Watch The Business of Being Born
- 1 hr 25 min
The Business of Being Born is a documentary film that explores the controversial subject of childbirth in the United States. The film, released in 2008, is directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake, who also appears in the film as a mother giving birth. The documentary takes a critical look at the medicalization of childbirth and advocates for natural childbirth practices, such as homebirths and midwifery care. The filmmakers interviewed a variety of experts, including doctors, midwives, and mothers, to highlight the different approaches to childbirth and to examine the issues surrounding childbirth in the United States.
The film opens by introducing the viewer to the birth of Mary Helen Ayres' first child. Mary chose to give birth at home with the help of a midwife, and her willpower and dedication to the natural process of childbirth is showcased throughout the film. Mary subsequently becomes one of the film's main subjects, as she embarks on a journey to become a midwife and to support and empower other women to have natural births.
Throughout the film, the viewers see a range of childbirth experiences, including hospital births and homebirths with midwives. The documentary challenges the common belief that hospital births are the only safe and reliable option for childbirth, and argues that the medicalization of childbirth has led to unnecessary interventions, including C-sections and inductions. The film also highlights how the medicalization of childbirth puts women in a vulnerable position and takes away their autonomy and control over their bodies and the birth process.
One key theme of the documentary is the importance of informed consent in childbirth. The film shows examples of women being coerced into medical interventions without fully understanding the risks and benefits. The filmmakers also argue that women should be given the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their birth options.
Another important aspect of the film is the role of midwives in childbirth. The filmmakers interviewed several midwives who discussed the benefits of midwifery care, including personalized attention, continuous support during labor and delivery, and a focus on the natural process of childbirth. The film also shows how midwives work collaboratively with doctors and hospitals to provide safe and effective care.
The documentary also touched upon the economic implications of childbirth in the United States. The film showed how the high cost of hospital births can be a barrier for many women, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured. The filmmakers argue that natural childbirth options, such as homebirths with midwives, can be a more affordable and accessible option for many women.
Overall, The Business of Being Born is a thought-provoking film that challenges the conventional approach to childbirth in the United States. The filmmakers make a strong case for natural childbirth practices, while also acknowledging the importance of working collaboratively with medical professionals. The documentary offers valuable insights into the birth process and highlights the importance of informed decision-making and patient-centered care.
The Business of Being Born is a 2008 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 68.