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If Corporations, Rather Than the Corporatized U.S. Health-Care System, Handled Childbirth


Your baby’s birth is guaranteed within two days of your induction, but you can get one dollar in Amazon credit for waiting an extra day for delivery.

Southwest Airlines

Because of an overscheduling error, your induction is cancelled. But, if you’re willing to spend a few hours in Baltimore, you’ll eventually get to your birthing room, after waiting in the standby line with forty other women in labor.


After picking up an at-home birthing kit, you find that the instructions do not match the pictures and that your kit is missing an amniotic hook. You try to do it yourself, but end up having leftover forceps, catheters, and Phillips screws.


A stranger named Thad meets you in a Walmart parking lot and requests ten dollars or best offer for a bottle of castor oil and orange juice guaranteed to kick-start labor within twenty-four hours. He also offers a water-breaking lovemaking sesh in his back seat for no extra charge.


You’ve been waiting for your epidural for more than an hour. Your anesthesiologist promises to be there soon, but he has to make a few stops along the way. When your epidural finally arrives, you realize that it’s been delivered to the ophthalmology unit by mistake.


You are craving some ice chips, one of the few things you can stomach during labor, but the ice machine is broken.


No matter the time of day, the triage area is bustling with expectant parents toting gigantic overnight bags. When you leave, you’re given stool softeners in bulk, and you pray you won’t need to use the whole bottle.


When it’s time to start pushing, friendly neighborhood squirrels, rabbits, and deer appear at your bedside. These singing forest doulas whistle while your lower-abdominal muscles work harder than they ever have before. It is recommended that you order Genie+ so that your child can skip the line and proceed directly to the front of the birthing canal.


Hours into labor, the doctor pauses to ask, “Are you still pushing?”


You are placed in a tub where you will feel like a pregnant whale, moaning from the pain of contractions. The room is filled with spectators who applaud as you deliver your goopy bundle of joy. Afterward, a nurse rewards you by tossing a mackerel into your ravenous maw.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Your baby receives eye drops and a vitamin K shot, then is spritzed with A. & F.’s latest fragrance. A buff, shirtless male nurse greets your child, administers newborn screening tests, and instills unrealistic body expectations.


Your lactation consultant offers you a variety of milks—formula, colostrum, oat—served in a tall, grande, or venti bottle. For an additional charge, the consultant will froth your milk to create your baby’s first cappuccino. The lactation consultant will misspell your baby’s name, creating confusion on the birth-certificate paperwork.


Select someone to handcraft your baby. You will receive a personalized baby within nine months. ♦

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