Search Results : c-sections

Sep 182009

Last week, it was pointed out that in some states,  our so-called health insurance companies are allowed to consider domestic violence a pre-existing condition.  As Think Progress points out, having had a cesarian section can also be considered a pre-existing condition.  Never mind that the U.S. has a sky rocketing c-section rate and that said c-sections are often performed for reasons other than because of medical necessity, such as soaring malpractice insurance rates.

If that doesn’t make you fume, check out Anthem’s explanation as to why c-sections are a pre-existing condition:

“The point of insurance is to insure against catastrophic care costs. That’s what you’re trying to aggregate and pool for such things as heart attacks and cancer,” said an Anthem Blue Cross spokesman. “Having a child is a matter of choice. Dealing with an adult onset illness, such as diabetes, heart disease breast or prostate cancer, is not a matter of choice.”

OH NO! ! It looks like we’re being accused of making reproductive choices again!

On the one hand you’ve got the faux family values folks telling us that we are baby killers if we exercise the right to end a pregnancy and we also have the insurance companies  sticking us with the risk of going bankrupt if we have a c-section.  Some choice.

And women are bearing all of the financial risk why?  And what about pregnancies where the mother would have preferred to get an abortion and couldn’t?  And what about pregnancies that are because the  parents didn’t understand about contraception because they attended a school with abstinence only sex ed?  Does this spokesperson comprehend that the “choice” to have children is how the human species propagates?

This isn’t about choice.  It is first of all about insurance companies being out to insure one thing only–their profits, at the expense of the health of the citizens of this nation and secondly that there are not adequate laws protecting women from misogynist profiteering that violate their human rights.  Full stop.  Enough.  We need single payer universal healthcare now and we need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and CEDAW to insure that these horrifying practices end immediately.

 September 18, 2009  Posted by on September 18, 2009 4 Responses »
Jun 022008

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the skyrocketing rate of c-sections and how the rise was likely due in part to financial considerations (such as fear of malpractice suits, not to mention increased fees for such deliveries) on the part of doctors.  Well here is another real good reason not to have a c-section unless it is truly necessary–your health insurance rates might go up.  Rachel has the sordid details at Our Bodies Our Blog and offers this suggestion to the insurance companies,

“Perhaps these companies should charge more of men who might get a woman pregnant who might need a c-section, because it might one day cost them something for these men to successfully reproduce! Don’t forget denying coverage to the resulting children – they might get sick one day!”

To which we say you go girl and vow to write a letter to our Congressman telling him it is time to get serious about universal health care.

 June 2, 2008  Posted by on June 2, 2008 Comments Off on C-Sections Lead To Higher Health Insurance Rates
Apr 212008

According to Time magazine, “Choosy Mothers Chose Cesarians“. Just like choosy mothers pick the best day care or pre-school or what kind of food to feed their children? Well not exactly.

“Rates of C-sections have been climbing each year in the past decade in the U.S., reaching a record high of 31% of all live births in 2006. That’s a 50% increase since 1996. Around the world, the procedure is becoming even more common: in certain hospitals in Brazil, fully 80% of babies are delivered by caesarean. How did a procedure originally intended as an emergency measure become so popular? And is the trend a bad thing?”

Well one way it became so popular might be by referring to it as a procedure instead of major surgery. But is it the mothers who are actually driving the numbers up, as the headline implies? Guess again.

“Some of the rise in C-sections can certainly be attributed to women with routine pregnancies… who make a pragmatic decision to keep their deliveries just as uneventful. Preliminary data suggest that such cases account for anywhere from 4% to 18% of the total number of cesareans.

So never mind that the headline makes it sound as if this is the delivery method of choice for Moms who care about their kids, the reality is that only a small percentage of these numbers is attributable to maternal choice.

According to the article, better surgery outcomes, obesity and multiple births also contribute to the increased rates of cesarians and one OB opines that giving birth is now less about the miracle of giving birth and more about delivering the kid “safely and without incident.” Okay, let’s say this again, cesarian sections are a kind of major surgery and major surgery is risky.

But as the article points out,

“(There) are some powerful fiscal forces as well, such as soaring malpractice rates for obstetricians. Since doctors are sued more frequently after vaginal births than cesareans, surgery is often the prudent choice when there is even the slightest indication of a difficult vaginal birth.Vaginal delivery can, for example, lead to future incontinence and pelvic damage, while babies born by C-section may suffer from respiratory problems because of not being exposed to certain hormones during the birthing process.”

