Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last year in Miami-Dade County more women had cesareans than vaginal births.

This is tragic and outrageous from a medical ethics perspective. One reason for the high section rate? Virtually no docs in that part of the world carry malpractice insurance because it is too costly, so they fly bare and use cesareans as a shield if the tiniest issue crops up during labor. The rest of us pay the price of soaring medical expenses.

I also think there is something culturally different there. During my book tour, I spoke in just about every major city in this country but there was only one place -- Miami -- where a woman stood up after my talk to say that she would rather have a c-section "just because" than deal with the pain and inconvenience of a vaginal birth. It's a culture of Botox and face lifts and filling in swamp lands to build fake castles. Why do we try so hard to cheat nature?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Support midwifery, save a life

Since May 5th is International Midwives Day, I wanted to do two things. First, say thank you to the two midwives who attended my second son's birth, at home.

And second, spread the word about Americans For UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, which provides women’s health care and promotes the rights of women around the world. AMERICANS FOR UNFPA is dedicated to building moral, political and financial support within the United States for the work of UNFPA.

Every minute a woman dies in childbirth somewhere in the world — 536,000 deaths per year — and almost all of them are preventable. Every year, the world loses $15 billion in productivity because of maternal death. It would only cost $6 billion to provide the health services to save women's lives. The Obama administration has restored funding of UNFPA, which had been suspended since 2002. And in March, Congress allocated $50 million to UNFPA and its life saving programs in 150 countries around the world. With this financial contribution the U.S. stands in solidarity with the world’s women and the 180 governments that support UNFPA’s efforts each year. This contribution will help support, among other UNFPA initiatives, training midwives to make birth safer.
Click here to help end maternal death, and declare yourself an American for UNFPA.