According to a report released on Wednesday by a group of research and advocacy organizations, the price of childbirth may be rising due to the increasing popularity of unnecessary medical procedures such as c-sections. The Milbank Memorial Fund, a coalition of government health-policy leaders, and Childbirth Connection, a research and advocacy group, produced the report.
According to a National Partnerships for Women and Families news report “The report found that U.S. hospital charges for maternal and newborn care increased from $79 billion in 2005 to $86 billion in 2006. More than $2.5 billion is spent annually on unnecessary c-sections, which now make up almost one-third of all deliveries.”
USA Today reported that there is an increasing interest in birth assistants or Doulas because they would cut costs while improving the health of the mother. More and more women everyday are trying more natural births, not only for the health and well being of their child but also because hospital births are increasingly becoming to pricey to handle. Voluntary c-sections, increased amount of sedation and drug use, and prolonged hospital visits that cost hundreds of dollars a day even with insurance are all adding to the already astronomical childbirth costs. These costs are hindering women from having safe, affordable hospital births, which could in turn lead to an increase in women opting out of prenatal and postnatal care because of expenses.