Category Archives: Slides

Early Life Matters Prompt 1

Looking through the Birth slides and some of the readings on the Early Life Matters content pages has opened my eyes to the vulnerability of parents to unneeded items and medical “necessities”. Firstly, medication; according to the National Women’s Health Network, “ART [assisted reproductive technology] is expensive (averaging $12,400 per cycle, with many patients requiring two or more cycles) and often is not covered by insurance, so it is natural for patients to seek a provider that can maximize their chance of success. Yet, a recent analysis of web content from 372 U.S. fertility clinics (out of a total of 381 clinics) suggests that the success rates being promoted are not based on reputable practices and/or standards,” (Walden, 2015). This shows that ART is neither an affordable nor a reputable practice that cannot be relied on, and yet thousands of families do. Secondly, according to the Birth Slides, a Cesarean Section is the most common surgical procedure in the United States with rates at about 31.8%. However, the rates are different based on hospital policies, not on health. Furthermore, the cost of vaginal birth and a Cesarean section are not the same, and while there is a plan to equalize the payment, one is not in place as of yet.

Keeping with the theme of unneeded vs. needed medical expenses, next to discuss is an article entitled “The Cord Blood Controversy”. In this article, many parents have chosen to freeze their child’s umbilical cord after birth in case of an autoimmune disease or genetic defect that could be cured with the stem cells from the cord. However, the problem with this is that not only does it cost a large sum of money, currently $1,000 to $2,000, it also may not be effective. If the infant has a genetic defect or a disease, the same defect or disease is likely in the umbilical cord, therefore rendering the stem cells in it useless to the child. In fact, to quote the article, “Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued statements in the late 1990s opposing the use of for-profit banks — and criticizing their marketing tactics,” (Moninger). However, it was stated that the umbilical cords may be donated to a public institution to be available for free for children who need stem cells. Lastly, we will revisit the Cesarean section topic. In the United States, if a mother has had a Cesarean section before, she will be denied a vaginal birth in the future. This is problematic because, as mentioned before, Cesarean sections are more expensive than natural births. However, according to the article “More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says” this information is untrue. In this article, and independent panel of women’s health experts say that “U.S. women should be given the option to have a vaginal birth after cesarean, stating that such births are reasonably safe,” (Roan, 2010). In other words, families have been forced to spend thousands of dollars on a procedure that they may not need which would impact them financially in a significant way. Families appear to be duped out of money from contraception to birth, and probably long after. Pre-parents and young parents need to look into all of their options for conceiving and birthing before making a decision. If they decide to visit a doctor, they should attempt to bring a list of questions so that they are able to get all of their answers at once and therefore spend less money. Everyone knows that being a parent is hard work and a lot of money, but many people do not realize that being a pre-parent can also be extremely expensive.

Bibliography

Moninger, J. (2017). The Cord Blood Controversy. Retrieved from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/cord-blood-banking/the-cord-blood-controversy/

Roan, S. (2010, March). More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html

Walden, R. (2015, October). Direct-to-Consumer: Fertility Clinic Advertising on the Web. Retrieved from https://www.nwhn.org/direct-to-consumer-fertility-clinic-advertising-on-the-web/.

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So – you’re reading and writing, right?

I’m seeing some good posts, and planning to be able to take some extended time to grade them very soon!

If you’re writing, it means you’ve found the post prompts (under the Assignments page, labeled 7 Course Assignments in the menu, with a page for each week’s topical prompts. Also see them at the Estimated Schedule page.)

If you’re reading, and using slides, it means you’ve found the Content Pages – (labeled 6 Content Pages – and with specific content pages organized under that page) and the Course Slides page (labeled 4 Course Slides).

If you haven’t been using those pages, how about starting tonight!

If you’re truly stuck, still, it’s ok. It IS online, after all, and a new modality for many of you. CALL me. Or EMAIL me. Check the syllabus (here) OR my emails to YOU for that info!

