Tag Archives: earlylifematters

Glossary Building Post #2

Glossary Terms:

  • Direct To Consumer advertisement (DTC)
  • Cesarean Birth (C-section)
  • Cord Blood

Parents, and soon to be parents, are vulnerable consumers. They are often bombarded with new fads in childbirth, some new product, etc. Many times these products or services being offered to them are unnecessary, fake, or not truly safe for their children. Terms such as fertility treatments, cesarean birth (C-section), and cord blood are thrown around often these days, but do these consumer truly understand what these terms mean?

Consumers who wish to be parents but are experiencing difficulties conceiving may often seek fertility treatments. Many fertility clinics post DTC advertisements on the web targeting those with difficulties in conceiving. “DTC ads are responsible for 12 percent ($2.6 billion) of the total growth in drug spending in 2000” (Walden 2017). These advertisements tend to overstate treatment benefits, misleading and manipulating consumers to believe that their specific treatment will guarantee results. “47 percent described their success rates as “superior” or “among the best”, without indicating what they were comparing themselves to” (Walden 2017). What vulnerable consumers do not hear about with these advertisements is the actual success of the advertised product. Many times the product has a very small success rate, but vulnerable consumers do not know those details they only see that the treatment is supposed to work. Many consumers end up spend exorbitant amounts of money with little to no results to show for their effort. Consumers should be aware of DTC ads and should look into the advertised products success rates before they buy into the product.

Consumers who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant should also know about the cesarean birth (C-Section) option. C-section births have become a very common method of delivery, though in many cases the procedure is not even necessary. Consumers should also know that in many cases if a woman has had a C-section in the past, then they are at risk to lose the option to deliver their next child in a different way. “in some parts of the country, women who have previously had a cesarean are denied the option to try for a vaginal birth because of hospital policy or because they can’t find a doctor who will agree to the option” (Roan 2017). Consumers should be aware of this term because by doing a cesarean birth option they could potentially lose their choice of birthing method for their next child.

Consumers should also be aware of terms such as cord blood. A consumer may be offered to save and freeze their newborns umbilical cord because the stem cells could prove to be useful in curing any complications later in their newborns life. This new fad is not all it seems though, there is no real guarantee that spending the money on saving the cord blood can actually help. If the newborn is born with a disease, then the cord blood is likely to have the same contaminates. The consumer is not informed of this issue though, they are led to believe that they have secured their child’s future in case of the worst.

Resources: 

Moninger, J. (2017). The Cord Blood Controversy. Parents. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/cord-blood-banking/the-cord-blood-controversy

Roan, S. (2017). Birth options: More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html

Walden, Rachel. 2017. “Direct-To-Consumer: Fertility Clinic Advertising On The Web – NWHN”. National Womens Health Network. https://www.nwhn.org/direct-to-consumer-fertility-clinic-advertising-on-the-web/.

 

Early Life and Childhood Prompt 1

Some of the most vulnerable consumers out there are parents and future parents. Everything from pre-conception, to pregnancy, to life after birth has some sort of regime that captures the attention of parents who only want the best for their children. After reading the material from this week’s slides and readings, it is clear that there are many companies who target parents and children specifically and use advertisements in order to lure the consumer in. New parents are especially vulnerable to this because they are both excited and worried and want their children to have everything they need. Parents will spend thousands preparing for their first child only to end up donating or throwing it all out after a few short years, and as time goes on, products improve and safety regulations are updated, requiring the consumers to continue buying the newest and safest products. I once read an article that suggested parents expecting a new born baby only need a handful amount of products such as diapers and wipes, carseats, and a crib. This contrasts with today’s ways where parents will buy anything and everything they think their child may like or need.

I believe that new parents and young parents would like to know about child health and maternal health in general, and also how to maintain a healthy family after birth. They should have reliable and unbiased sources of information whether that be a clinic, their doctor, of their family. I believe they would also like to be informed on what their child needs vs. what their child wants vs. what they think their child needs and wants. This can range from things such as strollers and carseats to vaccines and medications. Mothers to be should also be informed on all of their options for birth. The article from the LA Times regarding women who have had previous C-sections stated that 45% of women who have had C-sections were interested in vaginal birth for their next pregnancy, but of those, 57% were told “no” by their doctors. All options that are safe for the mother/consumer should be introduced to her, so that she can make the best decision for her child.

Early Life and Childhood

Prompt One: 

Parents are very vulnerable consumers. They want the best for their children and worry about their future. Companies and organizations feed on these fears, selling them ideas/products which are unneeded, do not work as intended and/or are downright harmful.

I believe that what parents want and what they often get, are different things. We have little to no regulation for DTC internet advertisements and companies can manipulate the truth and misrepresent information with very little liability. Today we have access to so much information thanks to the internet but only a small fraction of this is tested, verified and/or scientific.

