Chris sent me a link to this movie, The Business of Being Born, that is very relevant to our discussion today. The website contains a trailer and some interesting information in the Press Notes. Looks like you can get it from Netflix.
Among 33 industrialized nations, the United States is tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly 5 per 1,000 babies, according to a new report from Save the Children (April 2006). This is the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world. The five countries with the lowest infant mortality rates in the March of Dimes report -- Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Finland and Norway – midwives were used as their main source of care for 70 percent of the birthing mothers. Cesarean section is the most commonly performed surgery in the US, at a cost of $14 billion per year. Cesarean-delivery rates are now at an all time high in the United States, standing at 1.2 million, or 29.1 percent of live births in 2004. The increase represents a 40 percent increase in the past 10 years. (In 1970 the rate was 5.5%). A new report by the World Health Organization, published in the international medical journal, Lancet, identifies complications from cesarean surgery and anesthesia as the leading causes of maternal death in developed countries, including the United States.