How to have kids the FatWallet way?

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SaulHudson said: If you're not going to breast feed, all the formula companies keep sending coupons once you sign up at their websites. Even once you decide on a formula, sign up for every brand and swap the coupons for the brand that you do use.

My area has lots of "mommy and me" sales. They're basically flea markets with baby and kid stuff. Lots of great bargains here.

I didn't see any mention of 529 accounts. Is everyone here against saving for college? I know some argue that it's not even worth it to save and better to just borrow the money.


Also, forgot to mention to sign up family members for the formula coupons too.

Some really good information here, thanks everyone.

As someone who started trying with my wife, I am still having challenges around the idea of being a father. I want kids, but it's not something you can break down into a mathematical formula or forecast how a child changes your life.

breast feed, breast feed, BREAST FEED!

Very nice contributions geo, on both the HSA/FSA and medical advice. You should update the quicksummary with a brief summary of those.

geo123 said: When it comes to pediatricians, you want to evaluate not just the person's knowledge and your comfort level with him/her but also things like call policies, which is not something that most people know to inquire about. If the after-hours calls are routed to nurses rather than MD's, if there is a close call (and, with kids, you will have plenty of those) you are much more likely to be advised to go to the emergency room, which is both expensive, wastes a ton of time and exposes your kids to more germs. To clarify, there is absolutely nothing wrong with nurses but, by definition, they don't have the same knowledge and experience as MD's, so there will be a lot more times when they won't be comfortable advising a patient to stay home.

On a related note, it is advisable to investigate various after-hours pediatric options in your area ahead of time. There will be plenty of times, especially on the weekends, when your kid's condition clearly won't qualify as an emergency but also won't allow you to just wait until the next business day to be seen by a doctor. In those situations, going to a good local after-hours pediatric place will allow you to get seen right away, won't force you to unnecessarily spend several hours in a pediatric emergency room and will be way cheaper. For parents who work, these types of after-hours places can also allow them not to be forced to take the next business day off taking your kid to their regular doctor for something relatively minor.

Very good points. Yes, a physician on call might be better able to say that your child's illness/problem can wait until first thing next morning, as opposed to a nurse being understandably overcautious and recommending going to the ER. Another advantage of having a doctor rather than a nurse on-call are the occasional after-hours situations where a prescription is needed.

Our family is fortunate to belong to an excellent clinic (covered by my PPO plan) that has an after-hours urgent care department. Our son's medical records are thus accessible, which can be really important when trying to diagnose a problem and prescribing medication. Of course, those features of the clinic have been helpful to my wife and me as well.

cameron2003 said: breast feed, breast feed, BREAST FEED!

Breast feeding may deflate your breasts. You've got to pick your priorities.

KublaKhan said: cameron2003 said: breast feed, breast feed, BREAST FEED!

Breast feeding may deflate your breasts. You've got to pick your priorities.


Breast feeding is also a form of contraceptive.

cclyde said: Get busy now, so you can have the baby in late December and get the tax deduction as if you'd had the kid all year.

Too bad full term labor is 40 weeks

princessida said: MariahJ said: childbirth prep classes, acupuncture, and possibly pre-natal massage.

Nothing wrong with them, but they're not necessities. This is FW.


My first child just turned 10 months old. Every single we learned in childbirth class went out the window when the big moment came. So, in that respect, the classes were completely useless (and I might add extremely long and boring). However, it did give a feeling of security going into the delivery that we knew what we were doing, even though in hindsight we didn't.

KublaKhan said: cameron2003 said: breast feed, breast feed, BREAST FEED!

Breast feeding may deflate your breasts. You've got to pick your priorities.


Grrrr. I probably shouldn't bother to comment on your post, but I can't resist. It's actually pregnancy, not breastfeeding, that affects breast firmness and shape. And breastfeeding can add a cup size or more for most of the duration of lactation.

