Friday, April 11, 2008

Movie Review: The Business of Being Born

I saw this documentary I had wanted to see called “The Business of Being Born.” There is a lot of fear instilled in women around birth. With Madeleine I was terrified and I did not know what to expect. With Everett I wanted it different, on my terms.

My birthing experience with Madeleine was in a hospital where I received an epidural. I did not like the way that the epidural made me feel and after learning about a friend who used a doula (labor support), I decided to try a more natural route with Everett. I had a wonderful experience and really was amazed at how little pain there was having Everett with no drugs at all.

In my experience when the body is allowed the do its thing, gradually, then the pain is more bearable. If we decide to have a 3rd child I would love to use a midwife in a birthing center.

This was said by an OB doctor in the film: “For a normal, low risk woman it is overkill to go to a doctor. It's too much. An OB is a trained surgeon, we are not trained in normal births.”

When I was pregnant with Everett I asked my doctor about using a doula and she really discouraged me. I asked her if she had ever witnessed a natural birth and she said rarely! Has your doctor witnessed a natural, live birth? My OB was seriously astonished when I wanted to have a natural delivery. She warned me that the nurses would naturally put the stir ups in the bed like they would do for an epidural birth. Normal has changed in America. Very few doctors have attended a natural, no drug, birth.

70% of births in Europe and Japan are attended by midwives. 8% in United States are attended by midwives.

The United States has the 2nd worst newborn death rate in the developed world. Do we have more high risk women? The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all industrialized countries. When births went into the hospital, midwives did not go there with them.

In 1990, 95% of births in the United States took place at home. In 1938, half of all births took place at home. By 1955, less than 1% of births took place at home. It remains that number today.

The hospital is set up for one kind of birth and that involves pitocin. 90% of patients are on pitocin to speed things up, to facilitate things. The hospital is trying to get the bed emptied and with pitocin an epidural is needed.

People don’t have the information. I remember reading “The Red Tent,” where I learned about how women in biblical times would have their babies squatting. Lying down is not natural or normal. It makes the pelvis smaller.

Since 1996 the Cesarean section rate has risen 46%. In 2005 1 out of every 3 births was Caesarean section. Peak C-section times are 4pm and 10pm. Are the doctors trying to make it home?

I highly recommend that you watch “The Business of Being Born.” After I watched the movie I realized that more time was spent on my baby registry then on preparing for how I would bring my baby into this world.

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