Anyone check themselves out of the hospital shortly after birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a planned hospital delivery with a midwife when my DS was born. The L&D unit was excellent -- big, beautiful rooms, jacuzzi tubs, etc. However, after birth, they move you to the "Mom and baby unit", which was awful. There are only TWO private rooms on the whole unit -- every other room is shared. (And of course, both private rooms were taken when I was there, so I had to share.)

I arrived in my "mom and baby room" (which is such a misnomer, it makes me angry) after being in labor all night, not having slept well in WEEKS, and ready for a big breakfast and a giant nap. Instead, I had a roommate who watched movies rather loudly, had no fewer than 18 visitors tromping in and out of the room over the course of the day, and did not allow me to sleep. In order to get to the bathroom, I had to walk past her half of the room and I didn't feel comfortable doing that in front of all of her guests.

The big clincher was that this hospital has a rule that if your baby is in your room, you must have the lights on at all times. So, at night, the baby either has to be in the nursery if you want the lights off, or you can have the baby in your room, but must keep the lights on. Believe me, I raised a HUGE fit, had my DH and the midwife complain to management, etc., but they refused to budge. I turned the lights off, and the nurses would come in and turn them back on. They claimed the nurses needed to be able to see to do vital sign checks.

You all know how vulnerable you feel after giving birth -- I was in a lot of pain, SOOOO exhausted, and just wanted to snuggle my baby and sleep.

So, here's my dilemma. I really liked the midwifery practice I used -- they have a freestanding birth center -- but my DH will NOT hear of delivering there. The midwives only have admitting privelelges at this one hospital, so going to another hospital isn't an option if I want to continue to use these midwives for my next pregnancy.

Has anyone given birth in a hospital and left shortly afterward? Did you have any problems with it? I know if I gave birth in the birth center, I would go home within 4-12 hours, so I would assume I could do the same in the hospital. I had an epidural, so I know I would have to stay until that was completely worn off. Does anyone know of any reason you would have to stay in the hospital longer after having an epidural? Is there any reason you need to be monitored after it has worn off?

If you're still reading, thank you! Sorry for the ramble.
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#2 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 10:35 AM
 
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but my DH will NOT hear of delivering there.
But your Dh will not be the one delivering anyone!!! This troubles me :

As for leaving the hospital early. I was in the ER for 12 hours and after all testing was done, had been waiting another 2 hours, and no one came by with my papers to leave, yet wouldn't tell me what the hold up was. Finally I said for get this, and grab a nurse to tell her I was leaving. She wuickly got the doctor who said that if I left my insurance would not cover it. I would be leaving without medical consent.

Of course I stayed because I am sure a 14 hour ER visit would have been outrageously expensive, then when I got home I called our insurance and found out that it was true

I assume the same would apply to leaving the hospital agter birth if it was against doctors orders. If they allowed you to go, that would be another thing.

Luckily because of crappy insurances, mamas are staying in hospital for shorter and shorter amounts of time.
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#3 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 11:10 AM
 
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The hospital I delivered at reccomends *at least* a 24 hr stay, but you can leave before that or you can stay as long as you like. If you have some sort of after care (midwife, public health nurse, mama etc ), I think it's fine to go home whenever you wanna, but if not, it might be better to stay a bit unless you're comfortable going back to the hospital in the event of any complications. There are things like retained placenta, jaundice etc that don't show up for a bit and getting nursing established can be challenging sometimes. If you're using a midwife,doula and/or LC, this usually isn't an issue, as they're very thorough w/ home visits, follow-up etc.

My ds was born at 4:57 on monday and I left at 2 on wednesday. I'd have left sooooooo much earlier, but ds became jaundiced (not serious enough for treatment but made bf'ing challenging)and we weren't getting the hang of nursing as quick as I thought we should be (first baby, knew NOTHING) and I was a little nervous about this. The nurses and LC at the hospital let me know I could leave at any time or saty as long as I liked. They were very supportive about Bf'ing and came in at all hours of the day and night to help us out. Oh, and there, you *HAVE* to room-in with your babe, it's the only way they do it. Nurses come around to wake you to BF your babe in case babe or you sleep thru it. That whole 'lights on' thing is a huge crock! The buggers!

