In Zimbabwe, a country where the average yearly income is $150, giving birth in a hospital can be prohibitively expensive at $50. But at one corrupt hospital, this price can increase depending on how much the woman giving birth screams. Yes, a local hospital in Zimbabwe apparently considers screams during childbirth to be “raising false alarm.” Therefore, each time a woman cries out, she is fined $5. Keep reading »
Apparently, when it comes to maternity care costs in this country, I lucked out big time. Seven years ago, when I found myself pregnant for the first time, I had just switched from my own insurance to my husband’s much better one, and had only one, $25 co-payment for the entirety of my pregnancy — including the delivery. That’s it. Twenty-five dollars got me multiple visits with my midwife and a hospital birth (albeit a short one — I was in and out of the hospital in 10 hours, my choice).
Yet, my experience is certainly not the norm when it comes to maternity care costs in this country. The New York Times recently looked into why the U.S. has the most expensive maternity care in the world … despite not necessarily being at the top when it comes to quality of care. The facts are both absolutely terrifying and downright maddening. According to the Times article, prenatal and delivery charges can cost upwards of $50,000, depending on whether the mom-to-be has insurance or needs a C-section. Even for those with insurance, there is still the possibility of a costly birth, especially if your policy does not include maternity care coverage. Keep reading »
Every now and then the unthinkable happens and a baby is born to a mother that didn’t even know she was pregnant. Such stories are often met with skepticism because in most cases, pregnancy is a incredibly obvious condition. The big bellies. The lack of a period. The cravings for pickles and tiramisu. In a few instances, however, mothers really seem to not know they are pregnant until that baby was coming down the vaginal canal. Here are some of the strangest cases. [Surprised baby photo via Shutterstock]
If you have been in a one mile radius of me anytime in the past few weeks, you have probably heard me tell you all about how I love “Call The Midwife,” mention I’m going home to watch “Call The Midwife,” or suggest you watch “Call The Midwife.” That is because — yup — I am obsessed with the PBS drama “Call The Midwife.”
The premise is this: Jenny Lee (actress Jessica Raine) is a 22-year-old midwife in the 1950s hired for her first nursing job in an impoverished section of London’s East End. She’s had a privileged, sheltered upbringing and the poverty she sees in Poplar is like nothing she’s ever experienced. Nurse Jenny lives at Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns who are also nurses, with three of her other 20something midwives: Nurse Trixie is the house glamour girl who loves boys, dancing and gossip; Nurse Cynthia is the thoughtful, quiet one, and Chummy is a gawky, awkward nurse from a titled family who is an embarrassment to her parents but finally finds a place in life working amongst the poor. Keep reading »
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, then allow me to be the first to share the breaking news: Princess Kate is pregnant! Now feel free to join in with the rest of the world as it goes absolutely completely bonkers in reaction.
I understand that a new baby, especially one of royal lineage, is a huge deal. And sure, I’m also super curious whether the wee-one-to-be is going to have a head full of shiny, chestnut locks like his or her mother. But honestly? The most I can muster up for Kate right now, beyond my heartfelt congratulations, is my deepest sympathies. Keep reading »
I am proud of myself when I kill a spider without bursting into tears and shrieking. So I can’t imagine what it must be like to give birth on a subway car. Alone. In the middle of the night. But that’s exactly what Wanda Dueno, 24, of Philadelphia did two nights ago. While visiting family in New York City and heading to her sister’s house at 1:30a.m., Dueno started going into labor. Keep reading »
Eating placenta might sound like the most hippie of hippie-dippie pursuits. But if an article in New York magazine is to be believed, eating your afterbirth (or placentophagia) is trés, trés chic. In Western hospitals, placenta has traditionally been disposed of alongside medical waste. Some women would ask to take their placenta home with them — either to eat it or to plant it in their yard — but hospitals could refuse to hand it over. Several states have since enacted laws requiring a hospitals to fork over the placenta if a new mother wants to take it home. This is good news to the ears of “professional placenta preparers.” Mostly women, these folks usually have backgrounds in working as doulas and/or an interest raw food or vegan food. Many professional placenta preparers disintegrate the placenta into pill form, but there is also talk of placental shakes and placental jerky. (Apparently the placenta needs quite a bit of spices for flavor.)
But the question is: is eating a placenta good for you? Keep reading »