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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just A Raised Eyebrow Or Two

Mark Morford is really very funny, especially when coping with the anxiety of reading stats about Red-Staters "breeding like drunken ferrets". You wouldn't want to miss his proposal for the modern ritual of the Burning of the Bush, either. It was inspired by modern-day Mayans; we'd better hope Morford never wanders into an "Apocalypto" showing!

More seriously, we are deep in a state of denial about land-use induced warming. Especially California. And hint, hint, ethanol is not the answer to reduce atmospheric CO2 even if you have joined the Al Gore cult. The cultic rituals are strange and not completely understood by scholars, but it appears mandatory that you have to build gigantic houses and fly around on jets while announcing the end of the world because of too much energy use by everyone else. It appears that the richer you are, the more incentive you have to join the cult, because otherwise you'd have to do something about the private jets and colossal energy-gulping estates. And then, for some reason, some person driving a 10 year-old car to work is supposed to pay your corporation to offset their energy usage. One can see its attractions for politicians.

Socialized medicine is traumatizing hundreds of thousands of Brits giving birth? That's the claim, anyway:
Only last week a study revealed that thousands of women find themselves isolated and frightened during labour because they do not get the care they need.

Over half were left alone at times during labour. Just 19 per cent had one midwife providing continuity of care during their labour and while giving birth, with over half of firsttime mums having a stream of three or more midwives see them through the experience.
The study was done by the UK Department of Health, but the hundreds of thousands figure comes from another association. Reading about midwives and hiring doulas and the comments about bringing someone who knew how to give birth with you to the maternity ward made me twitch. I've got no problem with midwives, but shouldn't an obstetrician be on duty as well? The big complaint seems to be about not enough midwives, which struck me as rather third-world. Maybe that's a misnomer; one commenter had a suggestion:
This is the reason why I and my wife decided to have our baby in India; private hospitals in most developing countries are more than affordable for most people (£4,000 will buy you a decent flat in some parts of India!) and provide a much higher standard of care than most NHS hospitals, in my experience. I don't even have a dentist in the UK - get all of that done in India as well, for a tenth of the price charged here and whenever I want!

Unfamiliarity might be giving you the twitches. An obstetrician is really only necessary if you have complicating problems- so while they might be on the floor and checking in by phone- you are likely in the care of other staff- Midwives in the UK, but nursing staff in the USA. Residents come in to practice their procedures on you, but I didn't have even one birth where an OB was in full attendance. Midwives are better equipped and trained for a normal birth experience, actually. That is why they are used more in nations with the lowest mortality rates. The USA uses more midwives than they used to, for the same reason. There is a general dearth of OB's anyway.

Midwifery is definitely not third word in terms of care and outcome. I think the actual facts on the matter would surprise you.

But this concern about women not feeling supported in their pregnancy and birth experiences...now there is a root of a very big social problem....
Travel to India for health care?

Ilona - according to the article, there often isn't even a doctor on duty. One lady wrote of having to wait an hour for an emergency Caesarean (I cannot spell that word) when the monitoring showed problems with the baby. Plus that recommendation to hire your own doula - that's what reminded me of third-world medicine. I think if you have to hire your own midwife/attendant, most women would rather do it at home or in a small clinic. The whole point about the hospital is that you have access to those resources in the event of a problem.

Where I live most people go for the package deal where you use a center, get all prenatal there, and usually get to give birth with a midwife. But, of course, they monitor, and if there are any indications of problems there's a doctor there and a hospital five minutes away, and if they think there may be a problem you go to the hospital to deliver in the first place. Seems like the best of both worlds.
CF - India has very good health care cheap. I'm not sure I'd want to plan to deliver there though! It's a long way away!
Now Mama, you know better. Arc theory. It's cheaper because the cost structure is lower over there. Lot's of call centers there, too.

It would take months to get the smell of Curry out of the new childs hair.
Generally they are sort of bald...

Not yours, of course. I am sure they were born with long, flowing lovely tresses.
You nailed it. Lennox Hill Hospital, NYC. The full offered side.

Along with the Breast Feeding classes came the SAT tutor,and College Application Consultant.
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