Thinking and Discourse Prompt 3

For this week’s post I found the slides regarding birth, birth options, and maternal-child consumer issues most significant to myself. Being a first time mom and moving into our third trimester the reality of giving birth and my options are beginning to cross my mind more often than not. On top of the highlighted concepts in our slides I have also received notifications of what to expect throughout pregnancy from my applications. Concepts like induction, episiotomy, and cesarean section are constant procedures I have to consider now that I’ll be giving birth in 2 months. For myself, I hope to have a very natural birth that does not require me to be induced. This however requires me to maintain my health as much as I can to prevent early labor and a much easier labor. An induction pushes consumers to find alternatives to having their baby in a much more natural way or even in a different setting than that of a hospital. Today there are many more options to having a baby. This includes where you can have your baby and how you can have your baby. Many women today create something called a birth plan, which outlines the way in which they hope to give birth. This birth plan also includes episiotomy and cesarean section if it is applicable. Women cannot determine whether or not they will tear and whether or not they will need to have a c-section. Often time’s episiotomy is not medically necessary, but a cesarean section is. These concepts are very relevant to my life as a consumer and to any mother, father and their unborn child as consumers because choosing how we bring a child into this world is not a simple decision to make.

Thinking and Discourse Prompts

After reading through both questions asked in prompt 1 several times, I realized how wording truly affects decision making. The two questions asked are similar, yet differ in the way they are asked. Question one asks a simple and broad question “Do you favor or oppose expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American?”. The second question is more direct and detailed ” Do you favor or oppose creating a single-payer health care system, in which all Americans would get their health insurance from one government plan that is financed by taxes?. These questions are similar, but may affect the way people respond based on how it makes them feel. When questions are broad and answered in simple wording, some people may have an easier time responding and feel more confident in their answered. When questions are more detailed and specific, some may feel more uncomfortable or confused about their answers. This can slightly affect answer results.

The polling results of these questions show that the wording of these questions may have some affect. The first question that states “Do you favor or oppose expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American?” The results show that 60% Favor strongly or favor somewhat and 23% Oppose strongly or oppose somewhat. A majority of people agreed to favor this option, whereas a small portion apposed. We all want to see more people find medical coverage and this question does not mention this option putting any expense to us as tax payers. That makes this question more appealing to most people. The second question states “Do you favor or oppose creating a single-payer health care system, in which all Americans would get their health insurance from one government plan that is financed by taxes?” The polling results show, 44% Favor strongly or favor somewhat and 31% Oppose strongly or oppose somewhat. The results for this question turned out to be much closer. This may be because of the detailed wording of the question. This question clearly states what is at cost for each person who votes to be in favor for expanded medicare. By stating what is exactly at cost in the question, allows people to be confused or unsure how they feel about the topic. This can cause people to feel oppose. I can agree that my feelings for each question differed by the wording. It show how important is to stay aware of the wording and information given in a question, especially when trying to collect data from a varying population.

In the social justice Vs. Market Justice piece, there are great examples of how wording really effects decision making. it gives great examples of how we as people and or Americans should be aware on how we make our decisions and how impact they really are. As a community we should strive to make choices for the GREATER good, and not always for the individual. By investing in our selves and our community remembers, we are investing in a better future. Being fast and effective is one thing, but being thorough and efficient is another.  As a society we must hold ourselves accountable by our values, not just individually, but socially as well.

Prompt 3: Birth Slides

Having a babies is a huge impact on a mothers life, Emotionally, mentally and especially physically. Being prepared and taking as much precaution when pregnant can effect the babies birth and health after, as well as the mothers health during pregnancy, birth and life after.

One concept to remember is information. Mothers who are more informed on the do’s and don’ts of pregnancies may find themselves more prepared. Being more informed can allow a mother to make decisions and actions that can positively impact the babies health and her own, such as avoiding drinking and smoking. Information can also guide new and inexperienced mothers to the right place to receive proper care. Getting proper care can inform pregnant women on how to manage a good diet, as well as how to avoid certain environmental hazards. It could also warn new mothers of potential health outcomes their baby may experience, and how to manage this after birth. Being informed can also lead new mother to other support groups that can assist them in their journey to mother hood. It should be a goal that all mothers go into motherhood healthy, happy and informed.

Having a plan is also an important concept of birth. Natural birth or C-section. If a mother is going into a natural birth plan, she must be aware that plans may change and emergencies happen. For some women, natural child birth is too dangerous and C-section is the safest way to give birth. Women must know their risk and take the safest plan for her and for the baby.

