August 28, 2009 |
The photograph is a testament to human suffering, so sad you can't look at it twice. Or it's shocking pornography. In Zambia, that's a matter of very contentious debate. A woman lies on the ground in the image, midway through delivering a baby. The infant, born feet first, is dead from suffocation, the head not yet out of the womb. The photograph was one of three taken in June by the woman's husband outside a hospital in Lusaka, the capital, during a prolonged nurses strike.
December 13, 1990
Re "Dark Side of Childbirth" (Nov. 27): It must have taken great courage for Victoria Karter's husband and friends to share the tragic details of her death. Hopefully, it will encourage others with the same problem to seek help. Chemical imbalance is a terrible, insidious disease but, unfortunately, not widely understood. Even though Victoria was given medication, I wonder if health professionals also gave her the support and/or comfort they would have given if she had, say, diabetes?
December 31, 2008
Re "Midwives deliver," Opinion, Dec. 24 Better health outcomes and reduced cost are not the only benefits that midwives deliver. Midwives respect the natural pace of the birthing process, trust in the ability of a laboring woman's body and make the mom the protagonist in the birth. Doctors have the knowledge and technology to perform life-saving miracles when emergencies occur, but the routine medicalization of childbirth negatively affects the health of mothers and infants, and undermines women's confidence in their bodies and emotional bonds with their babies.
January 16, 2014 |
Amid growing scrutiny of hospital billing, a new study finds that California hospitals charged mothers $3,296 to $37,227 for a routine delivery. For women having a cesarean section, the UC San Francisco study found patients were billed $8,312 to nearly $71,000. Few of the patients in the study released Thursday had serious health issues, and most were discharged within six days of admission. "Childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization, and even for an uncomplicated childbirth, we see a staggering difference in what hospitals charge," said lead author Renee Y. Hsia, an associate professor of emergency medicine at UC San Francisco.
September 15, 2010
Deaths of women associated with childbirth have dropped by about a third since 1990, an impressive achievement, but only half the rate of decline necessary to reach the Millennium Development Goals' hoped-for 75% reduction by 2015, the World Health Organizaton said Wednesday. About 358,000 women died during childbirth in 2008, compared with 546,000 in 1990. The new figures are in close agreement with reductions announced in April by researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Queensland in Australia.
September 6, 2012 |
Google "childbirth video," and hundreds of videos pop up, some with millions of views. "The Unassisted Birth of Jason Shawn II," a YouTube video which shows a woman grunting and shrieking in an inflatable pool before giving birth on her own, has 3.5 million views, with a lot of opinionated strangers weighing in on this intensely personal moment. Some videos are so graphic you want to turn away, and so vivid that it can trigger memories women might rather forget. Nonetheless, documenting every minute has become a form of 21st century scrapbooking.