Having a baby can be an emotional upheaval, and struggling to adjust can be totally normal. But postpartum depression isn’t normal – and it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference. This short quiz can help you understand if you might be at higher risk. It can’t tell you for sure, but it CAN tell you when you should go see a professional for a better evaluation.
So there’s a video floating around Facebook right now that shows a couple complaining that they cannot find out how much it costs to have a baby in the hospital. The man in the video calls a bunch of hospitals, and no one will tell him exactly what they will charge.
One reason why this is difficult is that we don’t always know going into a birth what services will be used. Consider the following possible labor scenarios:
- A 5 hour labor with no pain medication
- A 40 hour induction with the use of forceps
- A cesarean birth with complications
All of those scenarios will have vastly differing charges, and the hospital has no idea what version to quote you if you call. As much as parents might like to have one, and exact quote simply isn’t possible in today’s health care system.
In the video, the man wanted to get a copy of the “chargemaster” information, but that’s considered proprietary information and isn’t a simple request. There are thousands of different things that would be listed on a hospital’s chargemaster, and it’s generally a computer database that is constantly updated and changing as well. They can’t just pop the whole thing in the mail, and since they don’t know what you may or may not use, the billing clerks (who have likely never attended a birth and seen what gets used) don’t have any idea what to include in an estimate.
However, there is indeed a growing movement towards transparency in the cost of health care, and with a little searching you can indeed find that information. It doesn’t even take all that long. I searched all 50 states and found 21 databases in less than an hour. Since I was only looking at the first 2 or 3 Google results for each search, I may have missed some. I compiled a list below of the resources on pricing transparency available in the United States. Many states have a database covering all hospitals in the state. In some states, large health care corporations have the charges for their hospitals on their web site. Others, like Massachusetts, require hospitals and care providers to give patients the codes they will be billing under so that their insurance companies can provide an estimate. This helps those with insurance, but does not help those without insurance or with a high deductible plan who might be paying cash.
Where a statewide database administered by a third party organization (like the state health department, a hospital association or consumer group) is available, it is linked below. I recommend searching for your state and “Healthcare pricing transparency” to see what resources might be available from insurance companies or hospital systems in your area. In my searching, I saw dozens and dozens of insurance and health system transparency resources available. So many I decided not to even try and link them here!
The information is out there. The man in the video just didn’t know how to find it, and did not think beyond calling the hospital. In this day and age, that’s overly simplistic.
If I missed any resources you know about, please tell me so I can add them to this list!
If so, I have several birth-related boards you might enjoy. You can see all my boards here or pick the individual boards below. Feel free to follow me, and please share your favorite birthy Pinterest boards in the comments!
My Birthy Stuff board is where I pin articles, products, books, and links to resources that I think will be helpful to pregnant women and families as they prepare for an upcoming birth. I also pin articles that might be useful to other doulas, or to parents who want to understand what professional doulas do. You can click on the image below to see that board.
My birth photography is where I pin some of my own work and the work of other professional birth photographers who inspire me. If you love seeing births of all kinds and the joy that a new baby brings, this might be the board for you!
And finally, this last board is where I pin the web sites of local midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and lactation consultants that I enjoy working with and refer to as needed. If you live in Utah, you might find it a useful resource.
Postpartum doulas care for the mother in the first few weeks after birth, doing light housework, providing information, hands on instruction and help with newborn care, and helping with older siblings. This is not a service I provide, but I know and love postpartum doulas! Here are some local postpartum doulas you can interview and hopefully find the perfect one for you!
Sierra Brooks CPD, CLC, LCCE
Beth Hardy PCD(DONA), SCMT, MT-BC
Heart Tones Doula
There are several kinds of professionals who help with breastfeeding, and it is a good idea to look into the exact credentials of anyone you are hiring to help you with breastfeeding. I’ll explain some of the more common letters you’ll see after someone’s name, but if you see something you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask a potential expert about her education before hiring her.
IBCLC – Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant As the most educated breastfeeding professional, IBCLCs are required to have thousands of hours of hands-on experience working side by side with a more experienced breastfeeding expert. Many IBCLCs are also nurses, and may have further experience as well. IBCLCs are required to have extensive continuing education, and to take a recertification exam periodically to ensure they keep their skills current.
CLC – Certified Lactation Counselor – this training is not as rigorous as the IBCLC, but still provides a good background in breastfeeding and is a nationally accredited program.
CBE or CLE – These stand for Certified Breastfeeding Educator and Certified Lactation Educator, and several different organizations issue these credentials, with a variety of requirements. While these professionals do have good breastfeeding information, the main point of these programs is education – teaching classes – rather than diagnosis and management of difficulty.
Peer counselor – These women generally work through WIC or other clinics and have varying amounts of training. A great first place to start, but don’t hesitate to ask for a referral to a better trained expert if you feel you are not getting the help and answers you need.
OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here are some of the lactation consultants who work in this area:
Julie Johnson, IBCLC (Salt Lake County)
Birth and Breastfeeding Solutions
Meghan Reed (Park City, Summit County and SLC area)
Meghan’s Lactation Consulting
Meghan’s Lactation Consulting
Jessica Clayton, IBCLC
Melissa Mayo IBCLC
Birth Journey Midwifery
La Leche League of Utah is a good place for peer-to-peer support, as well as a free “warmline” where you can leave a message and a trained, experienced mom will call you back. A good place to start!
The Pregnancy Risk Line is a good place to ask questions about herbs, over the counter medications, prescription drugs, and other worrisome exposures.
Salt Lake Area 801-328-2229
State Wide toll-free 1-800-822-2229
There are a few small freestanding birth centers in the Salt Lake City area. I have had the pleasure of working at all of them. If you’re thinking about an out of hospital birth, but are not quite ready for a home birth, a birth center might be a great option for you!
The Birth Center
Wasatch Midwifery and Wellness