Monday, March 10, 2008

Watching The Business of Being Born

I finally got a chance to watch The Business of Being Born after writing this preview to a Columbus screening of the film (which I wasn’t able to attend). If you haven’t seen it, it’s available on Netflix now. I recommend it to anyone who’s ever had a baby, anyone who’s contemplating having a baby and anyone who’s ever known anyone who had or is contemplating having a baby. I guess that should cover everyone. It’s a really important look at how the United States leads the world in high-intervention, high-risk births that actually do more to endanger both mother and child – largely because convenience and profit are driving decisions about maternity care. (One jaw-dropping statistic cited in the movie and confirmed by this CDC Web site: Cesarean births in the United States have risen by 46 percent between 1996 and 2005.)

But it’s also just a beautiful journey through the whole process of bringing a baby into the world. Rob and I both got teary-eyed during moments of it as we relived our own birth experiences with Will and Owen in our minds.

There is nothing I have ever experienced that is at once as painful and difficult and as exhilarating and empowering as being fully in touch with your senses as you give birth to a baby. The women in this documentary are a testament to that. And I hope the film gives a few mothers out there the courage to believe that their bodies can handle natural childbirth and that the rewards are more than worth it.

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