From The True Face of Birth, regarding the so-called "VIP concierge services" that TIME magazine tells us some doctors are now offering.
For only $15,000 cash, in addition to the normal charge for prenatal care & delivery, you can receive extra services such as:
- limited number of patients, so the physician can devote more time to each patient
- no waiting
- longer office visits
- round-the-clock availability via e-mail or cell phone
- private birthing classes
- one massage per trimester
- optional home doctor visits
- guarantee that the physician will be at the hospital for her patients' full active labor and deliverySo, you can pay the full cost for prenatal care & birth (with or without insurance coverage), plus an additional $15,000 to get these "extra special" services. Or you can pay $1,000-4,000 total (and less if your midwife accepts insurance) to get all prenatal, birth, & postpartum care and those extra-fancy services, and more, as the standard of care from your midwife.
But nowhere in the article does TIME even mention the option of midwives.
They had a similarly one-dimensional article about elective Cesarean recently, summing up that elective surgery is "a pretty tidy way to conduct the often-messy business of childbirth"(one commenter on TIME's website retorted "Trust me: suffering the effects of major invasive surgery is not a tidy way to do anything") and referring to a spinal block as "local anesthetic," making it sound more like having a cavity filled than having your entire lower body numbed andparalyzed--see an excellent analysis of that article here.
Another article actually comes out and says that "Five hundred years later [after the first known successful C-section], surgical delivery seems as trifling as tooth extraction." HUH? It downplays the "increased maternal mortality" (YES THAT MEANS DEAD WOMEN) of elective C-sections and then describes vaginal birth in the following terms:
for most women natural childbirth is one of the most violent physical traumas they will ever experience, bar a serious accident or grievous assault. [Note: I don't even think that sentence is correct grammatically, and it certainly is dead wrong from a number of other perspectives.] The average length of labor for a first-time mother is anything from seven to 12 hours, but it can easily be 20 hours or more. During that time, she is wracked by contractions — a euphemism that doesn't even come close to conveying the violent spasms that take hold when the body reflexively tries to squeeze a baby through a narrow vaginal opening. The forces involved are such that when the baby's head emerges, it can do so with sufficient pressure to rip the mother's perineum and leave grind marks on pubic bone. In many ways, the act of giving birth resembles a medical emergency — in fact, if no medical intervention of any kind were made, up to 1 in 67 women would die in labor. Fear of birth pain is thus legitimate and it is no wonder that many women elect to have C-sections — especially when the procedure is over in about 40 minutes and feels no more uncomfortable, in the words of an anesthetist in one of Hong Kong's top maternity hospitals, "than someone rummaging around in your tummy."
The article was written by a man, please note.
Another memorable quote: giving birth without painkillers "it's like they're climbing Everest without oxygen," says Dr. Paul Tseng, a gynecologist at Singapore's Thomson Medical Center. Yes...painkillers and oxygen, they're exactly alike.
I am really speechless.
On a different note but related theme, the May 12th issue had an article about raw milk that concluded with the statement that placing trust in local farmers and the health of their cattle "might just be too much work for a glass of milk." TOO MUCH WORK? Getting to know your neighbors, especially when it has implications for your health, is too much work? I'll tell you what doesn't "work," and that's relying on the government to insure safety of the food supply via approval of the FDA, who continues to let MILLIONS OF POUNDS of contaminated meat slip by every year. I thought I recognized the limp and biased writing style of this article, and sure enough: brought to us by Alice "Choose Moms Choose Cesarean" (I am not making that up) Park. Unfortunately, she seems to be representative of the type of flaccid and uninformed approach TIME is taking to its articles these days.