After we got home, the LC called to find out how we were doing and a public health nurse visited us twice. I could have called her at ANY time to get her to come out to my house as well. She was fantastic!

So, after ALL that, I think it depends on the hospital (if they're supportive or not) and your own comfort level. Next time around, I think I'll leave MUCH earlier.

Bottom line, you need your rest and you need to feel free to bond with your baby however you see fit to .

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#4 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by Potty Diva
[B

As for leaving the hospital early. I was in the ER for 12 hours and after all testing was done, had been waiting another 2 hours, and no one came by with my papers to leave, yet wouldn't tell me what the hold up was. Finally I said for get this, and grab a nurse to tell her I was leaving. She wuickly got the doctor who said that if I left my insurance would not cover it. I would be leaving without medical consent.

Of course I stayed because I am sure a 14 hour ER visit would have been outrageously expensive, then when I got home I called our insurance and found out that it was true

I assume the same would apply to leaving the hospital agter birth if it was against doctors orders. If they allowed you to go, that would be another thing.

[/B]
This is a good point -- I didn't realize this! I will definitely talk to my MW and see if she would discharge me early, to avoid problems with insurance.
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#5 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 11:40 AM
 
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Originally posted by pumpkinhead
The hospital I delivered at reccomends *at least* a 24 hr stay, but you can leave before that or you can stay as long as you like. If you have some sort of after care (midwife, public health nurse, mama etc ), I think it's fine to go home whenever you wanna, but if not, it might be better to stay a bit unless you're comfortable going back to the hospital in the event of any complications. There are things like retained placenta, jaundice etc that don't show up for a bit and getting nursing established can be challenging sometimes. If you're using a midwife,doula and/or LC, this usually isn't an issue, as they're very thorough w/ home visits, follow-up etc.

My ds was born at 4:57 on monday and I left at 2 on wednesday. I'd have left sooooooo much earlier, but ds became jaundiced (not serious enough for treatment but made bf'ing challenging)and we weren't getting the hang of nursing as quick as I thought we should be (first baby, knew NOTHING) and I was a little nervous about this. The nurses and LC at the hospital let me know I could leave at any time or saty as long as I liked. They were very supportive about Bf'ing and came in at all hours of the day and night to help us out. Oh, and there, you *HAVE* to room-in with your babe, it's the only way they do it. Nurses come around to wake you to BF your babe in case babe or you sleep thru it. That whole 'lights on' thing is a huge crock! The buggers!

After we got home, the LC called to find out how we were doing and a public health nurse visited us twice. I could have called her at ANY time to get her to come out to my house as well. She was fantastic!

So, after ALL that, I think it depends on the hospital (if they're supportive or not) and your own comfort level. Next time around, I think I'll leave MUCH earlier.

Bottom line, you need your rest and you need to feel free to bond with your baby however you see fit to .
Pumpkin,
The difference is, you're in Canada with healthcare that is afforded everyone. You don't have insurance companies not wanting to pay for more than they absolutely have to.
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#6 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 12:59 PM
 
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Well, I know my mom walked out of the hospital 24 hours after I was born because they wouldn't allow rooming in and they were giving me some kind of sugar water solution against her wishes. She had a natural birth though, so I don't know how that is affected by an epidural.

Personally, I would be talking with dh about the birth center. His feelings are important, but you are the one giving birth, and need to feel comfortable and confident in your surroundings. I only wish there was a freestanding birth center in my area - that would be my first choice!
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#7 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 02:11 PM
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I signed a waiver - aggreeing not to hold the hospital accountable for my health or my babies health....I left 9 hours after my first born and 6 hours after my second....my third was born at home - unassisted.

They will strongly discourage it and give you lots of what if's....but they can't force you to stay against your will. (as far as I know)
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#8 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally posted by Ame
I signed a waiver - aggreeing not to hold the hospital accountable for my health or my babies health....I left 9 hours after my first born and 6 hours after my second....my third was born at home - unassisted.

They will strongly discourage it and give you lots of what if's....but they can't force you to stay against your will. (as far as I know)
The problem isn't with whether the doctors care if you go or not, but about insurance.

I know *I* wouldn't want to foot the bill for a hospital birth :
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#9 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 02:24 PM
 
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I left in less than 12 hours after the birth of each of my three. I needed to be home, so I left. They did make feeble attempts to talk me into staying, but I never regretted going home ASAP!
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#10 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would assume that if my MW were to sign discharge orders for me 12 hours after birth, the insurance company wouldn't have a problem with that, right?
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#11 of 47 Old 11-09-2003, 05:28 PM
 
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I left my freestanding birth center 4 hours after giving birth--people thought I was nuts, but it was so much better being home in my bed! I loved it.

I'd definitely work on going to the BC next time. Not sure what DH's objections are, but they won't let you deliver there if it is unsafe--they will transfer you to the hospital.

It was fantastic--best experience of my life! I just don't have enough good words to say about it all.

Sorry you had a bad experience at the hospital.
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#12 of 47 Old 11-10-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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HI Sharon,

I think it's in your best interest to find out the specifics of your hospital's policy on discharge for mom and baby after birth. When I had my son, he was required to stay for at least 24 hours although I was free to leave. Of course I couldn't really leave either, then if he was still there!

Maybe you can talk more with your DH about his reasons for not trusting the birth center.
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#13 of 47 Old 11-10-2003, 12:48 PM
 
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Talk to DH!!!!!! Ask him to remember how horrible it was to be in a shared room with the visitors and the bizarre lights thing. That sounds downright unhealthy for both mom and baby. If he liked the midwives he should be fine. If he still won't budge remind him you are the one who is delivering the baby, YOU are the one who needs to be comfortable! If you can calmly get him to agree with you, it sounds like he might budge by the time the next baby is born...even show him this thread. If he sees that the hospitals policies are ridiculous (and all of us women who have had babies before agree) he might change his mind.

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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#14 of 47 Old 11-10-2003, 05:34 PM
 
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Okay, I just reread my post, and perhaps I did go on a bit too much, which isn't all that unusual for me...

That said, the *POINT* was that different hospitals have different policies. There ARE hospitals in Canda where they're inclined to rush Mama's out the door before they're ready and I'm quite sure some docs make some mama's stay longetr than they'd like. I guess the dif is that their health care still gets paid for if they leave AMA (against medical advice). Believe it or not tho, some one (TAXPAYERS/GOVERNEMENT) still has to foot the bill for this care and there IS such thing as private health coverage/insurance, even in Canada.

I know a lady who birthed in Hfx who was booted out the door 12 hrs after birth and she went willingly, to be rushed back by abulance 16 hrs later HEMMORHAGING. Every hospital IS DIFFERENT!

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#15 of 47 Old 11-10-2003, 08:37 PM
 
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If I were you I would check the hospital's policys. Most hospitals will let you go when your MW clears you to leave, but around here they keep the baby for at least 24 hours. You do, of course, have the right to check the baby out, but they have the right to take custody of the child if they suspect for any reason that the baby's health might be in jeopardy. This includes an infant who has not voided or eliminated, is starting to jaundice, or most any other reason. Its ridiculous.

In order to get home without staying, you should talk to your husband about the birth center. They really are the best of all worlds for low risk moms. They are usually within minutes of a hospital in case there is an emergency and have lower intervention rates. Besides that, you can be home 6 hours PP if thats what you want...
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#16 of 47 Old 11-10-2003, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH is one of those "What if" people. He RELUCTANTLY agreed to go with a CNM for my prenatal care, as he thought, "WHAT IF you need a C-section? They won't be able to do it." I explained that I would be in the hospital, and that they could just page the on-call doctor should an emergency arise. I did finally convince him, but I think I would have a really hard time with the birth center idea where there is no operating suite and there is no on-call doctor.
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#17 of 47 Old 11-10-2003, 11:38 PM
 
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I did with my DD1, but it was a hassle. It took about 12 hours to get out of there though we were ready much earlier. Even then, we were checking out AMA (had to sign waivers, etc.).

