A recent article in TIME magazine, “The 1% Birth. Why baby Beyonces are little profit center for hospitals” struck me as an example of the power of pronatalism. Why? Birth is big business…and particularly “luxe” birth.
Get this. As the article says, the birth business is “worth more than $30 billion a year”–and “limousine labor,” that includes things such as total room redecoration, birth teams with massage therapists, chefs and more are not just for the Beyonce celebrity births. The 1% likes the first class treatment too, says Ellie Miller, a co-founder of Ellie & Melissa Baby Planners.
Many hospitals have “VIP” wings with “hotel -like accommodations.” And according to the American Academy of Private Physicians, the number of “concierge doctors,” those who don’t take insurance and charge membership fees, has increased 46% in the last 18 months.
Not only does all the baby bump media make getting pregnant cool, the luxury birth business ups the ante to the rich and famous way to give birth to your baby. Better save your money though. Hospitals across the country who offer “luxe maternity” have everything from hard wood floors, a 24/7 personal aide, and other kinds of posh hotel amenities, and can charge around $4000 a day, which is more than most standard hospitals charge for the whole kit and kaboodle of delivering a baby thing, Time says.
Pronatalism glorifies pregnancy and the raising of children; this kind of thing adds to the glorification by pushing red carpet delivery. And the bigger this business gets, the cooler luxury delivery will be, no matter if you can afford it or not.
This kind of thing makes hospitals profit centers. Well, I guess they largely already are, the way our health care system in the States is designed. But this takes it to a new level–the fusion of high end hotel with delivery room, and all the products and services related to each of them. And the more profit we see, the more powerful all that is pro-baby continues to be.
What have you seen out there regarding the high end birth business?