A ground-breaking film about childbirth is being screened over the next few weeks in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with more international dates being planned.
The film is the work of American actress Ricki Lake and director Abby Epstein. The stories of both women's own pregnancies and births are interwoven with narratives around other, mostly midwife-led births. Numerous extracts from interviews with midwives, obstetricians, anthropologists and public health experts add further opinion, statistics and background to this well-crafted and striking production.
The Business of Being Born is a powerful advocacy film for the argument that birth should be, where possible, non-interventional and attended by professionals who are familiar with normal birth. One telling moment occurred when three young female doctors are asked in an interview if they have ever observed a normal birth. They all look blank; turn to look at each other; and then begin to laugh. It is quite clear that not only has none of them seen a birth without intervention but the lack of this experience has not so far been perceived as any kind of problem.