Also, some hospitals just don't do that. Where we're living now, people are lucky to escape with their babies after 48 hours, due to an over-vigilant pediatrics staff.

I had a homebirth with DD2 and avoided the problem entirely.

This is really a decision where you should have more power than your DH. Yes, it is his child too - but your labor, birth, pregnancy, and happiness.

Nancy
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#18 of 47 Old 11-11-2003, 12:42 AM
 
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I tried to leave with my son before the doctor discharged him and was threated that my insurance wouldn't cover anything We had a horrible pediatrician fill in on the weekend and there was no way he was going to let us go. He was really mad when he found out we wanted to leave despite what he said. He didn't even care that my mom was a pediatric nurse and she was staying with us. Glad we never saw him again! We ended up staying 5 long days due to my son's low birth weight and jaundice and I hardly slept the whole time. It was so much easier to work on breastfeeding at home. I had nurse after nurse tell me different things about how to nurse. Now I wonder if they all had experience nursing. I just tried to listen to the LC. I want to check out as soon as possible this time around too.
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#19 of 47 Old 11-13-2003, 07:07 PM
 
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I've left the hospital at 12,6,4,and six hours the first two were at home.I,ve never felt safe birthing in a hospital.My hospital labors were mercifully short-less than an hour with no interventions,As if they had time!number seven will be at home.Thank God I found a wonderful midwife and doula.As for any objections dh might raise-he's not giving birth,I am! Dr.Mendelsohn said in one of his books that the smartest thing you can do is get out! quickly after hospital births.the risk of infection from hospital borne bacteria is that great! Good luck.
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#20 of 47 Old 11-14-2003, 02:19 PM
 
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I'm kind of struggling with the same thing, so this is more of a "me too!" post than any solid suggestions.

The main points seem to be 1) talk to your midwife beforehand and see if you can get support from her 2) talk to your insurance company and make sure they will still pay if you do decide to leave before they clear you.

The hospital where I will be birthing is beautiful-- private LDR/Postpartum rooms (you are in the same room from the time you check in until the time you leave, there isn't even a separate triage area, it is all done in the maternity room), rooms big enough for a laboring woman to feel comfortable with private bathroom with shower (no tub ), and they are nicer than the last few hotels I've stayed in. My issue is that my husband will only have a few days off of work and I want to be at home with him and my kids rather than in a hospital. I'll have plenty of help at home, and know I'll rest better than if I was in the hospital.

When I had my second, I found out that some insurance companies are insisting on at least 24 hours stays for mother and baby to cut down on ER trips for things like jaundice, retained placenta, and other little things that pop up a day later. I know that mine doesn't, but that is the reasoning behind these ridiculous policies. It is all about the money, you know.

I have heard horror stories of social services being called in when mothers try to leave with their babies before the hospital staff is ready for them to do so. The charges, as it were, are almost never are followed through on unless there is really a serious health problem that threatens the baby's life. You can leave whenever you want and no one will care, it is your baby they are "concerned" about. However, that is a hassle I would certainly want to avoid.

I think I'm willing to stay 24 hours, and that is it.
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#21 of 47 Old 11-16-2003, 07:46 PM
 
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A miswife I recently interviewed had this to say, and is my suggestion...to both you and my dh "if you have so many restrictions, maybe you should have your baby at home...that would solve all of your problems" hehehe
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#22 of 47 Old 11-17-2003, 12:32 AM
 
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It is my understanding that Congress passed an Act that required a stay for both mother and baby for no less than 48 hours after birth, nationwide.

I do not know on what grounds Congress can pass such a law, but I know I heard this.

I understand that this was in 1997 under Clinton.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#23 of 47 Old 11-17-2003, 12:36 AM
 
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My own mom left the hospital in 1961 four hours after the frank breech birth of her fifth child. Her other eight children were born at home, which includes me.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#24 of 47 Old 11-17-2003, 12:48 AM
 
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I had a friend who delivered her child in a small rural hospital in 1986.