Breastfeeding really can save you a ton of money over formula. Nursing can sometimes be difficult for the first few weeks, but it does get a lot easier as the baby gets stronger. I highly recommend the web site www.kellymom.com for free, well-researched breastfeeding advice. I got more useful information from kellymom.com than from the $100 per session lactation consultant we hired.

Another bit of money-saving advice for before baby arrives: some medical insurance plans reimburse for both childbirth and breastfeeding classes. Just don't forget to send in the forms.

thistle said: KublaKhan said: cameron2003 said: breast feed, breast feed, BREAST FEED!

Breast feeding may deflate your breasts. You've got to pick your priorities.


Grrrr. I probably shouldn't bother to comment on your post, but I can't resist. It's actually pregnancy, not breastfeeding, that affects breast firmness and shape. And breastfeeding can add a cup size or more for most of the duration of lactation.

Breastfeeding really can save you a ton of money over formula. Nursing can sometimes be difficult for the first few weeks, but it does get a lot easier as the baby gets stronger. I highly recommend the web site www.kellymom.com for free, well-researched breastfeeding advice. I got more useful information from kellymom.com than from the $100 per session lactation consultant we hired.

Another bit of money-saving advice for before baby arrives: some medical insurance plans reimburse for both childbirth and breastfeeding classes. Just don't forget to send in the forms.


Lactation consultant? Breast-feeding classes? I am so out of it...

Shandril said:
Breastfeeding vs. formula. Breastfeeding is doubly the winner due to cost and health benefits. However, for moms with a busy work life, formula is a blessing so dad can help at 3 am.


Conversely, for dads with a busy work life, or for dads who just want to sleep, breastfeeding is a blessing because there really isn't too much you can do to help feed the baby at 3 am.

BarryAndLevon said: Shandril said:
Breastfeeding vs. formula. Breastfeeding is doubly the winner due to cost and health benefits. However, for moms with a busy work life, formula is a blessing so dad can help at 3 am.


Conversely, for dads with a busy work life, or for dads who just want to sleep, breastfeeding is a blessing because there really isn't too much you can do to help feed the baby at 3 am.


This is why my husband and I have an agreement that I'm responsible for everything that goes into the baby and he's responsible for what comes out.

BarryAndLevon said: Shandril said:
Breastfeeding vs. formula. Breastfeeding is doubly the winner due to cost and health benefits. However, for moms with a busy work life, formula is a blessing so dad can help at 3 am.


Conversely, for dads with a busy work life, or for dads who just want to sleep, breastfeeding is a blessing because there really isn't too much you can do to help feed the baby at 3 am.


As a side note ... for those working dads whose blessed wives do the midnight work with the newborns ...

I know it may seem like a good idea, sometime, once you have the bottle thing also going, to give her a break from middle of the night breastfeeding, you know, to let her get just one good night's sleep. Don't. Her breasts will thanks you.

a bump for a good thread

December 31st.

How to have kids the FatWallet way?

You have to meet your future spouse on Fatwallet first.

Breast feeding is also a form of contraceptive.

That one is highly YMMV! I'm not sure free but unreliable contraception is such a hot deal even for the best FWer. Besides condoms are cheap http://www.amazon.com/OKAMOTO-Crown-100-Count-Pack/dp/B0029XFWPE... Once you have kids, this is a lifetime supply.

SqueakyWallet said: Breast feeding is also a form of contraceptive.

Let me put an end to this rumor. I have toddlers which debunk this myth. Also, see "Irish Twins".

Breast feeding as a contraceptive is like Russian roulette as a cure for life. Generally, yes, breast feeding makes getting pregnant less likely, but...a woman's first ovulation will *likely* happen without having a period. And if she's breastfeeding, it may happen after 2, 3, 6, 9 months. If you're sexually active, you're really putting your chips all in if you have unprotected sex.

So to keep it on topic...unless you have strong Catholic beliefs, or a medical reason to get pregnant again right away, always take the prescription for birth control from the OB at the post-partum checkup.

my children are my entire universe. i don't really like other people's kids but mine are great. lol.

I have spent very little out of pocket on my kids. I rarely purchase anything 'new' and if I do it's because childrens place has AWESOME end of season sales. I check target for shoes regularly because they're always having sales on them and I purchase all the sizes above what my kids are in because eventually they will be worn. I never pay more than $5 for a pair of shoes. I recently spent $6 a pair at tcp but had a 20% off coupon on the total so justified it.

Research how to shop CVS and Walgreens. I have had best success in stacking coupons in richer neighborhoods where the people have no idea what a coupon IS and just scan scan scan scan scan. It's totally legal but some places refuse it. these chains DO allow it. Just don't make it every day because you will ruin it for yourself and others.

Learn about those handy little coupons you get when a sale item is no longer available. Take these, save them - you can use them to get the same discount off a similar item with 90 days at most large stores.

Target has great coupons. They will let you use a target coupon WITH a manufacturing coupon. DO IT. So worth it. We spend less on name brand diapers.

I BELIEVE IN NAME BRAND. I use coupons and sales to get what I want. I use name brand diapers and recommend them because they hold more and hold for longer. You actually spend LESS because you aren't buying all the time. I also have far less blowouts with name brands.
I love name brand clothing because it is usually made to last longer. Gap jeans will almost always make it through three kids. Cherokee are far more likely to get caught on a branch and rip with the first one. Knees also wear out faster with generic. I usually buy these at yard sales or with coupons or gymbucks, etc - for whatever store it is you're looking into.
Until they're a year - clothes don't usually get 'worn' so don't have too much and don't worry about how long they'll 'last' because they aren't worn much. Have one town outfit and the rest can be sleepers and onesies.
BIB your children and stain treat right away. This will keep your clothes lasting for generations to come.

Buy gift cards on eBay. You can save a few bucks and you're going to spend your money at that store anyway - why not save few bucks? Use this for regular shopping stores and you must remind yourself that it is NOT a gift, it is your money. Don't use it frivolously just bc it's on a card. think about it. If you spend $300 a month at WalMart you can buy 6 $50 cards for about $48 on eBay. That's $12 saved right there. Of course you save more by buying more gift cards at smaller sizes bc usually regardless of the size of the card they sell for just a couple dollars less (if you catch it right - always search price lowest first on buy it now and do not be afraid to make offers on ones that you can!)

babies don't need shoes. maybe one for pictures before 6 months. overalls are also a waste of money before they can really walk around. they just rub on their little necks anyway.

check out forums that aren't so cynical. go to afullcup.com for more help.

you're on your way to savings!

MariahJ said: BarryAndLevon said: Shandril said:
Breastfeeding vs. formula. Breastfeeding is doubly the winner due to cost and health benefits. However, for moms with a busy work life, formula is a blessing so dad can help at 3 am.


Conversely, for dads with a busy work life, or for dads who just want to sleep, breastfeeding is a blessing because there really isn't too much you can do to help feed the baby at 3 am.


This is why my husband and I have an agreement that I'm responsible for everything that goes into the baby and he's responsible for what comes out.


as long as the agreement lasts until the kid is 18 I see nothing wrong with that

Great thread. I can't imagine my life without my kids. I feel sorry for those that decide not to have kids by choice, they literally do not know or realize what they are missing out on. If their decision is based on observing other peoples then they are very misguided.

jbloggs said: Great thread. I can't imagine my life without my kids. I feel sorry for those that decide not to have kids by choice, they literally do not know or realize what they are missing out on. If their decision is based on observing other peoples then they are very misguided.
I feel much more sorry for the kids whose parents are parents in name only. There's no guarantee that a couple who's adamant about not having kids will turn out to be good parents. It could happen and does happen, but it doesn't seem fair to gamble a child's quality of life on this by telling people they should have children regardless of whether they want children.

bump for an interesting thread

bump a good (mostly) thread

Get a midwife and have a home birth. Healthier for the baby, less stress for mom, cheaper (like $3-4K instead of $15-20K for a c-section).

Let them see you paying bills and have them help.

Get them on an allowance as soon as possible.

