The Business of Being Born

I finally got to see the movie that has been garnering a lot of attention in these past few months tonight.

I’ve seen my fair share of birth movies, but The Business of Being Born is definitely worth the hype. I highly recommend it. It does an incredible job of summing up a lot of what is wrong with birth today, particularly in regards to hospital-based maternity care. There is also footage from a couple of really beautiful home births (no matter how many births I see, whether in person or on tape, I still tear up every time).

I have to say that even after all this time in the birth activism world, it still gets me so fired up to hear about just how absurd it has all gotten. 70% of births in Europe and Japan are attended by midwives, compared to less than 3% here. Maternal and infant mortality rates are not good compared to other developing countries. Interventionist hospital practices create a domino effect that ends in an “emergency” c-section that is actually a result of the interventions in the first place–for one in three births. I could go on and on. Ricki’s movie does, and everyone should see it.

While it doesn’t say anything new, or anything that hasn’t been said by midwives, doulas or activists in the past, she does have the possibility of reaching a new and broader audience thanks to money and fame. Hopefully more women, men, doctors and medical students will start to see the light on this epidemic.

I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from the movie, from Marsden Wagner, the author of Born in the USA:

The best thing to do if you want a humanized birth is get the hell out of the hospital.



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