Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The "Business" of Birthing

FACT
Each year, the U.S. spends over $50 billion dollars on childbirth. This is more than any other nation in the world. (This number does not include babies in the NICU or readmissions during the first month.)


FACT
Birthing is the largest source of income for American hospitals.


FACT
The U.S. ranks 37th in the world for the quality of its health care.


FACT
Over HALF of all hospital admissions in America are for maternity.


FACT
Hospitals are NOT the safest place to have a baby.  25 infectious strains exist that are resistant to ALL known antibiotics.  These are found primarily in hospitals.


FACT
75 years of routine hospital birth have produced NO studies to show it is safer than having a baby at home with a skilled birth attendant.


FACT
Both homebirth and birth centers have been scientifically proven to be as safe or  safer than hospitals with a skilled labor attendant (i.e. midwives, not doctors).


FACT
The more technology used in childbirth, the more dangerous it becomes.


FACT
The larger the hospital, the greater the risks to both mother and baby.


FACT
Of the 4.3 million babies born annually in the U.S., a mere 5% represent natural childbirth.


FACT
America has the 29th highest infant mortality rate in the entire world.


FACT
The U.S.A. has the 14th highest maternal mortality ratio among developed nations.


FACT
Over 90% of all infants in the U.S. are born with drugs (e.g. narcotics from epidurals, pitocin, acetaminophen, etc) in their systems.  NONE of these drugs have been tested for safe use in infants.


FACT
A 24-hour hospital stay, uncomplicated delivery in the U.S.A. costs anywhere from $8,000-10,000.  This cost DOUBLES for a c-section.


FACT
ALL families in the U.S. are charged newborn nursery charges, even if the baby NEVER leaves the mother's room.  This "routine" charge amounts to about $1.3 billion dollars annually, for services that are NOT
rendered.  (I'm not quite sure why this doesn't constitute insurance fraud - billing for services not rendered.)


FACT
Every year, 1 million, or about 20%, full-term, healthy infants are sent to the NICU for "observation" for an average stay of 3 days, totaling a whopping $6,000.


FACT
For newborns suspected to have serious medical conditions, the same NICU stay totals $20,000.


FACT
1 in 3 American women has an episiotomy.  Episiotomies are medically indicated for less than 10% of all women.  Over 1 million unnecessary episiotomies are performed annually in the U.S.


FACT
1 in 5 births in the U.S.A. are induced.  44% of women surveyed in 2002 reported their doctor wanted to induce.  Only 16% reported medically-indicated reasons.


FACT
American women who elect epidurals are FOUR times as likely to have cesarean sections.


FACT
31.8% of American babies (nearly 1 in 3) in 2007 were delivered by cesarean section.  The World Health Organization recommends a c-section rate of less than 10-15% as acceptable.


FACT
U.S. hospital policies for routine tests, practices, policies and procedures are based on financial considerations, which include malpractice insurance costs.  They are not based on evidence, research, or appropriateness of care. 


The true horror comes in the fact that these views are being exported across the world.   As the U.S. is such a powerhouse of marketing, more impressionable regions are adapting to these customs, despite the overwhelming evidence that the U.S. approach to childbirth IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED!



American obstetricians are taught to view birth as "a disaster waiting to happen."  The average delivery in the U.S. is neither natural nor healthy. We have embraced a cascading system of successively more intense, unneeded interventions termed "active management" or the "standard of care".



2 comments:

mabel said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://maternitymotherhood.net

Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

Hi Lucy,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Im glad you enjoy the reading material!

take care,
Rene´