Wednesday Wrap Up May 25

WednesdayWrapUpPetroglyph
Four important facts about preeclampsia – good for all pregnant women to know and understand.

Henci Goer fact checks the recent New Your Times article by Amy Tutuer on home birth. Spoiler alert: There are a lot of Pinnochios involved…

An OB, a CNM, a CPM and an epidemiologist walk into a bar…. or maybe just just collaborate on an article about the system changes that will be necessary to make out of hospital birth even safer in the US.

Doulas who are just getting started on DONA certification might find it helpful to read these tips from a certification packet reviewer.

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Wednesday Wrap Up May 18

WednesdayWrapUpBInterested in VBAC? There’s a free webinar tomorrow with Jen Kamel What’s the Real Deal with Vaginal Birth After Cesarean?

An interesting look at the western taboo of being a “human pacifier”

It’s unfortunate that this needs to be clarified, but I see this misconception quite often: Hospital Policy, not the same as road rules

We have a problem in the popular media and how it portrays pregnant women. This gallery shows the wide range of what full term pregnancy can look like in real life.

It’s a hard read, but it can give perspective on what it can be like for women to breastfeed as a sexual assault survivor.

Some perspective on women in medicine, and how they need doulas, too!

I like the idea of these 9 instinctive stages of newborns right after birth, but I am not so sure they are linear stages. Just 9 normal behaviors.

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Wednesday Wrap Up May 11

WednesdayWrapUpTLamaze has a cute new video out highlighting the benefits of Lamaze classes and the resources available to parents through Lamaze.

I know this article on Coercing with Kindness definitely brought a few specific providers to mind for me. This is a real issue I see often when clients are working with those providers, and it can be hard for them to see what’s coming.

Are lactation cookies, gatorade and fenugreek (oh my!) all they are cracked up to be as far as helping with milk supply?

The article racing around social media this week is that Swaddling May Increase Chances of SIDS. But before you panic, read the original study and this article about how there is more to it than scary headlines.

A nice write up on the value of midwives to women’s health globally, in honor of the International Day of the Midwife.

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Transparency in cost of hospital births

ChildbirthPricingTransparencySo there’s a video floating around Facebook right now that shows a couple complaining that they cannot find out how much it costs to have a baby in the hospital. The man in the video calls a bunch of hospitals, and no one will tell him exactly what they will charge.

One reason why this is difficult is that we don’t always know going into a birth what services will be used. Consider the following possible labor scenarios:

  • A 5 hour labor with no pain medication
  • A 40 hour induction with the use of forceps
  • A cesarean birth with complications
    • All of those scenarios will have vastly differing charges, and the hospital has no idea what version to quote you if you call. As much as parents might like to have one, and exact quote simply isn’t possible in today’s health care system.

      In the video, the man wanted to get a copy of the “chargemaster” information, but that’s considered proprietary information and isn’t a simple request. There are thousands of different things that would be listed on a hospital’s chargemaster, and it’s generally a computer database that is constantly updated and changing as well. They can’t just pop the whole thing in the mail, and since they don’t know what you may or may not use, the billing clerks (who have likely never attended a birth and seen what gets used) don’t have any idea what to include in an estimate.

      However, there is indeed a growing movement towards transparency in the cost of health care, and with a little searching you can indeed find that information. It doesn’t even take all that long. I searched all 50 states and found 21 databases in less than an hour. Since I was only looking at the first 2 or 3 Google results for each search, I may have missed some. I compiled a list below of the resources on pricing transparency available in the United States. Many states have a database covering all hospitals in the state. In some states, large health care corporations have the charges for their hospitals on their web site. Others, like Massachusetts, require hospitals and care providers to give patients the codes they will be billing under so that their insurance companies can provide an estimate. This helps those with insurance, but does not help those without insurance or with a high deductible plan who might be paying cash.

      Where a statewide database administered by a third party organization (like the state health department, a hospital association or consumer group) is available, it is linked below. I recommend searching for your state and “Healthcare pricing transparency” to see what resources might be available from insurance companies or hospital systems in your area. In my searching, I saw dozens and dozens of insurance and health system transparency resources available. So many I decided not to even try and link them here!

      The information is out there. The man in the video just didn’t know how to find it, and did not think beyond calling the hospital. In this day and age, that’s overly simplistic.

      If I missed any resources you know about, please tell me so I can add them to this list!

      Alabama

      Alaska

      Arizona

      Arkansas

      California

      Colorado

      Connecticut

      Delaware

      Florida

      Georgia

      Hawaii

      Idaho

      Illinois

      Indiana

      Iowa

      Kansas

      Kentucky

      Louisiana

      Maine

      Maryland

      Massachusetts

      Michigan

      Minnesota

      Mississippi

      Missouri

      Montana

      Nebraska

      Nevada

      New Hampshire

      New Jersey

      New Mexico

      New York

      North Carolina

      North Dakota

      Ohio

      Oklahoma

      Oregon

      Pennsylvania

      Rhode Island

      South Carolina

      South Dakota

      Tennessee

      Texas

      Utah

      Vermont

      Virginia

      Washington

      West Virginia

      Wisconsin

      Wyoming

Medical Bill Basics: ExplainedMay 11, 2016 - 8:39 am

[…] people have pointed out that there are tools to help figure out how much a birth will cost, though it’s usually on a per state basis. Late last year, you may remember that I did a couple of extensive blog posts where I took a few […]

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Wednesday Wrap Up May 4

WednesdayWrapUpBreastfeeding
It’s National Doula Month! If you want to celebrate, you can read more about how the profession of a doula has evolved over the years, see amazing images of doulas (and midwives) in action, follow Stacie Bingham’s series of guest posts every day for the whole month, or find and hire a doula for yourself!

I loved these tips from one of my favorite local doulas on Birthing With Awareness in the OR.

It’s a hard read, but a necessary read for anyone who is a doula working with moms who might experience trauma.

After a rash of local doulas getting caught up in scams, I wrote a series of posts for doulas on how to avoid getting scammed:
The “Help! I’m in Labor” chat
The “I’m moving to your area, will you help me get everything arranged?” scam
The “Exclusive Listing” trick

This site is full of great info on parent and infant sleep. There’s some data and analysis from the Survey of Mothers’ Sleep and Fatigue, a parent handout on safe sleep with your baby, and links to other information on safe sleep.

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