In today’s mail was a $112.19 check from my OB’s office marked “refund.” You may ask, When does a doctor ever REFUND a patient money? Well, when your OB’s office charges a “global fee” for pregnancy, meaning they don’t charge for individual visits or items as much as they just charge one fee for pretty much everything, and then you don’t use all the items in your global fee, then you get money back. So, while the rest of the world is having a more medically managed childbirth, and you come in and practically hop up onto the table and have the baby before they can do anything to you, well, then you get money back!
I actually got money back from Lyd’s birth, too, but it wasn’t this much. Not sure about the difference, but I’ll take it. 🙂 It helps pay for my Mother’s Day shopping spree!
Speaking of Mother’s Day shopping sprees and natural childbirth, another thing that I bought on that spree was the movie The Business of Being Born. I had planned to see this movie when it premiered up in San Francisco last fall, but Baby J was still pretty new, it was a cold rainy night, plus we had Olan Mills picture night at church, so it just didn’t work out. But my dear husband suggested that I buy it for myself once it came out on DVD. So, I did. 🙂
I got the chance to watch it on Sunday night (although in hindsight, I was already feeling a little sick and I SHOULD HAVE GONE TO BED (see my previous post), but instead I stayed up to watch the movie. JJ even watched some of it with me, as he was working on the computer in the TV room. It was a FANTASTIC movie! I highly recommend it to anyone pregnant or thinking about having a baby. It said the same things that I’ve discovered in my research about natural childbirth, as well as adding the most recent statistics about childbirth in the U.S. today. For example, did you know that:
- Midwives attend over 70& of births in Europe and Japan. In the United States they attend less than 8%.
- The United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world. (If you look only at the 7 countries that had at least 400,000 births, the U.S has the worst newborn death rate.)
- The U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all industrialized countries.
- In 1900, 95% of births in the U.S. took place at home. In 1938, half of all births took place at home. By 1955, less than 1% of all births took place at home. It remains that number today.
- There are countries that spend 1/3 of the money that the U.S. spends on childbirth, and have better outcomes for both mothers and babies.
- Since 1996, the Cesarean section rate in the U.S. has risen 46%. In 2005 it was one out of every three births.
These are just a few of the statistics that this movie presents which I have also heard from other sources. All the interventions that most women have during birth today (pitocin, epidural, IV’s, fetal monitoring) come with a price. The more interventions you have, the more you need. It’s a snowball effect, all heading a woman towards a C-section (which is now at over 30% of all births; in some places it’s 40% or higher). C-sections have become the most common major sugical procedure performed on women in the United States today. Also, consider how many childhood illnesses that weren’t a problem when we were children have also increased along with interventions in childbirth, such as neurological problems, autism, ADHD, allergies, to name a few. Are these things caused by drugs in childbirth? Probably not solely. But we don’t know. Correlation is not causation, yet one would be foolish to ignore these correlations completely. Women today are encouraged to have the drugs, but they are not adaquately informed of the potential risks. Historically, things have never changed in childbirth until after numerous mother and babies have been harmed, and a public outcry was raised. Hopefully this movie is part of the public outcry that will change the U.S.’s current method of birth.
You may think that homebirth is for hippies, but after watching this movie, whether you decide to do a homebirth or not, it will definitely change your mind towards it. (And, no, I don’t mean give birth ALONE at home! I am talking about homebirth with a certified nurse-midwife who comes replete with pitocin, oxygen, instruments for suturing, equipment for resuscitation of a baby, etc.) Research shows that for low-risk women, a homebirth offers a better outcome for women than birth in a hospital, where a woman is more likely to have interventions pushed on her, which will begin the snowball effect towards a C-section.
I could wax on and on about this, and in a future post I probably will. But Baby J just got up from her nap, I need to plan supper for tonight, so that I can get to bed early again (as I am most definitely sick). So, I’m off my soapbox for now, clutching my refund check in my hand, and am off to breastfeed (why do so few U.S. women not even attempt to breastfeed? That is ANOTHER post!) my naturally-birthed baby.
By the way, JJ wants to take a picture of me with my check before I cash it. Take that, medical establishment!! 🙂