Ricki Lake explores childbirth in The Business of Being Born

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Actress Ricki Lake is the producer of a new documentary exploring childbirth in America. The Business of Being Born promises "shocking facts regarding the historical and current practices of the child birthing industry." The film shines a critical light on birth culture in the U.S. and suggests that midwives may be the solution.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Ricki talks about what prompted her to produce this film. Only one of her two sons was birthed at home and the differences in the two experiences led her to want to "explore and question birth practices in this country and perhaps be an advocate for mothers' rights and better maternity care."

The Business of Being Born was directed by Abby Epstein and debuts April 29th at the Tribeca Film Festival. The program notes include some interesting statistics:
  • home birthing, which was once considered the norm, accounted for less than 1% of births in the United States by 1995
  • in Europe and Japan, midwives attend 70% of births compared to less than 8% in the U.S.
  • in spite of spending twice as much on on maternity care than any other country, the U.S. has the second highest infant mortality rate in the developed world
That last one shocked me, but apparently it's true.

You may also be shocked to see included in the documentary, Ricki's personal home video of herself nude in her bathtub, giving birth to her son Owen, now 5. When asked how intimate the film gets, Ricki says "I am naked at 195 pounds giving birth in my own bathtub. It can't get any more intimate than that!"

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.