BIRTH WEEK: Across the 'ole fish pond: What's it like having a baby in the US of A?

BIRTH WEEK: Across the 'ole fish pond: What's it like having a baby in the US of A?

So according to the movies, sitcoms and HBO box sets, life for mums in the US is good. They seem to have a pretty decent healthcare system. How many times have you heard American women refer to having their own gynaecologist or dermatologist, as though they have expensive specialists at their beck and call to do their smears or check their wrinkles. Similarly, American parenting books often advise you to take your child to your paediatrician to check minor symptoms, as opposed to the long drawn out process in the UK involving begging your GP for a referral. And what about maternity rights? Well, it’s a modern, liberal democracy, mothers probably have pretty decent access to rights and services, right?

Wrong! I was shocked when I read this article, "4 ways the US is hostile towards mothers". The facts were astonishing.

US women have poor access to healthcare leading to rising maternal mortality (The Lancet) A woman giving birth in the U.S. is now more likely to die than a woman giving birth in China (as above) The US is the only high income country that does not have a statutory right to paid maternity leave for employees

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