I'm spending the summer in Costa Rica with my family. Despite roughing it in the jungle, we do have high speed internet service, so I shall continue to contribute.
First, I'm late to the table with this, but I have to point out two important headlines:
Premature Births Increase Along with Cesareans Our haste to get babies our before they're ready is being recognized (at last!) as not such a good thing.
After Cesareans, Some See Higher Insurance Costs Adding insult to injury, many women are finding it difficult to find insurance after their surgical deliveries. My only glimmer of hope in response to this is that it will spark some backlash against our c-section-happy status quo. Being uninsurable is a huge deal. Of course, the insurance industry is largely responsible for the high rates of cesareans we're seeing these days -- the fear of malpractice lawsuits, not to mention insurance companies refusing coverage to OBs who support VBAC, etc, etc, got us where we are today. Now, painfully ironic though it may be, insurance carriers are complaining about the higher costs of the situation they helped create.
What's the birth situation in Costa Rica? Almost all women have their babies in hospitals, and many have to travel to get there. There are midwives here, but they have to practice underground to avoid prosecution (as in some states in the US, having a b`aby at home is not illegal, but practicing midwifery is). In the Talamanca region, where I am, the local indiginous population, the Bri Bri, are facing persecution for birthing at home. The government is now threatening them with prosecution for any bad outcomes of a home birth. The result is that pregnant women are sleeping in the streets as they approach their due dates, rather than facing an 8-hour walk down the mountain and into the city while they're in labor. Birth Without Boundaries is here working to change that -- I'm hoping I can help.