Teach your kids how to wait. Impulse control will help keep them from becoming spendthrifts.

aert said: Get a midwife and have a home birth. Healthier for the baby, less stress for mom, cheaper (like $3-4K instead of $15-20K for a c-section).When it comes to this, people should obviously make a decision that they feel is right for them. I would just hope that they don't make the decision based solely on the cost (with many insurance policies, by the way, it will be more expensive to have a home birth), as there are lots and lots of much more important considerations involved.

It should also go without saying that what is "healthier for the baby" and "less stressful for mom" is, shall we say, a rather debatable premise. I am also not quite sure why anyone would need to choose between a home birth and a c-section but that's very much outside the scope of this thread.

In addition to a rectal thermometer, which is a must have for any parents with an infant, consider purchasing an ear or a temporal thermometer.

Keep in mind that most pediatricians will tell you that if you have an infant and contact them after hours with a question, they will only accept a rectal thermometer reading, as they are considered the most precise ones. Temporal and ear thermometers are certainly a lot more expensive and less precise, but they are extremely fast. If you have a child who is really upset and not feeling well, temporal and/or ear thermometer will allow you to very quickly get a fairly good idea about the seriousness of the situation without upsetting the child even further. At that point, you'll know whether you need to use a rectal thermometer to get a precise reading or whether it's no biggie and a home treatment will suffice.

i'm not close myself but can speak from own experience.

1. please spend time with them and dont work too much or the kids will resent you.
2. take lots of pictures! i have almost no pictures from when I was younger. with digital cameras its so easy to just store it.

I haven't read everyone's posts but here's my 2 cents:

Home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Watching for grocery coupons can get you a lot of food for free or close to it. If you buy the right kinds of food you can make some tasty & healthy meals for pennies compared to what it would cost you if you went out. Pack lunches for work & school.

Think hard if you really really need that cup of coffee, can of soda or cigarette - they aren't necessary for your body and can cost thousands of thousands of dollars per year. Kick the habit and it can save you some $$, it might even keep your kids from picking up the habit too.

Breastfeed if you can for as long as you can. This doesn't work well for everyone, but if you can then maybe you should. It definitely saves money by not having to buy formula.

Buy stuff used that is still in good condition. If you ever have to re-sell it, you can usually recoup almost all of your money, it holds it re-sale value well if you bought it used to begin with but you have to take care of it. Be picky though, make sure it's in good shape or almost new. Even if it's a bike for your 12 year old, $50 for a really good used bike saves me $300 over the price the same bike would be new in the store. This goes for furniture too - especially if you have boys. Boys = destruction! Buy good furniture used when kids are little and wait to spend the $$$ on great, new/custom furniture when they're a little older and lose the desire to treat every piece of furniture like it's a trampoline or coloring board.

Teach your kids that they do not NEED to have everything NOW. That will save you a TON when you're not constantly caving in to a tantrum b/c of some lame commercial on TV for the latest/greatest whatever-gizmo that just came out and your child is screaming bloody murder in the middle of Target when you just came in for Milk and T.P.

jbloggs said: Great thread. I can't imagine my life without my kids. I feel sorry for those that decide not to have kids by choice, they literally do not know or realize what they are missing out on. If their decision is based on observing other peoples then they are very misguided.

What I am missing out on is a crapton of chronic health problems that would only get exacerbated by having kids to look after.

Having kids might be rewarding; I have no doubts about that, but I dare anyone to tell me or anyone else that having kids does NOT put an immense burden (emotional, mental, and physical stress) on a person/couple/marriage/relationship.

In my case, if a person already has problems managing their personal health, one would think the PRUDENT choice would be to be childfree - if not for the person's own health, then for the future health of possible offspring. How can one be an excellent parent if they already have problems managing their own health? Not to mention passing down piss poor genetics.

What I gain from NOT having kids is my sanity, my health in working order, and - and it deserves to be said! - a fatter wallet.

Some of us have actual LEGITIMATE REASONS to be childfree.

Don't lump everyone who is childless together and say that they're just being ignorant about not having children and that they are misguided.

