Friday, May 15, 2009

Childbirth Class Trends/Cesareans Increase Problems

According to one report, "the National Center for Health Statistics estimates more than 4,317,119 babies were born in U.S. during 2007, about one percent more than in 2006. The biggest increase in birth rate (2 percent) was among women 30 to 34 years. The smallest (less than one percent) was among women 20 to 24. Among teens 15-19, the birth rate rose about one percent. Cesarean deliveries continue to rise in the U.S., accounting for 31.8 percent of all births. The rate of preterm births/low birth weight declined slightly between 2006 and 2007."

The amazing rise in cesareans is NOT according to birth researcher Eugene Declercq of Univ. of Boston, due to cesarean delivery on maternal request or CDMR. It is, statistically speaking, due to the physicians' fear of litigation.

As the expensive surgery's popularity rises (according to the LA Times), so have premature births, maternal deaths and neonatal intensive care admissions. Serious medical intervention has diminishing returns, a doctor notes. Because the average uncomplicated cesarean runs about $4,500, nearly twice as much as a comparable vaginal birth, cesareans account for a disproportionate amount (45%) of delivery costs. Among privately insured patients, uncomplicated cesareans run about $13,000.

"Cesarean birth ends up being a profit center in hospitals, so there's not a lot of incentive to reduce them," said Dr. Elliot Main, chief of obstetrics for Sutter Health, a Northern California hospital chain.

Really? Not a lot of incentive? How about the embarrassing fact that the US is still 27th or 28th in the world when it comes to infant morbidity/mortality and maternal morbidity/mortality? So the almighty dollar is more important than a mother or baby's life.

I don't think I have to say any more...............

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