How much does a C-Section really cost?

This article in the New York Times features a friend of mine from Holistic Moms.  She was denied health coverage because of her previous c-section.

This brings up some interesting ideas.  We have the highest c-section rate in the world, yet it has not improved our birth outcomes any.  In fact, I learned in my doula training that the US is 32nd in the world for positive birth outcomes.

Obviously, caesareans can be life saving operations, and thank god we have them, but why do countries who have 10% caesarean rates have better mother and infant mortality rates than the US, who has a 30% caesarean rate?  Does that suggest that maybe caesareans are being performed that don’t have to be?  Does it not say that 60% of the c-sections performed in this country could probably be skipped (or prevented), with potentially better results?

Women don’t get a lot of choice about whether or not they’re going to have a c-section in this country.  There are ways to avoid it, but most women are not educated as to how, or even why, they should attempt to avoid a c-section.  C-sections are quicker and more profitable for hospitals and insurance companies, in the long run, and have a CYA feel to them that is believable by those who don’t know much about normal birth (which is most everyone in this country).  They are even more profitable if insurance companies are able to charge customers more after they have one.


About Rockingthehomestead

Badass feminist environmentalist.
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3 Responses to How much does a C-Section really cost?

  1. faerylandmom says:

    So true.

    It’s so tragic to me that so many women simply don’t know their options. It’s why I became a doula. Somebody’s gotta tell the world, right? 🙂

  2. Katy says:

    Since most of my friends are about to give birth this is a conversation that we just had recently. Out of 6 pregnant friends, 2 of them had c-sections and it would have been 3 if 1 of them hadn’t have stood up for herself and fought with her doctor about it. That is just weird and wrong to me. Why are doctor’s so quick to make women have c-sections?

    On the other hand, on the 30% mortality rate thing, one of my best friends is a labor and delivery nurse at our local county hospital. All of her patients are low income and it is RARE for them to see a women who has had prenatal care. It isn’t uncommon for them to see women in labor who have never seen a doctor and don’t know how far a long they are.

    So while I think the c-section thing is wrong and moms need to more educated about their options when doctors try to push for unnecessary surgery, I think the mortality rate has more to do with economic factors and making heath care more accessible in general.

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review « All Natural, Single Mothering 101

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