Friday, May 23, 2008

Texas- Its a whole other controversy

Check out this link to Controversies in Childbirth. This looks like a terrific conference and they are still requesting speakers! What controversial topic should I take on? Unassissted birth? Health disparities in birth? How birth practices sabotage successful breastfeeding? Homebirth for grandmultips? Why I turned my back on hospital L&D nursing? Ah, so many subjects, so little time. Unfortunately with an article due and getting ready to leave town, I'll have little time to devote to daydreaming, but I do intend to submit an idea.


WarriorMoM said...

Yeah. i can't wait! Thanks for the reminder to put it on my (new) blog. Maybe tomorrow.

as gretta grows said...

I'm interested in this event, too, but a little put off by the tone of the conference sponsor's website.

Check out this text from their homepage:
"Business of Birth International, Inc. is a worldwide consulting and advisory group working with and improving the practices and profitability of medical providers, facilities, and organizations engaged or involved with the delivery and care of mothers and babies, as well as products designed for the providers or consumers of pregnancy and baby related products."

Something about making birth 'profitable' doesn't sit well with me. Though, the company founder does seem to have a very decent list of birth advocacy accomplishments under his belt.

Also, I'm not sure that midwives and other pro-birth practitioners are interested in being put in the position to defend their practices and beliefs. ACOG's treatment of midwives is largely responsible for the current (disgusting) state of maternity care in the U.S., why should I want to listen to anything they have to say?

Laborpayne said...

I respectfully disagree AGG,
We should be able to defend our beliefs against those who disagree and this conference provides a neutral forum for that. They should not fear to engage us, nor we them. An exchange of ideas is beneficial for all parties. Why should you want to listen to them- because as of now- they are in control. As far as birth being 'profitable'- it is the goal EVERYONE's business to be profitable- even healthcare businesses. If I want my physician's business to be around to keep serving me- it has to be profitable. The owner of BBI is nothing more than a marketing guru that specializes in healthcare related businesses.

as gretta grows said...

I absolutely respect your point, LP, and I think you are right about an exchange of ideas always being a good thing. I'm just more than a little cynical about the ability of most people who approach birth from the medical perspective to be open to the idea that birth is normal and (in most cases) just needs to be left alone.

But, the idea of birth as business still rubs me the wrong way. Someone should make a living off my body's natural ability to birth? Making a living by educating women about their bodies and by being knowledgeable, resourceful, 'guardians of safety' seems reasonable - noble, even.

Regardless - I hope you have a great conference.

Laborpayne said...

"Someone should make a living off my body's natural ability to birth?"

Dearest AGG,
Isn't this what midwives do? Isn't the worker worthy of her wages?

as gretta grows said...

No, it isn't.

At least in my experience, midwives attend births, they don't 'deliver' babies, which is a very important philosophical difference. It places the woman in the position of power, not the doctor. And I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone that midwives typically charge about 1/3 or less than OB/GYNs and are often reimbursed by insurance at a lower rate than are physicians. There are midwives in my area who have provided prenatal care and attended births for almost no reimbursement because of their dedication to providing women and their families with a natural, NORMAL birth experience. You really believe midwives are in the business of profiting off women?

The midwifery model of care is what I was refering to when I said: "Making a living by educating women about their bodies and by being knowledgeable, resourceful, 'guardians of safety'..." I see this as placing women first and the dollar much lower on the list. I had the impression from reading your posts about your dedication to birth/breastfeeding education and your profile (6 homebirths) that you espoused this model of care yourself.

I'm more than a little confused about why I'm being asked to defend myself here, I thought I was preaching to the choir.

Laborpayne said...

No need to defend. I'm not goading you on, I'm drawing you out. I find this conversation fascinating. As a business owner my thoughts are always on the bottom line. If I threw open my business doors and allowed others to partake of my services free of charge- well that would be very nice of me, but I wouldn't be earning a living, I'd be indulging a hobby (an expensive one at that- like most businesses there are expenses). The goods and services provided by midwives are no different to me than the goods and services provided by my plumber. Both should be fairly compensated for what they provide. Both are commodities in the marketplace. But I fear we are talking two different languages, I economics, and you perhaps more spiritual/philosophical. Please forgive me if I have offended, I was simply indulging what for me was a stimulating exchange of ideas- such as I referenced in my previous comments.