Monday, 16 February 2009

Quick hit: Birthcare raises prices

We've had some discussions in the past about the post-birth maternity care women receive (or don't receive, as the case may be) in Aotearoa, and I see today from the NZ Herald that:
Prices have increased sharply at Birthcare Auckland for women who want a little extra pampering after giving birth.

Charges at the Parnell maternity hospital have gone up 14 per cent for the first two nights in a private room and 71 per cent for the third.


Mr Younge said Birthcare, where around 7 per cent of all women nationally had their postnatal stays, expected to receive a fair share of the extra $11 million promised by National before the election for postnatal care.

National said the money would allow mothers to stay longer in birthing facilities and have better access to breastfeeding support.

A spokesman for Health Minister Tony Ryall said the Government intended to implement this policy "as soon as we can".
I was a bit miffed by the insinuation in the headline and the first paragraph of the article that women were after "pampering" after birth, as if that wasn't well called for. You've just pushed a baby (and possibly more than one) out of your body, or had a rather serious operation, after nine months of carrying around a darling little fetus that drains your energy and gives you *insert unpleasant pregnancy side-effect here*, I think a little bit of "birthcare with frills" might be in order? Humph.


Anna said...

I've no idea what 'normal' childbirth is like - I had a caesar followed by an episiotomy, venteuse and drug-filled extravaganza (excuse spelling) - but I was pretty much incapacitated after both.

There's also the baby blues, post-natal depression, breastfeeding and the sheer need for sleep after a potentially long labour.

Azlemed said...

i have had 3 labours of under three hours each, so yay not long in that, but have also had 2 children in neonates for jaundice and everything that goes with that.....

I dont think there is such a thing as "normal" childbirth. and i dont think giving extra funding to private providers will help with the perceived problems in maternity care.

Anonymous said...

I had a very easy childbirth. 4 hours of labour in my own home, no drugs and baby latched on first go.

However for the first week all i did was feed baby, eat and sleep. My mother did everything else because frankly I wasn't capable of much.

When he was three months old I remember thinking how grateful i was that i was on the dpb because that would be the time i was expected to go back to work if i was on maternity leave. I wasn't healed by then and was full of sympathy for women who were expected to work in that condition.

How much pampering would the reporter need if he had an inch long tear through his penis?

Julie said...

Our midwife was agin Birthcare, so we never really looked at it, but I have a friend who had a wonderful birthing experience there and I know many women who have gone there after delivery and had good times. I just wish it was freely and widely available via the public system.

Anonymous said...

And here was me thinking the article would be about extra chocolate and cups of tea for new mums. I am going to have to have a wee chat with she who expects chocolate about the true meaning of pampering: basic medical care and a swift boot up the tender parts.


M-H said...

Frills? Since when did being looked after in hospital equate to frills? I know that here in Aus there has been a fair bit of talk that hospitals are in trouble because they're run on a hospitality model rather than a healthcare one, but this is just bloody silly. OTOH, when I had my babies in NZ public hospitals in the 1970s you were allowed to stay for 14 days, by law. That's right, they couldn't make you leave even if you were recovering well and breastfeeding like a champion. Most people stayed at least 5-7 days. I stayed at least a week after each of my three births. I only went home when I got sick of the food. :) With the last one, when I was going home to three pre-schoolers, I stayed ten days.

barvasfiend said...

Oh but don't you know, birth is a natural process - so of course any hospitalisation is 'pampering' by definition.

Let's rewrite this by-line using another perfectly natural biological phenomenon:

"Cancer patients will be charged extra for pampering while recovering from their proceedures".