Well yes indeed, it would certainly be more prudent for the doctor who consequently makes more money and doesn’t have to bother with the fuss and muss of being sued, but just an observation, most women who deliver vaginally do not have ongoing incontinence problems. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but if it were that big a deal, the adult diaper section at the grocery store would be a whole lot bigger and not to belabor (sorry) the point, but C-section risks are about a whole lot more than the baby not being exposed to certain hormones. It is also about the baby being exposed to anesthesia, the mother having a major incision in her gut and a longer recovery period with a whole lot more risk of complications than recovery from a vaginal birth. It should also be pointed out that the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the ‘developed’ world, a number that has been attributed in part to high C-section rates.

No doubt there are times when a C-section is totally necessary but when the rate of those times suddenly skyrockets over a few years to more than 30% of the time, it isn’t about medical necessity. It is about medical greed and mothers being given very poor information about the birthing process and the extent to which medical decisions are de facto being made by insurance companies.

 April 21, 2008  Posted by on April 21, 2008 2 Responses »
Aug 212009

As usual, I find myself at the end of the week with a cornucopia of stories and not enough time to post them all, so I’m going to try something different this week and post a wrap–up with links, and if this works well, it may become a regular event.  It isn’t that each of these doesn’t deserve its own post, it’s just that no one has invented an 8th day of the week or hired a staff for FPN!  Without further ado:

The Global Fund for Women has a fabulous new blog, check it out here.

Stop Family Violence has the latest on the Stamford Marriott rape story.  Let’s keep the pressure on Marriott to go beyond apologizing and become an industry leader in ensuring the safety of their guests.

As this blog has reported too many times, the C-section rate in this country is much too high which both raises the costs of maternity care and endangers the lives of mothers and infants.  Our Bodies Our Blog points to evidence that if you take away the financial incentive for performing C-sections, the rate mysteriously goes down. Hmmm. And as they also point out, part of the health care reform process is figuring out how to pay for health care.  Reigning in unnecessary costs would be a brilliant start although I do have to say there is this nagging thought in the back of my mind that worries about starting with women’s health as the place to cut costs because it can go too far as it did with what became known as drive-by mastectomies where women are released from the hospital much too soon after such major surgery.

This piece by Masum Momaya takes an in-depth look at Google’s controversial advertising policy for abortion services in 15 countries asking if the policy violates women’s rights.

RAWA has this brilliant piece by Malalai Joya about the Afghan elections.

And check out this new DoJ resource for information on Domestic Violence, a lot of really useful stats.

And last, we have this horrific account of acid attacks in Zambia via WNN:

“I didn’t realize that the tongue skin was also peeling off. The young girl was pushing something in her mouth. I opened her mouth to see and found that almost the whole tongue had come off. I had to pull it out like you do with a cow and only a little red thing (tongue) remained.”

These excruciating words by a girl’s older sister describe the aftermath of the worse physical attack a 13 yr old could ever experience.

For all the times I get accused of being an angry feminst, I ask how stories like that could possibly evoke any other response.

Let me know what you think of having regular wrap-up posts.

 August 21, 2009  Posted by on August 21, 2009 Comments Off on Friday Frenzy
May 142009

While we’re on the topic of women and the cost of healthcare, Rachel Walden at Our Bodies Our Blog points to the more than 50% cesarean delivery rate in Miami-Dade County in Florida (at one hospital the rate was over 70%) and a report that says the overall rate in the U.S. is now a whopping 31.8%. Optimally, the rate should be between 5-10% and more than 15% can do more harm than good according to Childbirth Connection.

As Walden points out, the cost of a cesarean delivery is about twice that of a vaginal delivery, and  with about 4 million babies  born in the U.S. every year and the cost of a cesarean averaging about $10,000 more than  the cost of a vaginal delivery that adds up to…    30%  of 4,000,000 = 1,320,000 x $10,000 = $13,200,000,000 more being spent on c-sections in the U.S. every year than would have  been spent on vaginal deliveries.

With the rate of medically necessary c-sections being considered as less than half that, we’re talking over $6.5 billion dollars in unnecessary and very profitable medical procedures, literally at the expense of women and their babies and if you think that isn’t related to the much higher premiums that women pay for health insurance, have I got some swamp land in Florida for you.

 May 14, 2009  Posted by on May 14, 2009 Comments Off on The Girls’ Guide To The Economy 16.1–The Very Expensive C-Section Epidemic