Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

The Business of Being Born February 13, 2008

Last night, I went to see The Business of Being Born, a film produced by Ricki Lake about the state of maternity care in the US. Knowing her only from her 90’s talk show, I never thought I would actually respect her for her work, you know? But she is a big supporter of natural birth and had a homebirth with her second child, after a disappointing hospital birth with the first. It was very well done.

The Well Rounded Maternity Center put it on, so Coral, the owner of the birth center, and a lot of area midwives and doulas were there. I saw Jan, my midwife, but didn’t have time for more than a “how are you doing, it’s so great to see you,” because she was passing out an information sheet down the aisles.

The film was really riveting. I have no idea how long it was, but the time went by as though it were only a few minutes. The movie presented a history of maternity care in America and the current state of care. They interviewed well respected professionals like Michel Odent and Ina May Gaskin, and followed a few couples through pregnancy and birth.

I do wish there would have been more interview time with Ina May and more footage of birthing at The Farm, her midwifery center. She is just so amazing and inspiring. Her book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, is among my favorite books of all time. It is so empowering; makes you feel like you can do anything.

The birth footage was beautiful. I just love seeing homebirths. It is nothing like what you see on shows like A Baby Story. These women work through the pain and follow the lead of their bodies during labor. There was one birth in particular that gave me chills. This woman was in a birthing pool, sitting against the wall with her midwife behind. She had a pleasant look on her face, though you could tell she was deep in the process. The next moment, she lifts her baby out of the water. The baby was just so unexpected. I thought she was just in the middle of a contraction. The whole auditorium exhaled a sigh of wonder. It was one of those moments.

It was wonderful to watch this film with so many like minded women. Most people don’t understand why we would choose homebirth and I’m sure some thing we are foolish, or at least odd. The comradery was nice.