Did you scream during labor? If you did, no shame in that. Scream away, right? But imagine you got fined for every outburst. Charged for every "Ahhhhh!!!" Crazy, right? That could never happen. Orrrrr it could. In fact, it does. In Zimbabwe. A study on international corruption showed that a hospital in the poor African nation is charging mothers $5 each time they scream during childbirth. The reason? "Raising a false alarm." WTF?!

OK, some people do believe that screaming during labor is bad. If you're a Scientologist, for instance, you're supposed to bring your baby into the world in perfect silence. Anything less can traumatize it for life, so says Sciencrayology. No wonder Leah Remini dumped it.

And others will say that yelling during labor actually depletes your energy and makes it more difficult to push. But I think that moms in labor know what feels right to them. If it feels like they need to scream, then they should do so.

But imagine having a fine hanging over your head if you do? Five bucks a scream is bad enough here in the US, but in Zimbabwe, where most people make no more than $150 a year, it's ghastly!

Besides, who would determine what is a "scream"? What about a grunt? What about a moan? What about a "Whose brilliant idea was this anyway???!!"

The women in Zimbabwe are actually held in the hospital until they can pay their scream bill. Which usually means that their poor relatives have to figure out a way to cough up the cash. If a woman has a long painful birth, it's going to bankrupt her and her family. Outrageous!!

Childbirth is difficult and terrifying enough without a gag order. No wonder most of the women in that country give birth at home -- probably not in the best circumstances. Ugh. Such a travesty. I hope this doesn't give any cash-strapped hospitals here any ideas.

Did you scream during labor?

 

Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr