Here’s a good article on hospital birth…

… and finding a balance between medically necessary interventions that improve birth outcomes and those interventions that only serve to expedite the birth process but usually end up complicating it.

>> Labor, Interrupted in Harvard Magazine

The article is very even-handed and points out the importance of C-sections for women who need them. Having the option of a C-section is crucial. But the idea that 1 in 3 women needs a C-section to give birth is outlandish, and we need to continue talking about the outlandishness of that statistic while taking care not to delegitimize the birth experience of women who have C-sections. It’s a tricky balance but we can’t be scared to go there.

I wish some money and effort would be put into taking the midwifery model of care into high-poverty communities that present traditionally high healthcare costs to states. The average vaginal birth costs more than $11,000, according to that article, which is truly insane if you think about how much it actually costs to get a baby out of you. Just imagine if we could shift highly medicalized birth culture in the direction of midwife-assisted homebirth for impoverished women with healthy, normal pregnancies. The costs for labor and delivery alone could be halved in most cases. Not to mention the intangible benefits that come with intervention-free delivery and the warm fuzziness that comes from being cared for by a midwife. Granted, the hard part is ensuring that women in poverty are able to have healthy, normal pregnancies. But, again, that is one of the main goals of midwives, for having healthy mothers is the best way to achieve the outcome of a healthy baby AND a healthy mother.

Anyway. I hope we can continue to discuss this and move toward a less insane birth culture in this country.

2 thoughts on “Here’s a good article on hospital birth…

  1. Give people a gross-out warning. The first paragraph is rough! I found out a few months ago that my sister was able to watch mine in the reflection of a window while she sat next to me. Reading this, I don’t know how she did it. :)

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