Thursday, December 12, 2002
A bit of incidental trend data we picked up at the Lemaze class: Here at our fairly typical Florida hospital, c-sections this year have been running about 30% of all births. A ''natural'' birth, involving squatting, movement, etc. seems relatively rare at this facility. Eight years ago the cesarian rate was 20%, according to the Lemaze teaching nurse who began working at the hospital back in '94. The vast majority of pregnant nurses who work at the hospital choose to schedule c-sections. About 70% of women here are put on Pitocin, which increases the chances of c-sections, the nurse said. Pitocin also tends to confine many women to bed during labor - underscoring the root meaning of "confinement." Another hospital in our area which would have been more open to natural processes, including a sort of modified water birth, recently closed its Ob wing. Couldn't afford the rising costs of malpractice insurance.
Mini rant: Insurance is reshaping life itself, at least in the US. I wonder how it is where you guys are.