I've been reading a fabulous new document today--Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve--available through Childbirth Connection. I wish every female would read this info-packed document, especially those who are pregnant or ever plan to be in the future. Women need to know the real facts about the slew of medical interventions they could potentially encounter in childbirth. But that's not what irks me.
As I was reading along in the document, I got to the section about epidurals and found a statistic that felt like salt in an already festering wound. The estimated increase in cost from epidural use for low-risk experienced mothers is 36%. Why should that bother me? I'm not getting an epidural anyway, right? Ha! That's where the already festering wound comes in.
Back when I was investigating my birth options a few months ago, I contacted the hospital where my midwives deliver to find out how much they charge for normal vaginal deliveries without epidurals. The woman on the line gave me a number. Then I clarified, just to be sure, that it was the cost without drugs or epidurals. She said it's the same amount whether you have an epidural or not. Umm... what? Yeah, you heard that right. I have to pay for an epidural whether I want one or not. And I tell you what... it infuriates me.
I really thought we were going to save ourselves some big bucks with my natural birth choices. But now they tell me I have to pay for a bunch of crap I don't even want? If the 36% increase stat is correct, that's a huge increase in cost for someone who will be paying out-of-pocket. &$^%#%^@^! I also asked the lady on the phone if we'd save money leaving the hospital early... say if we didn't stay overnight. Nope. You pay for a two-day stay regardless of when you check out (unless, of course, you stay longer... then they'll of course take some more of your money). Awesome. This hospital and I have gotten off to a really great start.
Have I told you I really, really hate stupid, ridiculous, retarded hospital policies? I am thinking I may try to fight this one. It makes me want to vomit.