Friday, September 10, 2010

My Daily Domestic Clips 09/10/2010 (p.m.)

  • tags: birth childbirth homebirth

    • The United States is already the butt of jokes in the international public
      health community. We spend more on health care than any other high-income
      nation, while simultaneously serving the lowest percentage of pregnant women, as
      several of our key health indicators continue to decline each year. According to
      Eugene Declercq of the Boston University School of Public Health, the U.S. now
      has the highest number of maternal deaths relative to all other high-income
      nations, and we also rank second worst for perinatal deaths.
    • The U.S. has not reported a significant decrease in maternal mortality rates
      since 1982, and the Center for Health Statistics indicates that the rate of
      cesarean section in this country is now at a whopping 32 percent, marking the
      11th consecutive year of increase. As the incidence of cesarean section rates
      rise, so do medical complications for mothers and babies, along with associated
      health care costs. The World Health Organization recommends a cesarean rate of
      no more than 10 to 15 percent, so our rate is two to three times higher than it
      should be.
    • We know that 99 percent of women in the U.S. are giving birth in hospitals,
      yet the United States has one of the highest infant mortality rates of any
      developed country, with 6.3 deaths per 1,000 babies born. Meanwhile, the
      Netherlands, where one-third of deliveries occur in the home with the assistance
      of midwives, has a lower rate of 4.73 deaths per 1,000.


      While maternal mortality rates decreased among our peer nations between 2000
      and 2005, they increased by more than 54 percent in the United States during the
      same time period. The two major differences between the U.S. and other nations,
      which have superior maternal and infant health outcomes, are that the latter
      offer universal health care and rely more extensively on cost-effective midwives
      as a public health strategy.

    • Consider the economics of the situation. The cost of a cesarean in the United
      States is about $15,000 and an uncomplicated vaginal birth averages $8,000
      (without prenatal or postpartum care), while homebirth midwives charge $2,000 to
      $4,000 -- a fee that includes care from conception through the postpartum
      period. Exploring the option of home and birth center birth with midwives for
      low-risk women should be at the core of national health care reform and
      research. Instead, several generations of high-tech, low-touch birth and a
      pervasive cultural belief that birth is imminently dangerous -- even in healthy,
      low-risk women -- has led to powerful cultural blinders that limit options for
      women.


      In anthropology, we say that "normal is simply what you are used to." The
      power of socialization and the dominance of biomedicine have kept us from
      systematically examining a variety of birthing environments and providers as
      viable alternatives to the expensive and interventive hospital delivery that has
      become the norm in the U.S.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...