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April 11, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
Following a flurry of complaints, Los Angeles County inspectors have cited 16 "maternity hotel" owners for illegally operating boardinghouses in residential zones. The facilities, all in Rowland Heights or Hacienda Heights, will ultimately be shut down, county officials said. No major health or safety issues were found at the hotels, where women from Asia stay to give birth to U.S. citizen babies. Some were cited for building and fire code violations, according to a report released Thursday.
January 27, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County residents are growing weary of maternity hotels in their neighborhoods, filing 60 complaints in the last month alone, according to a report by the county Planning Department. The surge, from just 15 complaints spread over the previous five years, appears related to media coverage of a Chino Hills case in early December, which may have encouraged people to come forward. The facilities are typically set up in single-family homes in quiet residential neighborhoods, particularly in the San Gabriel Valley.
January 5, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
An alleged maternity hotel operating out of a hilltop mansion in Chino Hills has apparently shut down after city officials obtained a temporary restraining order against its owners. The mansion allegedly housed women from China who traveled to California to give birth to American citizen babies. In a Dec. 7 court filing, Chino Hills officials describe a seven-bedroom house divided into 17 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms, with mothers and their babies staying in 10 of the rooms. The owners did not obtain permits to remodel the property, nor were they allowed to operate a business in a residential zone, the complaint stated.
January 3, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
USA Baby Care's website makes no attempt to hide why the company's clients travel to Southern California from China and Taiwan. It's to give birth to an American baby. "Congratulations! Arriving in the U.S. means you've already given your child a surefire ticket for winning the race," the site says in Chinese. "We guarantee that each baby can obtain a U.S. passport and related documents. " That passport is just the beginning of a journey that will lead some of the children back to the United States to take advantage of free public schools and low-interest student loans, as the website notes.
December 4, 2012 | By Susan Denley
It looks like we'll be seeing more stylish maternity clothes. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were forced to announce they are expecting on Monday when Kate was admitted into a hospital, suffering from a rare form of acute morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum that can lead to dehydration and other complications. [Forbes] And there are those who are speculating -- hoping? -- that this could mean twins. [Telegraph] If all goes well, we know the duchess will wear some splendid maternity clothes.
May 20, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Tribune newspapers
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama Alison Bechdel Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 290 pp., $22 First things first: If you haven't read "Fun Home," Alison Bechdel's 2006 family memoir in comic form, drop everything and get a copy right away. In its pages, Bechdel does the miraculous: tracing deftly and with nuance her complex, claustrophobic relationship with her father, an English teacher and closeted gay man who died in 1980 (in what was either accident or suicide), shortly after Bechdel came out as a lesbian.
May 13, 2012 | By Heather John, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When I discovered I was pregnant with our second child, I pulled out the storage bin containing the maternity clothes from my first pregnancy and was instantly depressed. After nine months of wearing a Diane von Furstenberg maternity wrap dress and Lilly Pulitzer maternity shift in heavy rotation — and I mean heavy in every sense — I couldn't face another pregnancy in these same few outfits. But at $300 for designer maternity dresses I would wear another half a year at most, I wasn't prepared to splurge on an entirely new pregnancy wardrobe.
October 4, 2011
Every American has a stake in the quality of care that pregnant women receive. Good prenatal care, which reduces the number of premature and low-birth-weight babies, is an extremely effective investment, saving $1.37 in future healthcare costs for every $1 spent. But who should cover the upfront cost of providing that care? Just pregnant women? Couples who want kids? That's been the approach of most insurers in the market for individual and small-group policies; they make maternity-related coverage an expensive option if they offer it at all, meaning that the cost of the coverage is borne by the relatively small number of people who choose it. Congress has already decided to change that practice.
October 1, 2011 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Anh Van never intended to have children. So when she went to the doctor for what she believed was the flu, she was surprised to discover she was pregnant. Then she got another shock: Her private insurance didn't include maternity care. Van, who has insulin-dependent diabetes, called several companies but couldn't find anyone willing to cover her pregnancy.  "Every insurance company we called basically denied us," said her husband, Brian Huh. "It was pretty appalling. " Although HMOs and employer-based insurance policies in California are required to include maternity care, individual policies are not. That leaves women who are self-employed or not covered at work with few options, including paying out of pocket for pregnancy and childbirth costs.
September 16, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
Bridget Moleboheng woke up at 5:45 a.m. in the hospital operating room. Gradually her senses returned. A splitting headache. An oxygen tube in her mouth and medical equipment attached to her body. But all of it was turned off. "A nurse came in and said it was a miracle I was still alive. " When Moleboheng arrived to give birth the day after Christmas last year, she says, the doctors and midwives at Sebokeng Hospital near Johannesburg told her she was behaving like an arrogant white "madam" by asking too many questions and refusing to have a caesarean section because they wouldn't let her read the consent form.
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