Investigative journalist Margulis (co-author: The Baby Bonding Book for Dads, 2008, etc.) contends that corporate interests are putting the lives of mothers and children at risk in order to increase the bottom line.
“Most hospitals have a financial incentive to do as many interventions as possible and deliver women as quickly as possible,” writes the author. The American medical profession ranks so poorly when it comes to maternal and infant mortality that mothers are four times more likely to die during pregnancy or in childbirth than in Bosnia; compared to Irish or Italian women, the death rate is seven times higher. Similar shocking statistics hold for children. The U.S. ranks 49th among industrialized nations regarding infant death rates. While recognizing the importance of factors such as the higher number of older American women pregnant with their first child, the use of fertility drugs leading to multiple births and lack of universal health care, Margulis focuses on the one-size-fits-all, high-end medical care offered to middle- and upper-income women despite their age, their ability to pay or their expressed preferences. To substantiate her charge that the medical system puts the interests of “large companies…ahead of the best interests of the mother and her baby,” the author gives examples of women being warned off natural childbirth by obstetricians and urged instead to induce labor using hormones; or better yet, from the standpoint of doctors and hospitals, opt for a Caesarian section. Margulis also examines the claim that overuse of ultrasound to test fetal development and routine administration of megadose vaccinations may contribute to autism, and she finds fault with supplementary bottle-feeding and the overuse of diapers, which causes an unnecessary delay in potty training.
Somewhat extreme views that are nonetheless worthy of close consideration by parents.