Trickle-down economics is the first cousin of austerity economics. Austerity is nuts when so many millions are out of work. And as we’ve learned before, trickle-down is a fraud. Nothing ever trickles down. - Robert Reich, "A Story for May Day"
Amnesty International, the US presently ranks 50th in terms of safe labor and delivery. Said another way, this means that women in 49 countries have better birth outcomes than women in the US of A. "Deadly Delivery," a 2010 Amnesty study that was updated last year, reports that despite annual expenditures of $98 billion, 12.7 of every 100,000 American women die in childbirth. Predictably, if we look at communities of color, rather than overall numbers, the findings are worse: Women of color are three to four times more likely to die giving birth than their white counterparts.The US is the wealthiest nation in the world, and spends obscene amounts ($98 billion annually) on hospital delivery of babies. And our outcomes are worse, for mother and/or infant, than those of 49 other countries. About one-third of babies are delivered by C-section, more than twice the World Health Organization's nominal recommendation... again at greater (and often needless) risk to mother and baby.
...I once worked as a programmer on a study of the effects of drugs prescribed to and taken by pregnant women on their fetuses, as measured in the blood of their newborn babies. The drug concentrations were many times the therapeutic dose for an infant of that size, even assuming the drugs were suitable for infants, which was not a reliable assumption. That's part of what "modern medicine" did for childbirth.
... According to Ina May Gaskin, winner of the 2011 Right Livelihood Award - aka The Alternative Nobel Prize - and the so-called "mother of modern midwifery," midwifery fell out of favor following its demonization in the decades after the Civil War. "Midwifery was destroyed a century ago, in large part, because US midwives had not organized and established midwifery as a profession. The anti-midwife propaganda campaign carried out by organized medicine was not countered by any collective argument from midwives. This is why medicine was able to destroy midwifery with so little expense and effort," her web site states. Add that era's pervasive xenophobia and the fact that most midwives were European-born and trained and you had an ample breeding ground for political backlash. In addition, doctors argued that the pain of childbirth would be diminished if "modern" obstetricians in "modern" facilities handled it. The campaign worked: By the middle of the 20th century, most states had outlawed midwifery, and in-hospital births, attended by university-trained male physicians, became the norm. Female midwives, who had practiced for decades, were shunted aside.