Monday, August 2, 2010

ReViEw: The Business of Being Born documentary

At the start of my pregnancy, I wasn't sure what kind of birth plan I wanted. I don't really think I knew I had options, until I started telling people I was preggo. Everyone seems to enjoy telling you about their birth stories or knowledge about pregnancy. In some ways that is a positive thing cause your getting exposed to ideas/pregnancy topics but it can also be a negative thing cause you can develop unnecessary fears or thoughts. Either way, I'm the type of person that wants to know everything I can and I'm open enough to realize that everyone's experiences are different and will not allow myself to focus on the negatives. 

As I was doing my own pregnancy research and learning about birth plans, many of my friends and websites I came across mentioned this documentary called "The Business of Being Born". Everyone had one thing to say about it "It was a must see". It's offered on Netflix; however, since I and none of my close (near my home) friends have Netflix, I ordered the DVD. So, if anyone wants to borrow it, let me know.

So here is the synopsis taken right from the website: (
Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business.
Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.
Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?

When I initially got pregnant, I think I assumed I would have my baby in a hospital with a possibility of a c-section cause that is what was normal, right? Wrong. For the average person, this is what they are expected to believe. No one ever (Ob, etc.) ever explains the other choices. Fortunately, I was exposed to different birth plans and yes, I'm aware that some things don't happen as planned and that is okay, too. Not soon after getting my first ultrasound, I made the decision to switch from my OB/YN to a Birth Center with Midwifes. Since I decided I wanted to try for a natural, epi-free, vaginal delivery and I knew that it was highly unlikely that it would happen in an hospital. 

I received many questions from people who either didn't know what a birth center was or just wanted to know why I would opt for a "painful" delivery experience. I find it interesting that many women seem to think having a hospital birth with interventions (epidural, inductions, IV attachment, being attached to a monitor, the STRONG possibility of MAJOR surgery aka C-section) is a less painful way to bring their baby into this world. I'm in no way judging these people but wish people were aware of the facts before assuming my plan is the CRAZY plan. 

Back to the main point, the movie. This movie basically discusses this idea of the lack of knowledge being provided to women and the lack of support for a natural vaginal delivery that women around the world have been able to do for years. It really opens your eyes to the birthing industry/business and I have to say I recommend this video for those willing to open themselves and have their preconceived notions challenged. 

Have you heard of this documentary or have you seen it? What are your thoughts on the video or on natural vaginal delivery?


  1. Good for you! More power to you!

  2. well girlfriend. you KNOW my thoughts and I'm so incredibly proud of you no matter the outcome. Giving it all you have and giving your daughter and you the option of a med-free, peaceful delivery is a great start to her entrance into this world.

    I am with you in spirit Chele. I'm so disappointed beyond words that I can't be there for/with you.