Posts Tagged ‘ birth ’

Cost of Giving Birth Skyrockets, New Analysis Shows

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Over the past 15 years, the cost of delivering a baby vaginally in a hospital has more than doubled, and the cost of Cesarean sections–which have also increased in frequency–have skyrocketed by 70 percent during that period.  More from NBC.com:

Over the last 15 years, the cost of vaginal deliveries has practically doubled in the United States, shooting up from $4,918 to $9,294, while the cost of C-sections has increased 70 percent from an average of $8,268 to $14,055, according to Truven Health Analytics.

By contrast, the average cost for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery last year in Switzerland was $4,039 and the average cost in France was $3,541, according to the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP). That’s nearly half to a third of what it cost in the U.S.

In fact, the United States is the most expensive place in the world to give birth, according to the IFHP. The reason, experts say, has to do with the way hospitals calculate our bills.

“Every time you walk into the hospital, they look at everything that happens to you and say, ‘Can I bill for that?’” explained Gerard Anderson, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management.

“So, if you get an aspirin, they’re going to bill for that. If you get seen by a specialist, they’re going to bill for that.”

Even when families do have insurance, their portion of the bill can be staggering.

Image: Pregnant woman in the hospital, via Shutterstock

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Study Examines Whether Newborns Are Weighed Too Early

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Researchers at the University of Ottawa School of Nursing have just released a study that suggests that parents might be made to worry unnecessarily if their newborn babies’ weight drops, if the baby was weighed mere moments after birth.  The Boston Globe reports:

The researchers recorded the amount of oral and IV fluids mothers were receiving while in labor or before a C-section, and had parents weigh their babies every twelve hours in the weeks immediately after delivery. They found that the more fluids moms got in the two hours before delivery, the more weight their baby lost post-partum.

So what does that tell us about birth weight? It might be artificially high because of those fluids mom took in, say the authors. “Intuitively, clinicians and parents want to see the neonate return to birth weight,” they write in this month’s issue of the International Breastfeeding Journal. But, “if it is inflated, then the expectations for a return to birth weight in the first days are questionable.”

Instead of using birth weight as a baseline, the authors suggest, use the weight of the baby when it’s one day old. That gives the baby’s weight time to stabilize.

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