Another concept is insurance and options. Midwife service is available through all insurances in Washington State. A mid wife is an individual who is trained to help women through her pregnancies and birth. they assist in the process during a pregnancy and even a birth plan and birthing the baby.

Women’s health is a huge controversial topic that is often not taken seriously enough.  A Woman’s health not only effects herself, but her children as well. if we want a healthy population, we must invest in women. Access and resources are greatly needed in our communities to keep all women as healthy as they can be to ensure their health and future, as well as their babies health and futures.

 

Thinking and Discourse

PROMPT 1

While these questions are essentially asking the same question, the wording might make it confusing to some readers. Question one is vague and brief, but the wording is more comfortable and straightforward; “Do you favor or oppose expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American?” This question leaves the consumer with an ultimatum, whether they are for or against insuring all Americans. In which case, most people don’t want to seem like the ‘bad guy’ and will vote in favor of.

Question two explains with more detail the measures that would need to be taken in order to create or expand health insurance to every American, which in turn, makes it sound more complicated and how taxes would be increased. Most American’s do not want their taxes increased so they have an easier time voting opposed.

In my opinion, question two is clearer because it’s explaining the personal costs that come along with expanding health insurance to every American even those who can’t afford it.

Wording is important in consumer health, especially for polling when the consumer can’t see your facial expressions or even has enough background information about the topic. If you want accurate results, you not only have to ask which side the consumer is on but also state the personal costs such as tax increases so that the consumer has a clear cut of what they are in favor for or opposed to.

PROMPT 3 – Birth Slides

I actually don’t have any babies and am not planning to have any probably for another 8-10 years but these slides were very engaging.

Being informed is the first important concept to even considering having a baby. When considering, you need to be able to adjust your diet. For example, if you are someone who eats high fat fast-food 4 out of 7 days of the week, consider changing those number to only one out of 7 days a week and home cook your meals instead so that you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Being informed about your daily environment is also important I would say, staying away from smokers would be a good start and finally understanding risks and options as well as costs. Not only medical bills but nursery costs and baby essentials like diapers or formula if you decide not to breast feed.

Another important concept to consider is birth. How are you planning to have this baby? C-section or natural? What if you have to get induced? I have a cousin who had passed her due date by 1 week and a half so she had to get induced but still had a natural birth.

Finally, midwives are covered by all insurance companies in the state of Washington. A midwife is someone who is trained to help with pregnancies (as far as I know).

All of these concepts are important to me as a consumer because today we have the option of choosing to be on birth control until we decide that we are ready for a baby but because of religious views or lack of resources, many don’t have that option and will at least have control over their diet, and daily environment. I’m not sure how I would share this information with someone else, given I’ve haven’t experienced pregnancy, let alone child birth but if someone asks me I would be more than happy to share what I know and suggest they visit a doctor for more information.

Thinking & Discourse

Prompt One

It’s easy to lead someone in any direction with the words you use. Especially when you are asking something that the person isn’t very knowledgeable in, or something that you want a specific result. From the two questions, the second is clearer than the first. A huge difference in the questions is the detail that is put into the second question compared to the first. This leads to the language of the question. What if the person has no idea what it actually means to expand Medicare because they have no idea what Medicare is? This then can lead them in a direction they don’t even agree with because of the way the question is presented. When a question is presented with the detail that the second one is, you are more likely to receive a more accurate response, because it guarantees that the people answering the question, actually knows what the question is asking. This is shown in the results too, because the first question is vague and I bet most people just put yes because they thought it meant that each American gets health care coverage. But in the second set of results, it’s a more even split because the detail of it gives more to agree or disagree with.

