A Florida mother gave birth to her fourth baby this past Friday amidst a hell of a controversy. Jennifer Goodall, who has had three previous C-sections, had been hoping to attempt a vaginal birth with her fourth delivery. However, her providers at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte were not on board with her wishes and went as far as saying that they would perform a C-section on Goodall against her will if need be. Earlier this month, Goodall received a letter from the hospital’s Chief Financial Officer informing her that they were going to seek a court order that would allow them to perform a C-section surgery on her without consent. Goodall also learned that the hospital planned to report her to the Department of Children and Family Services, threatening the custody of her other children.
At 41 weeks pregnant, Goodall and her lawyers fought back, but she was still frightened to enter a hospital that threatened to perform surgery on her against her will. In the end, she delivered at another hospital, one that honored her request to attempt a vaginal birth, despite it ending in a fourth cesarean. Goodall was not looking to go against best practices, and she wasn’t even against the idea of a c-section. All she wanted was a shot at birthing her baby vaginally. Keep reading »
Childbirth is a miracle. It’s a miracle that I intend to experience (hypothetically, in the distant future, maybe) with an epidural and as many pain-numbing drugs as they’ll give me.
Some moms-to-be go the other extreme: giving birth outdoors, literally on the floor of the fuckin’ woods, sans a doctor. And because this is America, there’s a new Lifetime reality show about them called “Born In The Wild.” Keep reading »
It always amuses me when something concerning pregnancy, birth, or parenting pops up as a “trend.” Odds are, that “trend” has been in practice for ages, but most likely in non-urban, non-privileged, non-U.S. areas. Take, for example, the notion of using midwives to deliver babies over OB-GYNs. Only when it hit Brooklyn and the New York Times Style section covered it, did using a midwife become a trend. Nevermind the fact that midwives remain the only option for maternal health care in much of the developing world! They’re also the preferred choice in places like the UK: midwives perform 80 to 90 percent of all low-risk births in England.
Recently the “trend” of doing stuff with your placenta post-delivery seems to be resurfacing. I say resurfacing because I feel like I’m always hearing stuff about other people’s placentas and what they’re doing with them. From burying them under a tree in the front yard to dehydrating them them into capsules, eating them , or using them as art pieces. Recently, Nick Baines wrote a piece for UK Guardian in which he described in great detail the various ways he ingested his wife’s placenta after the birth of their son. Keep reading »
Birth: one of the most private, personal and intimate moments of a woman’s life. And for good reason — most usually end with a baby being pushed out of a vagina, and that’s pretty damn intimate. Yet at the same time, how one births has been long debated, challenged, and talked about in public, with everyone chipping in their two cents. Announce that you’re pregnant and you’ll quickly find out what everyone thinks you should do.
Over 4 million babies being born in the United States every year. As a country, we also have some of the most expensive maternity care in the world, despite not having the best quality of care. All of that combined can lead to many schools of thought when it comes to how to birth them babies. Me? I feel that every person should have access to the basic information surrounding pregnancy and birth to learn all the ins and outs and make an informed decision that works best for them and their situation. Ideally, everyone would have a provider that would work with them throughout their pregnancy and would act as a resource as well as a sounding board. And yet, for the most part, many moms-to-be simply don’t have access to that type of care. Most expecting patients will see their provider for an average of two hours over the course of their ENTIRE PREGNANCY. Let me repeat that: a cumulative of two hours of one-on-one time over the course of 10 months. It’s no wonder why pregnancy and birth can easily become overwhelming and full of uncertainties. Keep reading »
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 »