I am so excited to see this documentary about modern day birthing in America. With both of my pregnancies I felt like I was a prisoner trapped inside of my own body. I gave birth both times by induction to big babies and was literally at the mercy of the doctors and nurses taking care of me. Both times I was very close to having C-sections, but I somehow managed to find the strength to pull through and push those big babies out! With my second child, the doctor mentioned several times that she thought I couldn’t do it vaginally, but I relaxed, took a nap and let go of the control that I was trying to have over the situation and come to accept whatever was in store for us. Finally things started to happen. My body pulled through for me with lots of help from pain relievers.
Although I felt more powerful after giving birth than any other time in my life, in all honesty, I was probably the most powerless. I’m through having babies now. There will be no more experiences of giving birth on my end. I’ve realized that my body just doesn’t like to be pregnant and I think it’s time I start listening intently to what my body’s telling me! I do wonder how things would have been different had I listened a little more closely during my pregnancies. Would it have been a different experience for me and my newborn babes? Or are there just some aspects of childbirth that are out of our control and in the hands of the professionals? Maybe I can find some answers in this movie. Here’s a summary of what it’s about:
Birth: it’s a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to examine and question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.
Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?
Screenings are playing at Birthwise Birth and Family Center in Austin on February 21, 23 and 24. The movie will be available to watch in your home on February 26th through Netflix. Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on your birth process in the comments.