 Prompt Three 

I chose the birth slides, simply because I will be giving birth here shortly, so this whole set just applies to my life and my new learning of consumer health overall. Three important pieces of content that came from this slide set came more from the links within the slides, than the slides themselves. The first I am going to discuss is the link to an article posted back in 2012 titled “Beyond Contraception”. This article is referring a lot to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how there were many changes coming to better serve consumers in their health care with birth control, vaccinations, awareness screening on specific sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal care for mothers and so much more. This article was informative to me, and it is very important because ensuring that a woman and a man, are “good to go” essentially to have a child is extremely important. Or in helping to prevent the spread of diseases or unplanned pregnancies. A person doesn’t know what they don’t know and the thought of going to the doctor is scary, not just because of the shots or discovering something new about yourself, but the PRICE. As a consumer, I believe everything from birth control being covered in a health plan, vaccinations against HPV and screenings for STI’s is a basic human right. The next important piece of this slide set is about caesarian birth. This applies to me because I’ll be delivering soon, and I really pray that I don’t have to get a c-section. I’m sure many other women have this thought too. From the slide about caesarian birth it gave some stats: the most common surgical procedure in the USA, in WA alone 11,000 caesarian births were not needed, and there are plans to make the cost of natural child birth and caesarian births equal in cost. After a quick google search of how much a c-section costs, it gave a ball park of $14-25k while natural child birth is $9-17k. No wonder there are reports of 11,000 unnecessary c-sections being done, they cost so much! This is extremely alarming as a consumer because soon I will be ready to give birth and who is to say that the doctor I have won’t suggest something based off a dollar amount than an actual need for me? Luckily, I know that won’t happen, but other women don’t. Which is why there is the birth survey. This is a link in the slides and this is about a project to help women stay informed on the doctors that have been used in the past by previous women, and for the doctors themselves to stay on top of their performance as well. This is extremely important to the consumer because then they know what kind of doctor they are buying into. Although when a woman goes through her prenatal care, it doesn’t really feel like she is purchasing a doctor or birthing plan, but essentially she is. The third important piece was the slide on the consumer. When it comes to birth, people automatically assume the consumer is just the woman, but a man is just as involved as the woman (in some cases). You don’t become a consumer once you or your woman becomes pregnant either, it begins before. Which I thought was an interesting idea because it does have a lot to do with your health and lifestyle when attempting to become pregnant and getting pregnant. On one of the slides a question was asked: Who’s responsibility is it to bring healthy babies into the world? (something close) And so I ask, what do you think? From a consumers standpoint, I am pretty much paying someone to bring my child into this world by the care and treatment I am seeking. But it also falls on the consumer as well because although I am buying something, it doesn’t mean money can buy everything and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is what brings healthy babies too. Plus, being able to receive the proper screenings, prenatal care, postnatal care. Overall, birth applies to everyone. Whether it be you, your partner, sister, cousin, friend, coworker, birth happens and being able to prepare for it through the basic rights of your health care insurance, to ensuring yourself if healthy. A person is a consumer of birth, at least once in their life.

 

Prompt 3: Birth Slides

When I think about being “informed”, it has a lot to do with what you are being informed about. But when it comes to being informed about pregnancy, there is a lot of information that is vital, from contraceptives (avoiding pregnancy) to wanting to start a family or your own (getting pregnant.  Not only do you need to be informed about how you treat your body during your pregnancy, but before and after care is also very important. Caring for yourself before, during and after will make your pregnancy less stressful and your child will most likely be healthier (if all goes as planned). Before pregnancy you need to be informed of the diet you need to have, what you can and cannot do, and the care that you put into your body (once again you are not only caring for yourself but also for your future child), the health risks for you and your future child, and obviously how much all of this will cost. There is a lot more that can be added to this list but those are some of the most important concepts that you need to understand and be informed about as a future parent.

With all that being said, planning is also a very important aspect of a pregnancy. Being informed and planning are tied very close together in pregnancy (and a lot of other subjects as well). If you are planning on having a child, you will most likely be informed on what you need to do prior, during and after. Planning for a pregnancy can go a long ways and can take a lot of time. Not only do you need to be ready financially for a child but you need to be responsible in a maturity sense as well. If you are not planning on becoming pregnant, planning is still crucial.

Being responsible fits right in with being informed and planning. If you are responsible, you will plan and get informed. It is as simple as that. Responsibility is where it all starts. Seeking care is a great way to start being responsible, even if you are not pregnant, but planning on being pregnant or just would like to avoid getting pregnant. Asking your doctor for guidance and asking about risk is a great place to start. Discussing contraceptives with your doctor or even just asking someone that you trust is also something that you should consider. Even if you don’t plan on being sexually active because being informed of all the ways to avoid pregnancy is a must when you don’t plan on becoming pregnant.

