Never pay Midwife in advance. There are so many reasons why I say this. The main reason why I say this is because there will be supplies that you will have to buy along the way to prepare for a home birth and everything is going to come out of your pocket. Depending on what type of home birth you decide to have make sure that you are clear on what items are completely necessary for a home birth. Don't waste money on things that these midwives will act like you need. Remember this is a profession now and they will market pools, and many maternity items while pregnant. Its a business and all you really need is for the midwife to be at your birth.
Never let a midwife talk you into paying midwife fee upfront. This is a Red Flag. The reason why I say this is because, what if the midwife does not fulfill the duties of a midwife? Understand that there is no rush on paying. Always make sure that you keep record of what you paid for and make sure midwife signs off on receipts. Never enter into a client-midwife relationship without signing a contract. If the Midwife does not have a contract write one up protect yourself. If midwife does not have contracts this is a red flag.
Below I have provided pay methods you should talk about to your midwife. These methods will protect you in an event of a loss. My scenario I paid for services I didn't get. You don't want to pay for a midwife who doesn't show for the birth.
Below are the best payment methods:
Pay as you go- This method insures that your paying for what your getting at the time of pregnancy, meaning, prenatal check up, labs, ultrasounds. Pay for these things as you go. The midwife I had did no labs and no ultrasounds.
Half and Half- This method is simple pay half of the midwife fee at the beginning of pregnancy and pay the other half on birthday. This method protects your pocket from over paying early. Don't forget you will be paying for supplies along the way.
Pay At the Birth- This method is last because the midwife will feel like she is working for free. Trusting for payment at the end from a client may be an issue for the midwife but if the midwife really loves what she does she will understand this method. (This method excludes test that have to be done from trimester to trimester)
It doesn't matter if a midwife births babies at home or in the hospital they should truly love what they do, money should not drive a midwife.