The Business of Being Born


Last night I watched the documentary, The Business of Being Born. I have been meaning to watch it for a while and even watched the first bit of it when I was pregnant with my son but for some reason lost interest. Apparently my mind-set is a lot different for my second pregnancy and also having had experienced childbirth myself.

The film is largely a labor of love for Ricki Lake (yeah, that one) and the director Abby Epstein, and it follows the history and the value of the midwife in America. There was a time when the midwife was the only person that assisted a woman during labor, and now it is really quite uncommon. Hospitals and doctor’s interventions are commonplace for a majority of births in America. In other countries, however, most women only have a midwife and have a natural birth at home. The film discusses the risks that are involved in a hospital birth and how the intervention of drugs is often what causes the scary birthing experiences.

The film features many scenes of birth, including some touching scenes of these brave women quietly having their babies naturally in a tub or birthing pool. The joy on their faces and the pure love that pours out seriously overshadows the previous scene in which they are reeling from pain.

One thing that really irks me is how they talk about C-sections. They talk about how popular they have become, in large part because of the trend created by celebrities like Victoria Bekham and Britney Spears. I was not actually aware of these people doing this out of convenience, and even though I know a lot about most popular celebrities, I wasn’t aware of this trend. I am also well aware that the American public likes to emulate celebrities no matter how stupid their actions seem. What makes me mad is that people choose to have a c-section out of convenience, what the hell? Having a baby is this wonderful experience, and a baby knows when they are ready to be in this world, why rush it? Also, invasive surgery for no reason? people are sick.

Back to the movie, I really found the movie informative and interesting. A warning, it is heavily pro midwife/anti-physician for the most part so if you find that judgemental, I would skip this one.

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