The Business of Being Born

Last night I skipped boxing because there was a substitute teacher whom I’ve had before and don’t particularly like. It’s interesting to think how one person can make exercising easy and fun, but someone else can make t a chore. It’s all in taste, I suppose.

Anyway, so instead of boxing Sean and I watched a documentary that I’ve been dying to see and happened to find out was available for instant watching on Netflix. It’s called The Business of Being Born, and it’s a documentary about how birth has changed in the United States over just the past century. Those of you who know me, know I wrote my thesis on a similar topic so this documentary was close to my personal and research interests.

It was produced by Ricki Lake, the former talk-show host after she had 1 hospital birth and 1 home birth.

There were so many interesting statistic and perspectives. One of the most interesting was that in the United States we spend more on giving birth than any other country and yet we’re the second worst developed country for infant mortality. Essentially, OB/GYNs are trained for worst-case scenarios births where Caesarean sections must be performed. Many have never even seen a home birth.

In pretty much everywhere else in the world, home births or more natural births prevail over hospital births and they have a decreased infant mortality rate.

There are so many interesting phenomenons behind how birth got into the hospitals and never seemed to make its way out. The take-away lesson I learned (beside the fact that my desire to never have kids has been confirmed), is that birth is a solely female process. While men are necessary for the initiation of the process, women are completely capable of handling the birth process without the help of male doctors rushing a C-section. Women have been doing it for centuries without the help of modern medicine (please note that those trained in midwifery are medically trained and do carry medical supplies with them in the case of an emergency, but most the time it isn’t necessary).

Women’s bodies were made for this, so they can most definitely handle it. What a great documentary. I recommend it to anyone, male or female. We all got here somehow.


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