THE BIG PUSH FOR PROFIT
”According to the ‘big push’ theory of economic development, publicly coordinated investment can break the underdevelopment trap by helping economies overcome deficiencies in private incentives that prevent firms from adopting modern production techniques and achieving scale economies. These scale economies, in turn, create demand spillovers, increase market size, and theoretically generate a self-sustaining growth path that allows the economy to move to a Pareto preferred Nash equilibrium where it is a mutual best response for economic actors to choose large-scale industrialization over small-scale production.”
A Brief History of the “Birth Industry”
Birth has been an industry for a long time. Doctors began specializing in obstetrics when it was realized that a profit could be had. They competed directly with community midwives (who usually provided services for free or barter) and launched a propaganda smear campaign against the traditional midwives in order to set up new practices and gain clients. The doctors claimed to offer all the best technology of modern obstetrics. (Forceps were routinely and brutally used on mothers and babies. Pain killers for birth then became the NECESSARY, due to the brutally painful interventions. The same is true today.)
Midwives were forced into registration/licensure as a way of controlling and limiting the competition. Once they were licensed, they had a list of who the midwives were, and then midwifery was made illegal in many places. In places where it is legal, making midwifery education expensive and extremely tedious was another way of limiting access to midwifery, thereby directing clients towards physicians and the big moneymakers: hospitals! That was the big push for hospital birth. While midwives never completely went away, whoever was left basically went underground in most areas due to the laws. Birth profits were secured by the phyisicians.
It was not about safety of mothers then either. Studies show that hospital interventions are costly, scary and do not improve outcomes. In many cases mortality and morbidity are HIGHER in the hospital than at home. The big push for hospital birth was and is about profit and marketing, as mothers were and ARE used routinely to test new drugs and technologies. Since these drugs and technologies then make MORE money once patented and sold, hospitals truly are very profitable investments. This does NOT benefit mothers and babies. A quick search on thalidomide, X-ray and DES will show you more than you would ever want to know. Their modern equivalents are Pitocin, Cytotec, C Section and ultrasound. We are in the midst of a maternity crisis right now as we are seeing the damage that is being done.
Midwives Back on the Scene
After decades of medicated, brutal and traumatic births, mothers were looking for a better way to birth. The Natural Childbirth movement started gaining popularity, and mothers started taking back their births, bit by bit. Part of this movement has been the re-emergence of the midwife. Midwives have been steadily gaining popularity. In the US, there are many different kinds of midwives available to choose from, to meet a variety of needs of the very diverse families seeking midwifery care. Types and amount of education vary, as well as fees and services provided. This gives midwifery a vast, flexible array of of options for parents to choose from.
Types of Midwives
There are certified midwives, licensed midwives and traditional midwives. Traditional/lay/community midwives may be any variety of midwife, from the granny down the road, that has attended 2000 births, or the aunty that has attended no births. She could be the mother’s best friend or mother. She may be a community midwife who has gone to midwifery school for 4 years or a midwife from another country. She works directly for the mother, based on an agreement between them on what kind of care will be provided. She is free to charge each mother her full fee, what the family can afford, barter, or offer her services for free if she wants. She can serve the mothers she feels she can serve well, within her own comfort level. She is autonomous. Her mothers can customize their care, as there no enforced protocols on what she must do to the mother or when she must tell the mother to go to the hospital. Instead they offer information for the mother to make her decisions with. She works for no one but the mother.
Licensed midwives and licensed nurse midwives work under a regulatory body with protocols dictating who they can and cannot serve, and what their fees will be, and how labor should be managed. These midwives have high overhead costs, are limited to do what the government says is fashionable in “health care” at the time, and their hands are tied if they want to help mothers who do not fall into one of the governments categories of eligible for midwifery care. THESE MIDWIVES CHARGE THE MOST FOR THEIR SERVICES. Why else would midwives chose to limit themselves and their scope of practice, as well as limit the clients that they can serve, no longer being autonomous? BECAUSE IT PAYS.
Why Choose a More Expensive Midwife?
Good question… the answer is that families don’t always choose a more expensive midwife when there are less expensive but equally good options available. And this is a where the Big Push for licensed midwives comes in… According to the big push economic model, in order to industrialize (commercialize) a product or system that costs a lot yet can create a large profit, where there is already a system in place that is cheaper and the wage is lower, you have to get EVERYONE to jump on board and go commercial together, otherwise those with the higher operating costs can’t compete and will take a loss.
Getting everyone to industrialize creates a demand for the industry, which is always marketed as some sort of new and improved modern product. Even more effective at creating demand is to legislate your competitors out of business, by making them illegal if they do not take part in the industrialization of the sector. Its like having a Walmart move in to your town and then outlawing the food sold at previously existing stores, by labeling it unsafe. Yet this food fed the town safely until the Walmart came to town…..