When I was initially working through this material, I thought about the harmful ideas parents are sold by companies or groups regarding health products (perhaps it’s because I recently did a project on vaccination.)

Vaccination is a highly controversial consumer health item in the US. Many parents are choosing to opt out of childhood vaccination due to anxieties about vaccine safety, even though childhood vaccinations have been proven safe for the large majority through extensive testing.

A newborn is supposed to receive a Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine 12 hours after birth. HBV is a contagious disease spread through blood and other bodily fluids. Infants are at high risk of infection and 90% of them who contract the initial disease will develop lifelong symptoms, often resulting in liver cancer and cirrhosis (CDC, 2016). The disease is preventable only with vaccination which is 95% effective in averting HBV (NCIRD, n.d.).

So, why would a parent, who wants the best for their child refuse this vaccine? Ideas such as “vaccines cause autism” or “they inject your children with toxic chemicals” are being ‘sold’ to parents based on misrepresented or false data. It’s clear that any parent worried about vaccinations is thinking about their child’s health and their goal is to protect them from possible harm. But they are getting their information from the wrong sources and making important health issues based on the unscientific information.

In this example, what the parent wants; protect their child from injury, and what they are getting: false information meant to instill fear, are very different.

 

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). The ABCs of Hepatitis. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/resources/professionals/pdfs/abctable.pd

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, and Prevention. The Pink Book-Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (pp. 149-174). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/hepb.pdf

Early Life and Childhood/Youth Prompts

Prompt One

I reviewed the Birth slides, The Birth of a Trend: Posting Childbirth videos online, U.S. Infant Mortality Rates Declines, and More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says;

After reading The Birth of a Trend: Posting Childbirth videos online, I discovered that now that we have cutting edge technology, having the luxury of getting a decent birth video translates into a necessity versus it being a want. Historically, up until now people would just take pictures, and occasionally record a home video, which was a pretty cost-effective way of documenting and recording that important part of family history. Now a professional photographer is in the delivery room in the middle of the action recording and taking pictures and then turning around and editing out all of the graphic parts; but aren’t those parts what actually make child birth, and childbirth memories? I actually went on the photographer’s website and watched a few short films. While they are nicely produced, calming and even the music is peaceful, it begs the question on whether or not parents really need this? These videos make childbearing seem almost easy, and completely disregard and play down the 36-hour labor. This version of how a human was brought into the world is a vastly different version to the ones directly involved i.e. the parents going through labor actually remember. This is just one example of extravagant expenses that a new parent doesn’t need in order to have and raise a child successfully.

I think that most pre-parents and young parents would really like to know things such as the infant mortality rate and what they can do to prevent that outcome. Best diets and environments, and the risks associated with childbirth and alternative methods of giving birth such as home births. The more informed the new parent is, the more they will feel confident that they are making an educated decision on the health and well-being of their newborn.

Sources:

Birth slides

The Birth of a Trend: Posting Childbirth videos online

U.S. Infant Mortality Rates Declines

More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says;

The Consumers Black Hole

Parents, especially new ones, often get caught up in all the excitement of welcoming a new tiny person into this world. They are a perfect victim for what I like to call, The Consumers Black Hole. This is something that not only expecting parents fall into, but likely everyone can say, at some point, they too were sucked in to what seemed like a screaming deal at the time. There are many different sub-populations that certain businesses and corporations sink their claws into. Their goal is to persuade people to consume, new parents happen to be one of them.

We are exposed to thousands of commercials and other propaganda out there that makes planning parents vulnerable to all sorts of items, services and other sorts of “stuff.” These companies advertising their merchandise are becoming more creative by the second.  Businesses and corporations are selling anything from the necessary diapers to the unimportant pacifier wipes, what? Johnson’s, a company all of us likely know and love, even sells a baby cologne. Isn’t that insane? It is more shocking to me that parents fall into these marketing traps.

New Zealand and The United States are the only two nations that allow direct-to-consumer drug advertising. These ads tend to overemphasize the benefits of the drugs so that the risks are lost in the crossfire. The over advertisement and information provided causes the consumers to be misled and confusing into purchasing products. It is easy to get caught up in something when the ads say it’s the next best thing and claims to fix all your problems. This can hit new parents especially hard. Babies are so delicate and fragile that a brand-new mom and dad would do anything they are told to make the perfect life for their precious baby. For example, they can easily be manipulated into believing that all babies need to have Johnson’s baby cologne, when this is very untrue.

Parents should be doing their research. It would be extremely beneficial to gain information from websites that are unbiased. Even moms and dads who have raised children before are good sources to figure out what things are necessities and what are not. This makes me nervous to have a child of my own. I know I often easily fall into the Consumers Black Hole, but with the right education beforehand I could easily pull myself out, and others can too.

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/.