Furthermore, I also agree that there is no FW way to have children.

Having children does NOT make for a fatter wallet.

The only thing you can do is ensure that your expenditures are minimized by all the awesome ideas that other FWFers have posted.

Getting raised the FatWallet way? Getting the best things in life stuff, education, friends - for little or no cost? Heres how I was raised. I was raised by a single mom yet I was raised with the finest things in life. So this is how it happened. After school I was walking to the bus stop to go home (mind you this is West Philly) and this fool I know from school was staring me down. Because he was basically my rival and there were other kids from school I stared him right back down. Now I didnt think hed do anything, but here he comes walking my way. The guy took a swung at me and luckily he missed but gave me a wide open shot to his noggin, and I punched his lights out.

Now of course as this happened my mom happened to be driving in that area. She stopped the car got out and dragged me into her car. When we got home she got on the phone with her sister and was yelling and screaming. Next thing I know Im on the next flight to LAX. When I got off the plane, I whistled for a cab and when it came near the license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I can say that this cab was rare, but I thought "nah, forget it, yo holmes to Bel-Air!"

I pulled up to the house around 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie "yo holmes, smell ya later!" I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to settle my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

Haven't seen too much on insurance plans here.. hoping some fellow parents will be able to chime in.

My plan at my company is a high deductible one, meaning I'm basically responsible for the first $3k of yearly cost, and then everything is covered. For now, that's fantastic -- my wife has to have a c-section, and we've already spent $2k so far, so the cost of the birth and everything should be about $1k.

It's when I add the child to my policy (my spouse is currently under my insurance as well, she's been out of work for some time) that my rates are going to skyrocket .. from $200 a month to $480.

Is this .. normal? Given my high deductible plan, I imagine we're going to be hitting that $3k ceiling pretty easily with a newborn in 2011, but I'm wondering by how much, and if I'm better off looking for a separate policy for the child. Is this even really an option, or would I have to switch myself (or my spouse) to that policy as well?

BilldaCat said:
Is this .. normal? Given my high deductible plan, I imagine we're going to be hitting that $3k ceiling pretty easily with a newborn in 2011, but I'm wondering by how much, and if I'm better off looking for a separate policy for the child. Is this even really an option, or would I have to switch myself (or my spouse) to that policy as well?


It depends. I've seen it done a few ways.
Doc visits on a newborn are certainly more expensive than a typical healthy adult.

Two ways I've seen it:
1) Plans for employee and X dependents. X dependents scale.. So +1 cost X more, +2 costs X+X more, etc.
2) Plans for employee and family. Basically the "family" plan covers all dependents. This basically means that those with no kids or a low number of kids subsidize those with more kids...

Almost always: A plan co-paid by the employer is going to beat going out to find one on your own...

geo123 said: It should also go without saying that what is "healthier for the baby" and "less stressful for mom" is, shall we say, a rather debatable premise.

Medical studies have shown that delivery through the birth canal coats the baby with a layer of beneficial microbes that protect the baby's skin as it is exposed to the outside world for the first time. Babies delivered via C section have statistically higher incidences of various skin problems - rashes, infections, etc.

jcbrooks said: geo123 said: It should also go without saying that what is "healthier for the baby" and "less stressful for mom" is, shall we say, a rather debatable premise.

Medical studies have shown that delivery through the birth canal coats the baby with a layer of beneficial microbes that protect the baby's skin as it is exposed to the outside world for the first time. Babies delivered via C section have statistically higher incidences of various skin problems - rashes, infections, etc.
This isn't the issue. Aert suggested that it is "healthier for the baby, less stress for mom" to have a home birth than a hospital birth. To that I pointed out that it should also go without saying that what is "healthier for the baby" and "less stressful for mom" is, shall we say, a rather debatable premise.

