Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birthin' and such

Did you know that we spend over $50 billion a year for child-birth related expenses? I didn't, either, but FoIB Kate H sent us the link to an interesting infographic with all kinds of birth-related info. Some, like the aforementioned costs, are more interesting than others (such as predominant hair colors). The graphic itself was apparently put together by the folks at Ultrasound Technician.

The graphic leans heavily on information gleaned by researchers at "Giving Birth Naturally," which provides more than ample citations to back up its findings.

I also found this statistic rather telling: an "[u]ncomplicated delivery ... costs anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 (which) doubles for a C-section." Group medical plans generally cover both eventualities; individual plans generally cover only unplanned C-sections. Come 2014, of course, all of these expenses will be covered under all (non-waivered) medical plans, so look for premiums to sky-rocket based on that provision alone.

One place the graphic fell short was its claim that "America ranks 29th in the world for its infant mortality rate." We've debunked this canard before, of course, but it never hurts to stress how completely screwy it is. In fact, more recent information skewers this claim even more. For example:

"France, the Netherlands, and other European countries don’t count as live births babies who weigh less than 500 grams or had less than 22 weeks of gestation. They are, instead, counted as stillbirths ... in this country, we actually try to save premature and low-birth-weight babies rather than just chalk them up to stillbirths to make our numbers look good."

Spot on.
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