The consumers of a pregnancy are the mothers to be, fathers to be and obviously the fetus. Pregnancy is not something that should be taken lightly, not only for your sake but also for your future child. The health of the consumer is very important in pregnancy! If the mother is not healthy then that potentially means that the fetus could become unhealthy. When the fetus becomes unhealthy, it can cause an assortment of issues ranging from minor birth-defects to losing your child prematurely. Which is why we need to take all of the necessary steps before hand.

 

*I understand that there are situations where people are misinformed or even uninformed and I am not judging you in any way, I am just speaking of my ideal pregnancy that I would want and what I think would be best. I also think this is what most doctors would recommend.

Thinking and Discourse (Prompt 3)

There are certain aspects of consumer health that interests us more than others. For example, if you buy cosmetics, you might be interested in the financial, economic, and environmental issues that are caused by some brands more than others, and same can be said about consumer health- babies and small children.

I decided to answer prompt 3 for this week, specifically the slides on babies. I don’t have children, but my friends do, and I find it very interesting to understand what it is that they look for when they go out and purchase in the baby market/world.

I mostly found the slides about “Keeping kids Safe” interesting, specifically the section on “BPA in baby bottles”. It’s such a random thing to think about, or to even connect this point to the other, but I found this section interesting, because my friend and I were talking the other day about her newborns and their feeding schedule. She brought this up randomly, but she told me to spread the word about these amazing baby bottles she found at our local supermarket. I went looking for these baby bottles to gift to my friend for her baby shower, and that is when I discovered a million different bottles/ feeding utensils. It is ultimately up to the consumer to decide what to purchase based on their knowledge of the product. For example, you might have two parents looking for a baby bottle, but they might leave the store with something different than the other, because they are looking for something that caters specifically to their child.

Since babies are…well.. babies, they depend on others to look after their health. This would include bottles, nutrition, risks at home, clothing, toys, and the list goes on forever. Another slide that caught my attention for this reason was the “Feeding older Kids”. Once children leave their home and go off to school for the first time, it is essential to make sure that they are not only being fed, but also making sure that they are given the best possible options like fruits and vegetables. Laws have been passed that help provide schools with local and fresh foods, and also help fund low-income elementary schools that may not be able to source out healthy snacks.

Help from Dr. P – and a great end to our first week!

Hi everyone –

Let me just say “Woo hoo!” because I’ve had some great chats with several of you and I see that folks are really getting started.

Again, reading my “Guide” WILL help you. I promise. Otherwise, once you’ve accepted the invitation and logged in, just click on the pencil “Write” icon at the top right of your screen, choose Consuming Health Matters at the LEFT, and start your post!

If you’re mostly concerned about getting started with readings and assignments, no worries! Note that (as explained in the syllabus) there are two deadlines, discussed below.

One deadline is “Perfect World” on Fridays, every week at 10pm. The second is “Last Chance” on Sundays at 11:59pm. Please try to have your Intro post up for THIS week’s Last Chance deadline, if not today’s Perfect World deadline, ok? Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be posting like a pro. And remember – choose “Intros” as your category, and be sure to add your username as a tag.

You can have the course blog open in one window, and be writing your post in another window. See what I mean? Visit the front page of the blog, here, and then open it again if you want to and then click the pencil/”Write” icon.

This “1-2-3” list should help you get started and feel relieved. Keep reading…

  1. Visit the intro post instructions here: 1 Getting Started in PUBH 209 work
  2. Then go out and read the first content page, A Page to Start with: Thinking and Discourse Matters, here. (Be sure to click the clickable items in it so that you are ACTUALLY reading this important piece of introductory course content and understanding my “basics” of consumer health!)
  3. Next go view the Overview slides here: 4 Course Slides
  4. Now you’re getting ready to write your first “real” post, the Thinking and Discourse post, which you will find here. Remember, you are responsible for ONE prompt each week. The Thinking and Discourse prompt is due NEXT Friday (PW deadline) or NEXT Sunday (LC deadline). PLEASE NOTE: You’ll find three Thinking and Discourse prompts, meaning you have options. It also means that, if you want to, you can start on Extra Credit/Extra Learning (explained in the syllabus) this very week!

Ok, get started. We’ll talk soon, especially if you’re still SO lost that you can’t log in and start writing. –Dr. P