ANU study says childbirth delayed for baby bonus

GnT 8 November 2007 17

A bit of a tenuous Canberra link here, but some of the researchers were from ANU so I’ll run with it. I just thought it was hilarious.

The story is that 600 women “moved their child’s birth from the last week of June 2006 to the first week of July so they could receive the extra $1,000.”

How do you delay childbirth by a week? Obviously these women were having elective caesareans. Otherwise, I’ve got comical pictures in my head of women keeping their legs crossed. Usually the baby decides when they’re going to be born, and they don’t care about an extra $1000.

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17 Responses to ANU study says childbirth delayed for baby bonus
sepi sepi 6:32 pm 12 Nov 07

CT article today points out that even Bangladesh has better maternity leave conditions than Australia.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 5:15 pm 12 Nov 07

thats fine just don’t give them money for it. I couldn’t care less if they induced, aborted whatever. (apart from the fact I believe abortion should be mandatory).

Ponkygirl Ponkygirl 5:10 pm 12 Nov 07

So six hundred women decided to delay childbirth to get some more money? Good luck to them. I delayed being induced for my second so I could pick my Dad up from the airport, and there wasn’t even any cash involved.

Basically, decisions on when to have your c-section or be induced are private decisions made on the basis of medical advice … if the doctor is happy to leave it up to the mother, then the mother gets to make the call. Really, would you ask someone why they decided to get their wisdom teeth out on a Tuesday?

emd emd 3:18 pm 12 Nov 07

Thumper, I guess it depends on how you feel about a continually declining birth rate. I’m not saying that we need a high birth rate – I personally would be happy to top up our population with migration. But if you want women to have babies, you have to address the reasons why they’re choosing not to, and finances are one of those reasons.

Thumper Thumper 12:31 pm 12 Nov 07

Well, if the money is on offer, why not take it…

Can’t blame them.

caf caf 12:17 pm 12 Nov 07

Joshua Gans (Uni of Melb) and Andrew Leigh (ANU) have a paper out called “Born (Again) on the First of July: Another Experiment in Birth Timing” which statistically analyses the birth data around the time of the baby bonus increment, and comes to the conclusion that around 600 births were moved to take advantage of it.

Thumper Thumper 11:34 am 12 Nov 07

Why the hell should you get paid to have a child? Or get paid to look after it for the next year or so?

If you want a kid then you should take the (slight) hardships that come with it.

emd emd 11:18 am 12 Nov 07

Even better than paid maternity leave would be a paid parental leave scheme. Where there is equal respect for families where mum is primary parent, where dad is the primary parent, or where they split the workload between them.

And the baby bonus does nothing to alleviate the real cause of our low birth-rate: lack of quality, affordable childcare, and lack of respect in society for combining children and career. Women who work for over a decade, then have a baby in their mid to late 30’s, may not want to want to stop dead in their career tracks.

sepi sepi 8:35 am 10 Nov 07

are you a man if you don’t want to have a child!?!

Tiffo Tiffo 12:18 am 10 Nov 07

Are you a woman if you do not want to have a child?

sepi sepi 9:53 pm 09 Nov 07

Maternity leave would go to those who had been paying taxes, and would again. Baby bonus goes to all alike – junkies and millionaire housewives included.
Bribery more than policy.

ant ant 8:45 pm 09 Nov 07

There’s a whole generation who thinks that they are entitled to others’ taxes because they’ve made a lifestyle decision. No matter how highly they are paid, they are entitled to Family Tax B, Breeder Bribe, subsidised childcare, ‘disabled” parking adn god knows what else. It’s getting a bit out of control.

As overpopulation takes its toll on our environment, I think that more who are being bled to pay for this will start to object.

sepi sepi 6:41 pm 09 Nov 07

Paid maternity leave would be better, and put us in line with every other civilised country.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 3:48 pm 09 Nov 07

the baby bonus is 100% pure disgrace. Infact I would say it is sickening.

emd emd 2:19 pm 09 Nov 07

Some women are also booked in for induced birth (where contractions are started with artificial hormones) for similar reasons to some elective caesareans – because waiting until the 40th week has an associated risk.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 9:39 pm 08 Nov 07

The term ‘elective cesarean’ is misleading. Basically there are two types of cesarean – the emergency – when the birth has started and it’s required to ensure the wellbeing of mother, child or both … and ‘elective’ which is all others but still essentially done to ensure the wellbeing of mother, child or both. The latter involves a degree of flexibility to the extent that the obstetrician would say “We need to do this around X because if we don’t we run the risk of you going into labour and things could get really messy if that happens …” there’s a degree of wriggle room but not much because the obstetrician is trying to time the full term, but doesn’t want the mum to go into labour before the timed c-section. I guess that for some parents, the timing would be tempting – to the extent that they might say well lets not do it on the 30th, how about on the 1st but otherwise I don’t really buy an argument that says mums were deliberately risking their own and their baby’s health and wellbeing on the thread of a possible extra $1000 bucks.

Tempestas Tempestas 4:36 pm 08 Nov 07

What is also funny is that Obstetrician’s rates have gone up by the same amount as this payment in the North Shore of Sydney.

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