As I was channel surfing on Sunday I came across Ricki Lake's widely promoted documentary "The Business of Being Born."
I watched the entire film from beginning to end, but at least 10 minutes into it, it was clear that I was not seeing a fair and balanced documentary weighing pros and cons of vaginal a.k.a "natural" births and cesarean sections. Let's just say it was not a film that left it to viewers to decide. Instead it was mostly a case for natural births and midwifery. Very disappointing.
As someone who is planning what I will call an "epidural-aided natural childbirth" (no inducing, hopefully) I was watching with an open mind. However, it was clear that Ricki was seeking to portray the idea that women have been lied to and convinced by money-driven modern medicine--not to mention male doctors--to abandon midwives and the natural birthing process since the 20's. Brainwashed women? Give me a break.
The film included plenty of startling photos, statistics , testimony from foreign male doctors who blasted U.S. maternal medicine and the increasing number of c-sections in the U.S. They chastised Victoria Beckham for having multiple c-sections and said a New York City trend is to have a planned c-section or "Designer Birth."
My favorite part of the film was the ending where the director Abby, who is pregnant herself, ends up having an emergency c-section for her breach, 3lb preemie. Ah the irony. Guess what Ricki Lake asks her in the end, "Do you feel cheated that you didn't have a natural birth as planned?" Abby sits there holding her perfectly happy health baby boy months later and answers "Not at all." Exactly!
Sunday's LA Times also chimed in on the topic, too.
My problem with the film is that it promotes that there is only one right way of doing things for women. It's the liberal mindset and I hate it. I say let women decide (as they are already doing) what is best for them, their babies, and their families.
I'm positive my female, mother-of-two OB/GYN would be equally disappointed in the film, and I can't wait to ask her opinion at my next appoinment.