It's been fantastic showing The Business of Being Born here at the office! While there are still trickles of people, the feedback has been phenomenal.
When someone goes in as a natural birth advocate, they come out a natural birth fanatic. I am not kidding. We've watched as pregnant woman after pregnant woman walked into the movie a hospital patient and walk out with a list of midwives in their hand or Dr. Wonderful's card if they are still unsure about birthing outside of the hospital.
The movie is transforming. Absolutely transforming.
Despite my earlier critique, watching it a dozen more times has softened my initial concerns about the movie. Listening to the comments from lay folks also helped.
When we had the group of CNMs and LMs, they had similar thoughts as I about how the movie ended (with an emergency cesarean), but the lay folks haven't had any such concerns and haven't read nearly as much psychology into it as I did, so I've learnt to relax about my initial concerns. They were/are certainly microscopic midwifery thoughts and I don't discuss them with audiences that don't bring them up. In fact, until tonight, no one else said anything (she was a CNM) and I asked her if we might discuss it in private so as to not taint the viewpoint of the others in the room. The rest of the guests seemed pleased that I did so.
Today, I wrote this piece that I would love to see sent out all over the place. Feel free to cut and take it - with my name attached, please - and spread it like confetti! This movie needs to be seen.
“The Business of Being Born” & Its Effect on Audiences
by Barbara E. Herrera, LM, CPM
I’ve watched fourteen audiences walk into and then out of Ricki Lake’s childbirth advocacy movie “The Business of Being Born,” and the word that stands out is transformed.
Natural birth advocates leave natural birth fanatics.
Pregnant women walk into the movie as patients at local hospitals and walk out with resolute plans to leave their doctors and find a midwife for a birth they know will be safe and respectful.
I’ve role played with women who want out-of-hospital births (or out of unsupportive doctors) after seeing the film, but whose partners (who wouldn’t attend the screening) are fearful – helping them with ideas to get their loved ones to the movie.
And families who were initially hesitant to support a midwifery-attended birth have become ardent supporters intent on converting their misunderstanding friends.
I’m finding it challenging to get the press to either view the movie or to cover the importance of it in our community. It seems some people find natural birth not newsworthy… a big ol’ yawn.
But, how can any thinking person who cares about the effects of hormonal attachment/detachment that occurs during birth in our culture find this unimportant? How could someone yawn about the economics of slicing a person open for convenience's sake (the convenience of the clock, the wallet and the courtroom)? I would think that someone with any semblance of a heart would "get" that birth as it stands today is abhorrent and a complete overhaul is needed.
This movie explains why it goes far, far beyond having or having not medication at birth... it is an entire mindset of respect for a woman's autonomy and the understanding that choices in birth create the most amazing human beings that walk in our neighborhoods. Damaged women and babies do nothing but hurt the world... why foster the continuation of such cruelty?
If the right people saw the movie, the word would get out. That is what is so challenging about the publicity surrounding this movie. It has amazing amounts of well-documented –and jaw-dropping – information that relatively few know about. The people seeing the movie could quote the statistics chapter and verse! It’s those that haven’t seen the movie that need to plop their butts in the seats and then they need to tell others about it from their points of view.
If you are so inclined to educate the public about the movie, write letters and send fliers to whomever you can – the press, letters to the editor, your email lists, friends, family, support groups, children’s pre-schools, middle and high school health and sex education teachers, women’s studies programs, child development programs, psychology classes, childbirth education teachers, local midwives (including Nurse-Midwives), La Leche League leaders, head nurses on Labor & Delivery floors, friendly obstetricians, chapter leaders of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, local leaders of midwifery organizations, natural clothing stores, cloth diaper suppliers, childbirth educators and lactation educators as well as putting fliers on bulletin boards at natural food stores and attachment parenting baby stores, Babies R Us and other kid-friendly stores and locations.
Together, we can bring more people to know what we’ve known for far too long. Birth can – and should be – an honored and cherished experience, no matter where, or how, it occurs. It is in the knowledge of options and in the light of respect and humanity that birth becomes perfection.
Perfection is rightfully ours.