SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 8, 2011

Home Births up

More women pushing to give birth at home

By Leanne Italie ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — One mother chose home birth because it was cheaper than going to a hospital. Another gave birth at home because she has multiple sclerosis and feared unnecessary medical intervention. And some choose home births after cesarean sections with their first babies.

Whatever their motivation, all are among a striking trend: Home births increased 20 percent from 2004 to 2008, accounting for 28,357 of 4.2 million U.S. births, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in May.    White women led the drive, with 1 in 98 having babies at home in 2008, compared to 1 in 357 black women and 1 in 500 Latino women.

Sherry Hopkins, a Las Vegas midwife, said the women whose home births she’s attended include a pediatrician, an emergency-room doctor and nurses. “We’re definitely seeing well-educated and well-informed people who want to give birth at home,” she said.    Robbie Davis-Floyd, a medical anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin and researcher on global trends in childbirth, obstetrics and midwifery, said “at first, in the 1970s, it was largely a hippie, countercultural thing to give birth outside of the hospital. Over the years, as the formerly “lay” midwives have become far more sophisticated, so has their clientele.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which certifies OBGYNs, warns that home births can be unsafe, especially if the mother has high-risk conditions, if a birth attendant is inadequately trained and if there’s no nearby hospital in case of emergency. Some doctors also question whether a “feminist machoism” is at play in wanting to give birth at home.

But home-birthers say they want to be free of drugs, fetal monitors, IVs and pressure to hurry their labor at the behest of doctors and hospitals. They prefer to labor in tubs of water or on hands and knees, walk around their living rooms or take comfort in their own beds, surrounded by loved ones as they listen to music or hypnosis recordings with the support of midwives and doulas. Some even go without midwives and rely on husbands or other non-professionals for support.

Julie Jacobs, 38, of Baltimore, who has multiple sclerosis, said she “chose midwives and hypnosis because I wanted to surround myself with people who would support me as a birthing mother, rather than view me as an MS patient who would be a liability in need of interventions at every turn.”    Her first two children were born in a freestanding birth center operated by midwives. After the center closed, her third child was born at home in 2007.    “If I had been in a hospital I probably would have had C-sections for all three,” she said. “With the first, I would have been terrified to try a home birth. After the second one I was like, hey, I can’t necessarily walk in a straight line, but I can do this.”

Some home-birthers cite concerns over cesarean sections. The U.S. rate of C-sections in hospitals hovers around 32 percent, soaring up to 60 percent in some areas. In some cases, there’s a “too posh to push” mentality of scheduled inductions for convenience sake. (Victoria Beckham had three.)    Gina Crosley-Corcoran, a Chicago blogger and pre-law student, had a C-section with her first baby and chronicled nightmarish pressure from nurses and doctors to abandon a vaginal birth with her second. She followed up with a third child born at home in April.

“I do think there’s a backlash against what’s happening in hospitals,” she said. “Women are finding that the hospital experience wasn’t a good one.”    In Portland, Ore., acupuncturist Becca Seitz gave birth to both her children at home, the first time in 2007 because she and her husband were without insurance.    “It was never on my radar, until we couldn’t afford otherwise,” she said. “I’m granola, but not that granola. It cost us $3,300, as opposed to over $10,000 in a hospital.”    Her midwife was prepared with the drug Pitocin, oxygen and other equipment.

“They were both born over the toilet,” she said. “It was a nice position. It’s a way that we’re used to pushing.”

( I loved this article – - but it wasn’t long enough.  I want to know more.  It seriously costs $10K to go to hospital for childbirth – - God in Heaven!  It’s a wonder anybody has kids anymore.  I am frankly stunned.

But having them over the toilet?. . .You should see what my mind is imagining right now.  This was a dynamite piece as I did not know anything at all about what I have just learned and I am so impressed.  I would if I could – believe me. . it ain’t ever gonna happen. . .it’s not news that I’m a mite too old for that.

I love the reasoning behind the decisions of all those women.  It’s your body and by golly, you should do it your way!  Many thanks for this education.  Jan)

Tirickle-down’s back – ain’t workin’

Trickle-down is back, and it still won’t work

PAUL KRUGMAN

Watching the economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been disheartening. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis — regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir — have regained their hold.

And now trickle down economics — specifically, the idea that anything that increases corporate profits is good for the economy — is making a comeback.

On the face of it, this seems bizarre. Over the past two years, profits have soared while unemployment has remained disastrously high. Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?

Consider first the arguments Republicans are using to defend outrageous tax loopholes. How can people simultaneously demand savage cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and defend special tax breaks favoring hedge fund managers and owners of corporate jets?    Well, here’s what a spokesman for Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, told Greg Sargent of The Washington Post: “You can’t help the wage earner by taxing the wage payer offering a job.” He went on to imply, disingenuously, that the tax breaks at issue mainly help small businesses (they’re actually mainly for big corporations). But the basic argument was that anything that leaves more money in the hands of corporations will mean more jobs. That is, it’s pure trickle-down.

And then there’s the repatriation issue.

U.S. corporations are supposed to pay taxes on the profits of their overseas subsidiaries — but only when those profits are transferred back to the parent company. Now there’s a move afoot — driven, of course, by a major lobbying campaign — to offer an amnesty under which companies could move funds back while paying hardly any taxes. And even some Democrats are supporting this idea, claiming that it would create jobs.

As opponents of this plan point out, we’ve already seen this movie:   A similar tax holiday was offered in 2004, with a similar sales pitch. And it was a total failure.   Companies did indeed take advantage of the amnesty to move a lot of money back to the U.S. But they used that money to pay dividends, pay down debt, buy up other companies, buy back their own stock — pretty much everything except increasing investment and creating jobs. Indeed, there’s no evidence that the 2004 tax holiday did anything at all to stimulate the economy.

What the tax holiday did do, however, was give big corporations a chance to avoid paying taxes, because they would eventually have repatriated, and paid taxes on, much of the money they brought in under the amnesty. And it also gave these companies an incentive to move even more jobs overseas, since they now know that there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to bring overseas profits home nearly tax-free under future amnesties.

Yet as I said, there’s a push for a repeat of this disastrous performance. And this time the circumstances are even worse.   How can anyone imagine that lack of corporate cash is what’s holding back recovery in America right now? After all, it’s widely understood that corporations are already sitting on large amounts of cash that they aren’t investing in their own businesses.

In fact, that idle cash has become a major conservative talking point, with right-wingers claiming that businesses are failing to invest because of political uncertainty. That’s almost surely false: The evidence strongly says that the real reason businesses are sitting on cash is lack of consumer demand. In any case, if corporations already have plenty of cash they’re not using, why would giving them a tax break that adds to this pile of cash do anything to accelerate recovery?

It wouldn’t, of course. Claims that a corporate tax holiday would create jobs, or that ending the tax break for corporate jets would destroy jobs, are nonsense.    So here’s what you should answer to anyone defending big giveaways to corporations: Lack of corporate cash is not the problem facing America. Big business already has the money it needs to expand;   what it lacks is a reason to expand with consumers still on the ropes and the government slashing spending.  

  • What our economy needs is direct job creation by the government and mortgage-debt relief for stressed consumers.

What it very much does not need is a transfer of billions of dollars to corporations that have no intention of hiring anyone except more lobbyists.

Paul Krugman writes for The New York Times.

(I wish our PAID politicians could see things so clearly.   [He didn't win his Nobel Prize for being a stupid man!] Jan)

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers

%d bloggers like this: