Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Are Birth Issues?

There are approximately 4.4 million births per year in the United States. Everything from beautiful low risk natural birth, to high risk calamities. There are obstetricians, family physicians, midwives, doulas, nurses, childbirth educators, hospital administrators, and a host of others with divergent and sometimes opposing needs and viewpoints to the other professionals. There are pregnant women who want to schedule a C-section at convenient times and theere are others who have a baby at home, alone, without any medical professional, just so they can avoid having a C-section they do not want. There are women who cannot get pregnant and there are others who cannot refrain from getting pregnant. Almost half of the births in the United States are paid for by Medicaid. The delivering of a baby may be one of the least expensive procedures in a hospital, yet the caring for a premature or injured baby are probably some of the most expensive procedures that occur in a hospital. There are women who fight for the right to have their baby at home and others who think that having a baby at home is child neglect. Then there are birth advocates that feel that NOT having a baby at home is child endangerment. The breast-feeding advocates and the formula companies look at each other with disdain. We haven't really talked about the issues yet, just the players, but you may now get the idea that this is a very crowded field. Pregnant women and newborn babies deserve the best possible care. What "best possible care" really is, is a subject of great debate. Alan

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