geo123 said: jcbrooks said: Medical studies have shown that delivery through the birth canal coats the baby with a layer of beneficial microbes that protect the baby's skin as it is exposed to the outside world for the first time. Babies delivered via C section have statistically higher incidences of various skin problems - rashes, infections, etc.This isn't the issue. Aert suggested that it is "healthier for the baby, less stress for mom" to have a home birth than a hospital birth. To that I pointed out that it should also go without saying that what is "healthier for the baby" and "less stressful for mom" is, shall we say, a rather debatable premise.
I really think people need to spend as much time thinking about how to have the birth as they do about what color to paint the baby's room.
My wife and I recently watched an interesting documentary called the business of being born: http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/ It is available on Netflix on demand in case anyone is interested.
While a homebirth is likely not in the cards for us (we are not even pregnant) we wanted to better understand the reasons for homebirth vs hospital birth. Many of our friends have had c-sections, under suspicious, possibly unnecessary, circumstances. It is a fact that there are more c-sections than necessary, so from a financial standpoint (c-section costs more, mom is possibly out of work longer) it is good to be educated on how to avoid them. There is in fact a middle ground between homebirth and going to the hospital and doing whatever they say. Many larger cities have birthing centers with midwives who are also nurses and know when to immediately transfer you to the hospital. In our area we do not have this as an option, but there are other things you can do to lessen the risk of c-section. One thing we read was to wait a while after your water breaks to go to the hospital. Basically the clock starts ticking once you arrive, so just wait at home for several more hours until the contractions get closer. Also some people suggest refusing an IV line and/or continuous fetal monitoring lessen the risk of c-section. Finally, depending on your circumstances you can refuse to be induced (induction increases risk of c-section) and/or refuse an epidural.
I am not a medical doctor. But even though I am not a car mechanic, my limited research of my car problems prior to visiting the mechanic frequently saves me unnecessary repairs and leads to better decisions being made. The same thing can be said about your medical care, including baby deliveries.

biomedeng said: There is in fact a middle ground between homebirth and going to the hospital and doing whatever they say. Many larger cities have birthing centers with midwives who are also nurses and know when to immediately transfer you to the hospital.With the caveat that my wife is an MD and so are most of our friends, I would tell you that an exceedingly small number of MD's out there think of this as a middle ground when it comes to their own choices. Everyone out there agrees that there is more than just purely medical considerations that influence people's decisions, so there is no objectively correct choice when it comes to this issue. From a purely medical perspective, however, you need to be aware that there can be an enormous practical rather than just a theoretical difference between "knowing when to immediately transfer you to the hospital" and actually having enough time to do so.

If you ask, OB's will tell you about quite a few experiences that every single one of them has had where there would not have been enough time to transfer the mom to a hospital and an emergency c-section was a true emergency. Given the fact that to a lot of people this is simply not a purely medical issue, different people end up making different choices, as they are entitled to. Before making this decision, however, I would just take the time to talk to your doctor to make sure that you are clear on the medical consequences of your decision.

I am not a medical doctor. But even though I am not a car mechanic, my limited research of my car problems prior to visiting the mechanic frequently saves me unnecessary repairs and leads to better decisions being made. The same thing can be said about your medical care, including baby deliveries.This is all perfectly fine but I think you'll find that this is one of these things where your actual experience will end up being substantially different from the way that you and your spouse imagine it being after watching various educational films. It certainly doesn't mean that you shouldn't spend time educating yourself and coming up with a plan that you and your doctor will be comfortable with, but I think that the whole experience will be substantially less stressful for both of you if you also keep in mind that a lot of these things are unpredictable, that things don't always go according to plan and you shouldn't freak out if and when your entire plan goes out the window because something has changed rather drastically.

geo123 said: With the caveat that my wife is an MD and so are most of our friends, I would tell you that an exceedingly small number of MD's out there think of this as a middle ground when it comes to their own choices. Everyone out there agrees that there is more than just purely medical considerations that influence people's decisions, so there is no objectively correct choice when it comes to this issue. From a purely medical perspective, however, you need to be aware that there can be an enormous practical rather than just a theoretical difference between "knowing when to immediately transfer you to the hospital" and actually having enough time to do so.
If you ask, OB's will tell you about quite a few experiences that every single one of them has had where there would not have been enough time to transfer the mom to a hospital and an emergency c-section was a true emergency. Given the fact that to a lot of people this is simply not a purely medical issue, different people end up making different choices, as they are entitled to. Before making this decision, however, I would just take the time to talk to your doctor to make sure that you are clear on the medical consequences of your decision.

