So here we go again. Kim Kardashian is pregnant and already it has become a media circus. Ditto the second pregnancy of Jessica Simpson. Quite frankly, it’s a bit annoying and disappointing. I remember being contacted by a reporter from a fairly renowned news agency regarding the first pregnancy of Jessica Simpson. He wanted to ask a “few questions about pregnancy.” Did he ask about nausea or vomiting? Pre-eclampsia or any other high risk issues? No. He wanted to know if Simpson’s breasts were too big and could I please hurry with a response because he was on a deadline.
On December 10, 2012, Laura Landro of The Wall Street Journal wrote an article that should have been discussed on every morning show but it wasn’t. Landro’s article, “Steep Rise of Complications in Childbirth Spurs Action” stated “Given birth has gotten riskier” based on a new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (aka CDC). I finally exhaled after reading the article because the public was finally made aware of something most obstetricians and midwives already know but are reluctant to discuss with patients for fear of “scaring” them. Approximately 52,000 pregnant women endure severe birth complications each year. That’s 1,000 each week for those of you who can do the math; quite an alarming number.
Why are these complications occurring? Older women are having babies but younger women can have problems as well. Significant bleeding after a baby is one of the most serious complications but not in the hands of skilled healthcare professionals and that is the point that needs to be emphasized.
A new patient-safety movement has emerged in obstetrics where “simulation” drills are done before the actual emergency occurs and hopefully you will have your baby in a hospital that does them. Although you might not have a million dollars to shut down an entire New York hospital floor so that you can have your baby “in private” as a celebrity did a year ago, your baby is just as important as hers. Instead of reporting about the latest celebrity baby bump someone has, or if her boobs are too big, how about having some meaningful media discussions about real pregnancy issues? It would certainly be a breath of fresh air!