The United States Spends a Shit Ton on Pregnancy and Childbirth. And, We Are Still Losing.
The United States is a developed country that has a significantly high maternal mortality rate with no indications that it will lower in the next 5 years.That is unless someone in the driver seats make a hard left to go down the opposite path that we are on.
The United States spends $98 BILLION DOLLARS on pregnancy and childbirth a year! That is the HIGHEST in the world. And let this sink in, we are spending the most but CANNOT seem to figure out how to do, much less win, the childbirth game.
Here’s the evidence:
So, what the heck is deal? The United States does not offer an all inclusive prenatal-childbirth-postpartum healthcare package in. The Affordable Health Care (ObamaCare) may get you a free gestational diabetes test (which is not ideal) and prenatal visits with a random doc, but there is no freedom there to choose a provider or midwife, and you can forget the freedom to choose where you want to give birth. In fact, no matter what kind of birth you are having, you will pay a good chunk of change out of your own pocket.
That’s right. Even if you have insurance you can go ahead and expect $6000-$9000 hospital bill. With a midwife a birth center birth or home birth can range between $3000-$5000. These are both estimates without complications.
WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN…
One of the more amusing comments I hear is that a woman or the family does not want to do a birth center birth because it is not covered by their insurance. You will be paying A LOT more for a hospital birth (vaginal) than you would a birth center birth (vaginal). In the United States, it is common for vaginal birth at a hospital to total up to almost $10K. It is also common for a cesarean birth to cost $15K without even taking into account the cost of infant procedures that usually accompany a cesarean birth.
In other countries, majority of the pregnancies are tended to by midwives (hospital, centers, or home), and only if a complication or red flag is revealed do they take steps towards the more medicalized route. Countries successful at decreasing their maternal mortality rate have employed the midwifery model.
In fact, the whole experience in those countries appears to be less medicalized and more centered around wellness and the bigger picture. Other developed countries seem to have figured out what the United States cannot. And that is that the childbirth process is not a sickness. More than 95% of pregnancies go off without a hitch. Other countries have taken what has worked in the past and integrated with what is working now in the medical world. These particular countries that are spending less with better maternal and infant outcomes are not run by big insurance companies. They have observed and listened to the women that are having babies and their families.
The believe in the innate power of a woman’s body to birth her baby.
The United States has a goal of 11.4 Maternal Mortality Rate by 2020.
Currently, we sit at a Maternal Mortality Rate of 28, which is a significant increase from 1990. Our country has a 32% cesarean section rate. The World Health Organization recommends a country have between 5%-15% cesarean rate. Looking at our country’s goal of decreasing the MMR by over half, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that drastic measures need to be taken or this will not happen. In fact, it will continue to rise.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Remove fear that has been instilled by our society, and take insurance out of the picture. Now, design the birth you want! The people (you, me, and everyone we know) need to talk and make moves. We have to demand the care we deserve through our actions and where we spend our money.
- Realize that the cost of birth can vary depending on place of birth, method of delivery (vaginal or cesarean), and other unknown expenses.
- Ask for a payment plan if you want a birth center birth or home birth with a midwife.
- If you have chosen the midwife route, think about using your ObGyn for tests and screenings that your insurance will cover. Make them work together as your team.
- Call your insurance to ask about coverage and reimbursement for ALL types of birth. Ask your insurance how much a cesarean birth will cost you out of pocket.
- Ask your insurance if will cover birth education classes?
- If you don’t have insurance at all, a home birth could be your best option.
- SHARE BIRTHFIT with your family and friends. Help to educate and empower those that don’t know.
- The best way to save on medical expenses is to get BIRTHFIT!
The BIRTHFIT Movement has started. Take back your body and birth! Let’s Go!
-LINDSEY MATHEWS, DC
Mobility / Activations
3 x 60s holds Squat Therapy
10 Push Ups
10 Good Mornings
10 Good Mornings Staggered Stance Right
10 Good Mornings Staggered Stance Left
Find a heavy Conventional Stance BOX SQUAT.
*BEST EFFORT for Today.
*Only take 3 lifts at 90% or above with the confidence that you will make them.
Cardio / Stamina
30 Min Run, Jog, Row, Walk.
Find something you enjoy and do it for a minimum of 30 min.
Vulnerability is the birth place of love, belonging, joy, and empathy. –Brene Brown.
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