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Spending Your Health Care Dollars Wisely

May 12, 2011

Where will your baby will be born?

Couples who are having their first child rarely think of where the baby is to be born.  They only know of one place.  The hospital.  Statistically the answer is that less than one percent of births occur outside of hospitals — including the unplanned taxi driver delivery.

Most women who delivered at home or in a birth center are thought of as having two heads.  The idea is completely foreign to them.  It isn’t until those women have had a birth in a hospital and not liked the experience when they start looking for alternatives.  They cite not liking the lack of control they have over their birthing, the constant interruption of staff, the over use of drugs and intrusive medical procedures.

The evidence is in, and those birthing outside of the hospital are usually women who already tried a hospital birth, are of higher educational backgrounds and social-economic status then their peers.  Some might say they are smarter.  Many of the 40,000 women who birth outside of the hospital say they want to be in control of their birth and to avoid the common interventions, ranging from epidurals, to inductions, drugs and Caesarian section surgery.  But then again, the vast majority of the costs associated with birth centers and home births are paid out of pocket by the couples – might be why the women are in higher social-economic brackets.

Some say that those choosing home birth are just militant and crazy.  Their detractors are usually doctors who make their living from managing birth in the hospital.  They bring up terms like safety and infant mortality, but with the vast majority of births (99%) being handled by doctors in hospitals, then why has the rates for infant mortality and maternal mortality gotten worse in the United States.  Some say that a hospital birth is more dangerous now than ever.  Home births fluctuate under the one percentile of the national births each year.  In 2006 there were 4.3 million births, leaving just over 38,500 births in birth centers and at home.

As a man, you need to be in touch with the mother of this child, to know what her birth plan is and what she is expecting.  Choosing the right people to deliver your child is huge, and so is the environment of the birth.  This is a customer satisfaction issue.  It’s your health care dollars, so spend them wisely.

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