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Baby Bump: The Business of Being Born

Former talk show host Ricki Lake executive produced Abby Epstein's documentary, The Business of Being Born. The film which has enjoyed all sorts of critical acclaim and press, just opened in New York City where Ricki Lake and Keri Russell were spotted hobnobbing outside the theater at its debut.

To learn more about the fascinating documentary,

The movie focuses on claims that doctors and hospitals are making huge profits from delivering babies. They believe women have been convinced that having a hospitalized medicated birth is the norm and that age old methods of home birthing and drug–free births are passé, even dangerous.

In the trailer, a panel of women in white coats were asked how often they get to see a completely natural birth. They answered, "Rarely. Almost never." It also states, "The United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world," which I was shocked and even a bit scared to read. The movie highlights the positives to old–fashioned birthing methods and shows Ricki Lake having one of her own.

For those of you who are debating your delivery, this movie might help you make your decision.

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Join The Conversation
zabrow zabrow 9 years
i LOVED this documentary! i haven't had any children yet, but it made me consider home birth & natural birth as options for when i do have kids. i'd just never really thought of it before. very interesting!
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
Wow RobinFabulous, you should be very proud! = )
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 9 years
Just PS in a lot of areas they have birthing centers that are supposed to be more "home like" with close, easy access to hospitals in case of emergency. Not in my area, but you know. AND FTR there are way other than medication for dealing with labor "pain" (Had 3 completely natural NOT by choice, but by design) (Scolosis as a child = fused spine = no epidural)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
My husbands parents had all five kids at home, no midwife, just his dad with a book. They are all very healthy smart wonderful people, that said, i am going to a birthing center not the hospital.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
You can always try to go natural. By the time it's too late for an epidural, you're almost done. And you will surprise yourself in what you are capable of handling. But, there's nothing wrong with getting the epidural and settling in for a relaxing delivery. :D It's all a very personal choice.
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
I have a low pain tolerance. I'm basically just a big baby. = ( So it makes me nervous about child birth. I being a very sentimental person would rather have a very serene home-like environment...calm and surrounded by soft spoken people. But me being a complete whiner when it comes to any amount of pain knows that I will need some sort of pain reliever. What do you all suggest for the pain fearing girl? Go with hospital meds or try it naturally...I'm just scared if I decide to try it naturally there's no turning option of an epi. Not planning on having a child for a long time.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I havent given birth nor plan to any time soon. That being said.... It seems that everyone these days is having a C-section. To me C-sections should be reserved for emergency situations. But doctors are basically forcing women into it and I feel like it is because doctors don't want to hurt their stats with natural births. My mom had both my brother and I in a hospital but did it the natural way with no drugs or cutting and we both turned out perfectly fine. There really is a business to birthing. HOWEVER giving birth in a hospital is not all bad specially if something goes wrong during or after the birth. There are experts there to help the baby or you immediately. I know there are women now to opt for at home births which is fine specially if you have a midwife but I wonder how many people truly consider the consequences of it (or even birthing in the hospital). Geez when you think about it both ways have their pros and cons. I saw a lady on tv recently give birth at home by herself. She didnt even have a midwife. She felt that since she did it once at a hospital that she would be fine doing it herself at home :oy: I felt like yelling at her "AT LEAST A MIDWIFE OR SOME SORT OF EXPERT THERE" even in ancient times women used midwives :oy:
Tullia Tullia 9 years
true, jennifer76. no method is perfect. there are no rights and wrongs when deciding the method to give birth.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
In the hospital I had my daughter in - just in the 6 months leading up to her birthdate - one perfectly healthy child was reduced to an almost completely brain-dead state by a nurse accidentally adminstering carbon dioxide instead of oxygen, a mother was paralyzed by an epidural then later died in transport to another hospital, another mother (actually a neighbor of mine) died unexpectedly while lying in her bed in early stages of labor due to heart issues and the child was lost too. What do anecdotal horror stories really tell you? Only that no method is perfect.
lms lms 9 years
BTW....she ended up in the news as a result of all the drama that ensued.
lms lms 9 years
She is in Florida. She had a midwife but they told her that they weren't allowed to do multiple births at home b/c it was considered high risk. I don't have much confidence in the team that she worked with b/c as big as she was they should have been able to find another baby in there. I would think there are other methods, but who knows... I don't think that she doesn't believe in ultrasounds b/c she had 2 kids prior to that in the hospital. She said that she was not happy with the experiences and wanted to try something different.
ylatan ylatan 9 years
some people feel ultrasounds are not safe. there are also ways of feeling from the outside and figuring out you are having twins. i'm not sure what state/country your friend is from, but homebirth is legal in every state in the US.
lms lms 9 years
I had my daughter in a hospital and would do the same again. I feel if someone wants a homebirth that is their decision. However, I have a friend who had a home birth and never had any kind of screening via machines, etc. She was ridiculously huge in the belly from early on in the pregnancy. After she delivered her baby, her contractions did not stop. She was pregnant with twins and had no idea. At that point they had to call an ambulance to take them to the hospital, b/c it is not allowed for homebirths to be multiples from what she said. I like the fact that technology has advanced to such a level that we can get a better idea of what is going on. I could not justify not taking advantage of it.
CrazyMother CrazyMother 9 years
The LA Premier is Monday the 14th and I'm going! I'm doing a video cast for an Internet blogging social network. I'll post a blog on it if I look cute...:)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Wow, this is a lot. I'm glad I'm child-free by choice.
ylatan ylatan 9 years
i am signed up to see a screening of this. i am really excited about it. it makes me all warm and fuzzy to see people advocate informed choice in birth. i also don't really believe there's any debate about the facts-the facts are there, it's just the information that most mothers are not given. pretty sad.
RobinFabulous RobinFabulous 9 years
This is exactly the reason I gave up on being a midwife. The area I live in has about awful birthing statistics. Most women schedule their c-sections. Midwives are totally useless here
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Reading my comment back, it sounds more judgmental than I meant it. I hear what you're saying, brendelwoman. What bothers me is that, when it comes to babies, it seems you can't advocate anything you feel is positive without people who have made other choices going on the defensive. Discussion is productive. Let's not shut it down.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
I have an open mind. But just as with breastfeeding versus bottle, stay at home versus work out of the home, immunize versus not immunize, circumcision versus not circumcise, there seems to be a push to tell mothers that we aren't doing the right thing unless we go a certain way. There is a lot of conflicting information out there so who is to know what is fact? So for me there is guilt in knowing which way to go.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
You know, I really wish people would keep an open mind. It seems like any discussion about different alternatives gets shut down with a "you're just trying to make me feel guilty." Don't people want access to the facts? Not just the things that make them feel good? I had both my children in a hospital - one with a doctor and several labor nurses and one with just a midwife and a nurse. I don't feel guilty about the choices I've made in the past, but I'd like to educate myself about the options available in the future.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Another thing to feel guilty about...
rgrl rgrl 9 years
I'm sure it's interesting, but not groundbreaking info. I'd still rather be in a hospital... I like having the nurses check on the baby afterwards and giving us sleep breaks at night. ALso, having your food brought to you is nice. :P
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I'm really glad to see people are bringing attention to this! People are so convinced these days that you have to be in a hospital, surrounded by equipment and drugged to the hilt. Sure, that's an option but don't buy into the idea that it's the only "normal" option! That stat about newborn deaths seems a little disingenuous though given that it's likely affected by things like the number of and quality of pregnancy interventions that bring troubled pregnancies to term.
vinnie vinnie 9 years
I'm due in April and trying to figure out my birthing plan. I live in LA....wonder if this movie will be shown here soon?
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Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys at the 2016 Emmys
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