would like a natural birth in a medical setting such as a birthing center. This is my first baby, & I have no idea how feasible a plan this is being on Tricare Prime. Does anyone have experience/tips for this? I will eventually ask my PCM, but didn't want to be discouraged if they downplayed my requests. I'm 8w1d, & figured I should start thinking about this before it gets too far in my pregnancy. We will be PCSing to a different duty station about ½ way through my pregnancy and I'd love as smooth a transition as I can make it! Is it beat to just switch to Tricare standard? Thanks in advance.

Re: Tricare Friendly with Natural Births?

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  • If you're gonna be in a hospital anyway I don't see what the problem is...I mean it's just choosing to take pain meds or not.
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  • I'm 7 weeks and I live in the wash DC area and I'm on Prime. I'm not aware of any natural birthing options attached to the military facilities. I think you would have to change to Tricare standard although there might be some out of pocket costs they won't cover.
  • Tricare Prime will not cover off post births. You have to go on post. Even if you switch to standard there still may be a fee if the birth center isn't in network.
  • Ditto what PPs have said. Also if you do decide to switch to standard you have to wait a year (I think) to get back on prime. Every birth is a natural birth by the way. What you are wanting is an unmedicated birth. Also don't put too much thought into a birth plan, things will not go as you want them to. Have you been seen by an OB yet? The next best option would be a midwife. It probably depends on your hospital if they are available or not.
  • My base doesn't have a hospital so we have to go in town. Also, tricare does not cover midwives/doulas but I recommend interviewing a few since you want to go without the meds.
  • Tricare does cover hospital employed midwives and certified nurse midwives for home births. I don't know if it's Prime or Standard, though.
    *TTC since July 2010
    *BFP #1- 11/12/12, m/c 11/16/12 @ 6 weeks
    *BFP #2- 1/23/13 EDD 10/4/13  

    *Emma Rose: 10/8/13

    *BFP #3- EDD 03/9/16

    March '16 December Siggy Challenge- Favorite Christmas Movie/Quote
  • I have Tricare prime and had my baby naturally off post at an amazing birthing center. There was no fees. I had the best experience. Do exactly what you want. Tricare will cover everything's as long as you are within 100 miles of an active military base.
  • I switched to Standard when I found out I was pregnant. I'm seeing a midwife at a birthing center and Tricare is paying 100%.
    37 y/o
    Married 9/1/13
    Off OCP 3/1/14
    TTC 6/1/14
    DX Endometriosis in 2002
    Laparoscopy 2002 and 2007
    HSG 8/2014, right tube partially blocked
    1st BFP 1/5/15 EDD 9/12/15- miscarried 1/8/15
    BFP 10/5/15 EDD 6/17/16- delivered healthy girl 6/18/16
    BFP 8/4/16 EDD 3/2/18- trisomy 18 girl- no heartbeat 8/25/17 at 13 weeks d&c 8/28/17
    BFP 12/4/17 EDD 8/19/18

  • All depends on the area. I switched to Tricare standard to give me freedom during my pregnancy to do all my prenatal care through a birthing center with a midwife. I think we paid all of $25 total for my care. Of course as PP mentioned don't get too stuck to a plan. "Planned" to have my son at the birthing center in a birthing tub, but he had other plans arriving at 34 weeks requiring a hospital birth due to premature labor. Still was able to have pain med free natural birth thanks to my awesome midwife who delivered him and our doula.
  • You can definitely have an unmedicated birth at a MTF. I did, and the staff did everything to accommodate all my wishes. Great experience at NMCSD! Hoping to do this again in less than a month!
  • We will be PCSing to a different duty station about ½ way through my pregnancy and I'd love as smooth a transition as I can make it!

    As soon as you know where you'll be going, contact the local doulas and childbirth educators, as they will be able to tell you your best options. is one good resource. And if you're coming to Fort Campbell, I'm a birth professional in the area, so look me up!
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