Because I am so passionate about natural childbirth, especially after having a wonderful natural birth at a birth center with a midwife attending, I was really excited to watch the documentary movie The Business of Being Born, by Executive Producer Ricki Lake and Director Abby Epstein.
My husband and I recently watched the movie together and I guess you could say that it was “preaching to the choir” for us, as it outlined the many facts about modern maternity care that I had already discovered years ago and were the reason we chose the maternity care that we did. But I do think this movie does an excellent job of introducing these facts and information to the general public, who may be unaware of exactly what is going on with our maternity care, and providing an introduction to safe birthing options available outside a hospital. For example, did you know that the US has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world? And did you know that midwives attend 70-80% of births in Europe?
I was also happy with how the movie portrayed midwives and home birth. I know many people do not even know what a modern midwife does exactly or what prenatal care with one involves. I think there is a lot of fear involved; fear of the unknown. Once you do the research and look at the facts, you will see how home birth is a very safe option and that midwives are highly trained and skilled.
I think this movie accomplishes two main things:
- Highlights the issues with maternity care in the US including the motivation behind many obstetrical decisions made today
- Shows safe birthing options available with a midwife
I do think every woman should see this movie. I know not everyone will end up choosing a natural birth, but I think it is important for women to have all the facts before they make a decision as important as how their baby will be born. I bet many women would be surprised to learn about the United State’s high infant mortality rate, or the fact in other countries most babies are born with midwives attending. Maybe their eyes will be opened to the motivations behind many decisions made by OB surgeons. And maybe they will start researching this decision for themselves. The movie’s website (www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com) has some excellent birth resources, including links to books, articles, and medical studies. As mentioned in the movie, people spend more time researching their purchase of a camera or car than they do the birth of their baby.
You can view the movie trailer here: