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The Business of Being Born

business-bornI write this review of the documentary of The Business of Being Born conflicted.  This movie is about how doctors and hospitals have turned labor into a big cash cow for them.  This is a movie I agreed to review, because I've had two kids and my sister is now pregnant too.  Being pregnant is scary.  There are so many things going on and labor has to be the scariest.

Here's where I become conflicted.  I don't believe what the movie is telling me.  Maybe I just have lucked out and have had two incredible doctors and have been at two incredible hospitals.  The doctor who delivered Madison had midwives working for him.  If I was not high risk, I could have easily opted to use a midwife with no questions asked.  However, once you start having preterm labor issues at 26 weeks, midwives and homebirths are not an option anymore.  With Will, I again had preterm labor issues.  We also had the issue that he could be born with spinal bifida, so home birth was not an option either (he was also born three weeks early).  I found at both hospitals that I was in control of the situation.  I was able to chose what I wanted to do.  I was not pressured into any decisions that we made.  At both hospitals, I was asked when (aff) I wanted to be discharged.  I was asked what postition I wanted to push from.  C-section was never even an option unless something major happened.  There was no pushing me out the door, so they could fill the bed with another person they could charge big bucks too. I also need to say that even if I wasn't high risk I would never do a home birth.  There are just too many things that could go wrong, and I would never be able to forgive myself if something would happen that could have been fixed if only I was in the hospital.

Now, with all that being said, I did like the movie.  This is a great way to research home births and natural births.  Before you give birth is a scary time and the more you know, the better off you are.  Watching this movie may sway your decisions.  However, you are at least knowledgeable about what you are deciding.  I found the ending highly ironic too.  One of the film's producers was pregnant and ended up delivering at the hospital, because her child was breach.  They also conceed that sometimes a hospital birth is better.

This is a movie I will be passing onto my sister to watch before she has her baby.  I have no idea where she is planning on giving birth and the more information you have, the better.

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3 thoughts on “The Business of Being Born”

  1. I watched this back in April, and I agree it can leave you conflicted or may even sway some women's decisions.
    I would say you got lucky with your doctors and hospitals, they didn't push you in any direction, but nowadays, a lot of doctors do.
    C-sections are so much easier on the doctor, they can get in and out, move on to their next patient in as little as 20 minutes.

    The ending where the film's producer delivered at the hospital was indeed because the baby was breech, it was an emergency, she wanted to have a natural home birth, but if a baby is breech, it does need to be handled in a hospital in case something else goes wrong with the baby or mother.

    But even 17 years ago when I had Mark, the doctors tried to talk me into a C-section because of my scoliosis, they said it would be dangerous for me and my baby, but because I had done my research, I knew that I could have him vaginally, and I insisted on doing it that way.
    The same happened when I had Sebastian, but again, I insisted.

    I have known many mothers who opted for having a C-section for no other reason than they didn't want to do it vaginally, they didn't want to hurt, and they scheduled their C-sections by the 3rd month, it was all planned out, they chose the birth date and time based on when they wanted it to be.

    Birth can be scary, but the idea of planning the whole birth date and time, doing a C-section simply because they were in fear of pain, is kind of ridiculous to me.
    I know that giving birth vaginally made my scoliosis worse, the pressure on my spine really advanced my scoliosis, but I wouldn't have done it any other way. I don't regret it for a minute.
    Both my vaginal births were amazing, something I'll remember forever. I recall every single detail of them, how many hours, the pain, who was there, and reaching down to touch their crowning heads, holding them for that first time, I loved it all, every single painful minute.

    I really wish more moms to be would research all of their birthing options, understand that natural childbirth is scary, but not going to mentally scar them for life, pain can be controlled, and C-sections really should be used only as a last resort, as an emergency need, not a designer birthday chosen for their child, and a way to avoid pain.

    But great review Lisa, it's honest, it's how you feel. 🙂

  2. I loved this film. Here's my situation:

    1) I am mortified of hospitals. I was actually considering NEVER giving birth and adopting (something I still plan on doing, but later on) because the idea of HAVING to be in a hospital was terrifying to me. I would not have been able to function. Now that I know there's another option out there, I am SO excited about birth! I understand that if something goes wrong I will have to go to the hospital, but that'll be in a situation where I go there, get what I need to get done, and get gone. I won't be lingering in there and sitting there *thinking* about where I am.

    2) San Diego (southern California in general) has one of the highest C-Section rates in the country. The "Too Posh To Push" trend is still running rampant and doctors actually assume you WANT a C-section! Every friend I have who has had a friend in the past 3 years has had a C-Section. I find it hard to believe that they ALL needed C-Sections. They are all healthy 20-something year olds (there are five of them, btw) who were given the LAMEST reasons to have a C-Section (pelvis too small, baby too big, etc.).

    3) My Mom has the saddest story. When I was born they took me away almost right away and told her she needed rest so I would sleep in the nursery for the night. She said she could hear me crying all night! She said for 6 hours I didn't stop for longer then a few minutes and she couldn't sleep a wink, but she didn't feel comfortable asking for me. This was in the 80s, but I know a lot of hospitals in California still feel this way.

    So this film really did change my life. I now feel the confidence to have a baby (biologically) and I'm actually EXCITED about it!!! I'm looking forward to it! And we're house hunting now and in every house I'm picturing where I can put the birthing pool. And I'm all baby obsessed. 🙂

    So… I LOVE this film. 🙂 But it does have an agenda. But I also think it's important to watch because in a lot of places they really don't explain to you what these meds they're giving you do.

  3. I had such a different experience, so it is good to hear about others. Like I said, this is a great movie to watch because it gives you a view of the other side of the story.

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Lisa Martin

Lisa Martin

In April 2006, Lisa began blogging to stay connected with distant relatives and friends. As she delved into blogging, she discovered the potential to assist others by sharing her experiences. Lisa has actively engaged in numerous exclusive media ventures. Notable among these are her participation in events such as the Sony Mommy Bloggers Event, the Pampers Mommy Bloggers Event, the Epson Event in Chicago, the Stouffers Event, a memorable yacht excursion with Lands End, collaborations with 1-800-Baskets, an exclusive tour for bloggers by Mrs. Prindable’s, partnerships with Hallmark, PopCap games, Chicago Cubs Mastercard Priceless Events, and Rug Doctor. In addition, she has collaborated with Nutrisystem on a weight loss initiative, teamed up with Buick and Chevy, and served as a brand ambassador for Sprint. Lisa's collaboration portfolio also extends to Disney, where she has participated in press trips for significant movies such as Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, McFarland USA, The Good Dinosaur, The BFG, and Cars 3. Notably, for projects like Frozen, The BFG, and Cars 3, she was granted the privilege of walking the red carpet and conducting interviews with celebrities. The impact of Lisa's blog has gained recognition, with The New York Times referencing her content. Moreover, she has been featured in interviews by respected publications such as the Southtown Star, The Chicago Sun Times, and inside.View Author posts