[Friday Wrap Up]: 22

So many interesting items in the news, it’s hard to keep up with it all. Here’s what I’ve been saving:

American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

When she became pregnant, Ms. Martin called her local hospital inquiring about the price of maternity care; the finance office at first said it did not know, and then gave her a range of $4,000 to $45,000. “It was unreal,” Ms. Martin said. “I was like, How could you not know this? You’re a hospital.”

Like Ms. Martin, plenty of other pregnant women are getting sticker shock in the United States, where charges for delivery have about tripled since 1996, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Truven Health Analytics. Childbirth in the United States is uniquely expensive, and maternity and newborn care constitute thesingle biggest category of hospital payouts for most commercial insurers and state Medicaid programs. The cumulative costs of approximately four million annual births is well over $50 billion.

How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby? I’m sure this is somewhere in the minds of many of the midwifery students out there in the world…

The widely cited statistic that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not be pregnant after a year of trying, for instance, is based on an article published in 2004 in the journal Human Reproduction. Rarely mentioned is the source of the data: French birth records from 1670 to 1830. The chance of remaining childless—30 percent—was also calculated based on historical populations.

In other words, millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment. Most people assume these numbers are based on large, well-conducted studies of modern women, but they are not. When I mention this to friends and associates, by far the most common reaction is: “No … No way. Really?

Getting Men to Want to Use Condoms I would love to think that some new creative condom will help increase use of contraception…but honestly…I think it’s gonna take more than condoms, no matter how cool.

Profiting from Pain This is mostly a placeholder for me to remember, once we get to opioids in pharmacology.

Disabled People Say They, Too, Want a Sex Life, and Seek Help Attaining It

But many disabled people, including Ms. Rebord, believe that they have a right to sexual assistance, a psychological and physical means to overcome their inhibitions and empower them to find love.

Marcel Nuss, a severely disabled father of two who breathes with an artificial respirator, is the author of “I Want to Make Love.” The book describes his personal fulfillment through love with his former wife and a sex life with escorts. His experiences, he said, persuaded him to support the use of sexual surrogates.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School: as if I need more reading…but still!

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