Childbirth Health Care
One of the leading topics of conversation for many months was the healthcare debate and the proposed changes to the healthcare system. Now that the bill has been passed, it is still hard to know exactly what changes have been implemented and which ones are still pending. Our focus in this article is to determine the needs and effects upon childbirth health care in all of its many manifestations. It is noteworthy that many organizations affiliated with pregnancy healthcare have made their cases known in terms of requesting more and better coverage for women having babies.
Pre-childbirth Health Care
Adequate health care to childbearing women demands comprehensive coverage for every woman. Many women in the US do not have adequate health insurance and as a result, their pre-childbirth health care needs are not met. Healthier pregnancies mean healthier babies, less need for interventions by the medical profession, and the net effect is lower healthcare costs. When a woman is unable to obtain pre-pregnancy counseling, she may go through her pregnancy missing vital elements that pertain to a healthy gestation for her baby. A lot of these women end up having difficulties in delivery and their babies are born with problems that could have easily been avoided had pre-childbirth health care been available.
Making It Safe & Cost Effective
Most childbearing women and their babies are healthy and are considered low-risk for complications. In light of this, it is important that they have access to healthcare in an environment that is safe and supportive of the very things that are inherent in women - the ability to give birth, breastfeed, and mother a newborn. Such an environment limits the unnatural, costly, and overused interventions that interfere with normal, healthy, birthing of babies. By expanding the pools of midwives who are qualified and family physicians who are supportive of providing opportunity for women to have their babies with limited medical intervention (if any), the costs for childbirth health care will drop significantly.
Post-childbirth Health Care
Post-childbirth health care is another factor in the high cost of pregnancy healthcare. Medical centers and hospitals end up caring for women who have undergone c-sections, often unwarranted, and are kept for several days to recover from this major surgery. Cesarean section is the most common operating room procedure in the US. If a woman and her baby are at high risk, then there is definitely the need for intervention. However, healthy women giving birth in US hospitals are likely to experience such interventions as induction, routine electronic fetal monitoring, restricted movement and other procedures that are linked to cesarean surgery.
Post-childbirth healthcare involves care of both mother and baby immediately following birth and after. Newborn screening is routine in hospitals, however, it isn't for many babies born outside of the hospital environment. Access to appropriate testing without astronomical cost to women who choose to have their babies outside of the hospital environment is an important aspect of healthcare. With the establishment of freestanding birth centers, women who opt for home birth will have access to certified midwives as well as appropriate medical backup and care should it become necessary. The birth centers would be able to assist women with post-childbirth healthcare for themselves and their newborns without high costs.
It just makes good sense to enable women to do what they do naturally in a safe environment without interventions that many times are unnecessary. It makes even better sense to cut the cost of hospitalizations by giving women access to healthcare that does not require them to be in hospital in order to have a baby.