The Business of Being Born

2008 • 85 minutes
70 reviews
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About this movie

While the United States has perhaps the most advanced health care system in the world, it also has the second-highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nation, and many have begun to question conventional wisdom regarding the way obstetricians deal with childbirth. While midwives preside over the majority of births in Europe and Japan, fewer than ten percent of American mothers employ them, despite their proven record of care and success. How do American doctors make their choices regarding the way their patients give birth, and who is intended to benefit? Director Abby Epstein ("Until the Violence Stops") and Daytime Emmy Award-nominee Ricki Lake (TV's "The Ricki Lake Show," "Hairspray") offer a probing look at childbirth in America in the documentary The Business of Being Born, which explores the history of obstetrics, the history and function of midwives, and how many common medical practices may be doing new mothers more harm than good.
70 reviews
Trepto 42
July 19, 2015
There's a lot that could be better about the way we handle birth in this country, but abandoning safety for feelgoodery is a sure-fire way to cause needless death & suffering. The last thing birth is is safe, & pretending otherwise doesn't make it so.
2 people found this review helpful
A Google user
December 15, 2014
My wife & I were grateful to have seen this film. After experiencing the surreal horror of a c-section with the birth of my first son, my second wife & I opted for natural birth with a midwife for my second. The difference in the ethos between a medical procedure & a life-affirming event is truly astonishing. This film was instrumental in our decision.
Allison Strickling
January 31, 2015
I saw this when pregnant with my daughter. I had fully intended to have an epidural and do all the normal birth interventions. After seeing this I switched to a midwife, got hypnobabies, and had a beautiful natural birth. I'm so grateful to the makers of this film.