Thursday, February 12, 2009

Touro: Where Babies Come From

I'm feeling guilty because I skipped my obstetrics class this week. But we were watching "The Business of Being Born" which I'd seen (and meditated on and analyzed with my peers already). But still, I feel bad I missed out on the class discussion. I wanted to post this picture because it ties in well:

I live in the Touro neighborhood of New Orleans. This banner for the Touro Hospital Birthing Center hangs over Prytania, so I see it almost everyday. What interests me is how this marketing campaign reinforces our cultural belief that babies must be delivered in hospitals. Babies don't come from women or families or midwives or homes. They come from hospitals. More specifically, they come from Touro Hospital.

I started wondering why Touro was so agressively advertising its birthing center (there is a similar billboard on Napoleon Ave.) My negative feelings may be a little unwarrented. In looking at the
website, it seems like the birthing center may be what's called a "Baby-Friendly" hospital. Meaning, the hospital tries to do what is best for the infant above what is convinient for the staff. For example, promoting breast feeding and immediate mother to child contact after the delivery.
But I don't really know if that is what Touro is promoting. It also advertises it's state-of-the-art operating rooms. For an elective c-section, I wonder?

It's really just the image I'm interested in. Babies may be born in the hospital, but they are not from the hospital. They are from a woman's womb. I think it's important not to forget that.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Heather, I found your blog! Your Mardi Gras looked fantastic. It all just really makes me want to go back. The one time I went to Mardi Gras, it was a couple of years before Katrina, and the whole thing was a little lifeless. Almost like the city knew and was telling people to stay away.

But yeah, thanks for the photos and inspiration.