Saturday, July 6, 2013

Getting Insurance to Pay for Midwives

Renée Martin, among those featured in
Cheryl Senter for The New York Times
Earlier this week the NYT posted an article siting America as the costliest place to give birth. Several people, myself included, cross-posted the piece and the comments section has hundreds of replies. Many people blame the insurance companies for the price of birth, while others blame doctors and hospital's often unnecessary and costly interventions. What was missing was other birthing options; at home or in a birthing center with a Midwife.

NYC has only one free standing birthing center, Brooklyn Birthing Center. This is where I hope, Gd-willing/Inshallah/Bezrat Hashem, to give birth when my partner and I get pregnant. The fact of the matter is, birthing with a midwife is substantially cheaper not because you receive inferior service, but because most midwife births are women-centered. A midwife and doula team supports a mother and her partner fully and holistically, relying not on the use of pitocin and monitoring to get the baby out, but on the body's own ability to birth a child.

Here's a quote from the article:
In the United States, the use of midwives varies hugely by state and region; they can deliver babies at a birthing center, in hospitals or in homes. They generally need physician back-up in case a pregnancy has complications they cannot handle. There are few midwife births in the South and Texas, while the rate is above 15 percent in Oregon and New Mexico. In Britain and Denmark, more than two-thirds of all births are attended by a midwife.
Read the entire article on the NYT here.

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