I am not looking to start a fight, but I felt compelled to reply to your last post. I am not surprised that MDs will choose standard hospital delivery, because they will generally believe in the industry they work in. Please understand I am very very far from the typical hippie person who wants a home birth. In general I embrace most modern medical care and pharmaceuticals.
I became interested in the medical care received during childbirth after nearly every friend I have known has had a c-section. In addition to my anecdotal friend's experiences, there is strong evidence that the number of c-sections in the US is too high (just look at the tremendous growth in the number of c-sections in the last 30 years). Even more surprising is how the rate of c-sections varies dramatically between hospitals. The movie I mention suggested there is a peak in c-sections at 4 pm and 10 pm, which makes no scientific sense (but does suggest that some doctors will do a c-section to go home). I agree that a birth is unpredictable, and a c-section is absolutely necessary for things like breech birth. Still, like for any medical care, it pays huge to make well-informed decisions. I was shocked to learn that it is much much more difficult to birth the baby when laying down in the hospital bed. Simply standing up to push out the baby can make it much easier on the mother.
Baby deliveries are big big money for hospitals. Apparently the medical reimbursement rates must be higher for births than other more routine procedures. Just look at all of the fancy "birthing centers" now at most hospitals. You cannot deny that there is a financial benefit to the hospital and doctor to reduce the duration of child birth. A mom laboring for 24 hours will net them the same amount as a mom laboring 6 hours, yet for the shorter case, they can get 3 more babies (and 3X the money) done in the same amount of time. C-sections also net more money and save time.

biomedeng said: I am not looking to start a fight...Neither am I and am sorry if my previous reply suggested otherwise. You are an excellent poster and I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. When you are in a rush and doing several things at the same time, as I was and am, it is sometimes easy for a post to sound a lot harsher than it was intended to be.

I am not surprised that MDs will choose standard hospital delivery, because they will generally believe in the industry they work in.Absolutely. At the same time, if you aren't going to trust MD's when it comes to medical decisions, whom are you going to trust?

In addition to my anecdotal friend's experiences, there is strong evidence that the number of c-sections in the US is too high (just look at the tremendous growth in the number of c-sections in the last 30 years)...I agree that a birth is unpredictable, and a c-section is absolutely necessary for things like breech birth.The issue is, the growth in the number of c-sections doesn't exactly tell you all that much. You say that a c-section is absolutely necessary for things like breech birth but this wasn't always the case. I, for instance, was breech when I was born, no c-section was performed because c-sections weren't performed for things like that and the birth went without any problems. As we continue to study certain complications, our understanding about their risks evolves and so do treatment methods. Hence, the mere growth in the number of c-sections doesn't necessarily tell you much about the issue.

I don't think that there's too much of a debate in the medical community that a certain percentage of c-sections is unnecessary but it's a very difficult issue. These types of calls are always judgment calls and it is often difficult to second guess them, especially in fairly close cases. It is just like with tearing vs. episiotomies (if you are reading this and don't know what I am talking about, do yourself a favor and don't google it). On the one hand, you obviously don't want an unnecessary episiotomy. On the other, if you fail to control the tearing, the consequences could be far, far worse.

Regardless, from a lay person's point of view, the focus on c-sections is a bit misplaced. The focus ought to be on finding a doctor that you are comfortable with and whom you trust and then relying on him/her to advise you regarding the safest and most "comfortable" way to have a baby, both for the mother as well as for the baby. Depending on what's going on, a c-section will sometimes be the safest and the most "comfortable" way to do so and in many times it won't. As a lay person, you'll be best served by selecting the doctor that's right for you and then relying on him/her to make the right decision.



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