Let's Contemplate the Notion of a Luxury C-Section Viewing Gallery

This, but birth
This, but birth
Image: AP

Here’s an idea: turn c-sections into an affair filled with fun for the whole family!

The Washington Post has a piece on the latest trends in Caesareans in Brazil. Not only is the procedure overall very, very common—overall, “they account for 55.5 percent of all deliveries in Brazil, spiking to 84 percent in private hospitals”—but it’s apparently common particularly among wealthy women to have elective c-sections. And so, of course, an entire industry has cropped up around turning the practice into, basically, a luxury trip to the most extreme sporting event of all, human birth:

At the Sao Luiz private hospital in Sao Paulo, a mother-to-be can get her hair and makeup done in her hospital room. For 2,000 reais per day — about $500 — her family can rent out the presidential suite, with a living room and bathroom for guests, a balcony and minibar. Mothers can request their favorite flowers and magazines, and even change the furniture if it clashes with their planned decorations. A 22-story maternity ward now under construction will include a wine cellar and ballroom.


While I personally would not want such an audience, requesting my favorite flowers and magazines sounds great.

However, the World Health Organization does not approve; the WHO estimates around 10 percent of births require c-sections and discourages the procedure as an elective. But there are complicated reasons the rates are so high in Brazil, according to the Post: “The country’s overwhelmed public health system meant that doctors and nurses lacked the resources to closely monitor women through hours of labor. C-sections allowed the staff to closely monitor mothers for a shorter amount of time.”

Of course, it’s not just Brazil where your experience of childbirth improves dramatically the more you can pay. The c-section rates are lower here in America, but there’s an entire trend toward luxury birthing suites for the wealthy. A 2013 article at Today.com outlined the luxury amenities available in the Deluxe Maternity Suite at Cedars Sinai:

Suites feature recessed lighting, soft colors and comfortable birthing beds — some come equipped with full-sized tubs. Other amenities you can expect (additional fees may apply): a refrigerator stocked with juice and bottled water, flat-screen TV and WiFi, deluxe food service for two (with both vegan and veggie meals), complimentary hotel-style robe, hair stylist, manicures and pedicures, parking and a personal doula to assist during the childbirth process.


If you have money, there is always somebody ready and willing to take it off your hands.

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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Koala de Vil RN

Do US birthing suites not generally have baths?