Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The Business of Being Born
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?

Jared and I got out to see a free screening of Ricky Lake and Abby Epstein’s The Business of Being Born on Monday night, and it was awesome! I’ve been wanting to see it for months and months now and it was everything I was hoping it would be. The births in the film were absolutely beautiful (I couldn’t help but laugh and smile and sigh with joy everytime a woman birthed her baby) and the audience seemed visibly moved. And what a diverse audience it was; med students and regular students and midwives and doulas.

The best part of the night was that I left with the desire to learn more, to really get the ball rolling faster on my doula training, and to finally attend births. I’ll be having my chiro/doula-mentor (Dr. Jess) over soon for dinner and to pick her brain about all things doula, and to hopefully come up with a timeline of when I can/will start attending births.

I also came away with a better realization of how each of my two births have affected me both physically and emotionally. I’ve now experienced almost every kind of birth a woman can have: ob/gyn-attended, induced, cesarean, midwife-attended, stalled labor, vaginal, VBAC, failed epidural, hospital. I am really looking forward to experiencing birth again; this time it will be at home, a waterbirth, attended by a midwife and doula (Dr. Jess). I feel that all of these experiences that I’ve lived through are supposed to be part of my life path towards helping other women experience the miracle and joy of birth. I can attend births and truly feel empathy for the women who have to undergo a cesarean, who are induced, whose labor has stalled, who think they can’t do it. I will be able to take all of my personal experience and apply it to my work. The cesarean was traumatic for both Emma and I but it has given me greater perspective on the different ways a woman becomes a mother. The VBAC was intensely empowering, and I will fight for any mother who wishes to try (and be successful at!) a VBAC. I have fought through 2 severe boughts of postpartum depression and I know the warning signs and ways to cope. I have battled terrible breastfeeding problems only to push through and develop long-lasting and truly wonderful breastfeeding relationships with both my girls. I have a wealth of knowledge and resources that I can use to hopefully be a positive influence in the lives of the mothers and babies I will come in contact with.

I am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life!

Posted by Kier at 6:44 PM |