She had planned everything with her OB, including leaving soon after the birth as long as everything was fine.

When she went to the hospital, her OB had left town. She delivered without incident, a medically 'unremarkable' birth, with another OB. She was taken to recovery and no one seemed to know that she planned to leave ASAP. It was no where in her plans or chart.

She argued with every one on the staff, and no one would let her go. They looked at her like she was crazy.

Finally they told her she could go, signing out against medical advice, but the baby had to stay.

My friend stood her ground and demanded to be released with her baby.

Then, a hospital official sent in a form and told her she could leave if she signed the form.........

......it was a DISPOSAL OF DEAD INFANT form.

The hospital told her she could go home with the baby if she agreed to sign the form- it would absolve them of any liability if anything mortally occurred to the newborn because she took her child home.

She signed it.

She went home.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#25 of 47 Old 11-17-2003, 12:56 AM
 
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Everyday I thank G-d my four were born at home.

This forum just makes me more and more grateful everytime I read posts like these.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#26 of 47 Old 11-17-2003, 05:14 AM
 
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The law that Clinton signed was a law requiring insurance companies to PAY for 48 hours after birth, so they couldnt KICK you out. But it doesnt require you to stay.

HTH
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#27 of 47 Old 11-17-2003, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by Modesto Doula
The law that Clinton signed was a law requiring insurance companies to PAY for 48 hours after birth, so they couldnt KICK you out. But it doesnt require you to stay.

HTH
I was just about to say the same thing.
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#28 of 47 Old 11-18-2003, 02:17 AM
 
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Why does the federal government have anything to say about how long a woman is in a hospital after giving birth anyway?

That is my point.

There is nothing in the Federal Constitution that mandates the Congress nor the Exectuve branch to make policy about something so personal as a hospital stay after birth.

I think it is a slippery slope to mandating stays in the hospital for testing of the mother and baby for things they have no business testing for.

The PKU, hypoglycemia, bilirubin, AIDS, HIV, and thyroid test are highly unreliable and are susceptible to different readings and interpretations. Vaccinating your baby against different diseases and experimentations are dangerous things to be avoided.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#29 of 47 Old 11-18-2003, 12:55 PM
 
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applejuice,

I don't think they're trying to regulate how long a woman MUST be hospitalized, but rather, they're trying to prevent the insurance companies from kicking us out early. There are women, esp first time mamas, who aren't comfortable leaving the hospital after 6-12 hrs! If this sort of legislation was NOT in place, I'm sure you'd see the insurance companies trying to kick women out 12 hrs after very traumatic births and C-sections all for the sake of the almighty dollar. Granted, a LOT of trauma could be prevented (in some cases) by avoiding a hospital birth altogether, but that's not the point. This has nothing to do with testing or vaccinating either.

I stayed in the hospital an extra day (40 hrs in total) as my ds was jaundiced and we weren't getting the hang of bf'ing as quickly as I'd have liked. I was apprehensive and was assured I could stay as long as I liked and could leave when I felt comfortable (a benefit afforded to me as a Canadian, and sadly not to the rest of the world, I know). THis support enabled me to stick it out and overcome our difficulties.

Bottom line, if a woman choses to have a hosiptal birth, she should have the right to also choose how long she stays there. Insurance companies shouldn't be able to control the purse strings here. I agree with you that the Gov't shouldn't be able to either, but insurance companies are vicious and don't give a royal rip about people. W/o this sort of legislation, they'd take advantage.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#30 of 47 Old 11-19-2003, 02:47 AM
 
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What makes you think the federal government gives a royal rip about anyone either?

I have posted everywhere on these forums about the shabby treatment at the hands of the VA, the Social Security Administration, CPS, GAO, Department of Education, local police department and my own Congressman.

If you think the goverment has your best interests at heart, think again.

Today they protect you from insurance companies dumping you out on the street immediately after birth. Tomorrow they will mandate tests and drugs for everyone in order to obtain treatment. They have the power to turn a healthy laboring woman away from the hospital in a triage emergency in the community. This is in the Master Emergency plan of every state in the Union.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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