Saturday I went to a showing of The Business of Being Born, a documentary produced by Rikki Lake.
I know what you might be thinking, Rikki Lake and all, but it was brilliant. I loved the film and everything I saw and heard. The film follows a midwife and a few women as they give birth (at home and in the hospital). It shows OB/GYNs being interviewed, along with an assortment of parents and other professionals in the field.
Some of the info I found amazing:
- 70-80% of births in Japan and Europe are attended by midwives.
- one hospital intervention many times leads to another: picotine in the IV leads to an epidural which leads to more picotine, another epidural, a distressed baby and therefore a C-section. In the end you have an exhausted mother too tired to bond with her baby.
- over 30% of births are cesareans in the US - this is higher than in any other developed country and yet we have one of the highest mortality rates during birth.
But more than all that - it was truly wonderful to see the way the mothers looked and reacted once the baby was born at a home birth. Any pictures I have seen of women who delivered in a hospital always show them looking tired as they held their babies.
But not so with the home birth mothers. Any picture I have ever seen of a home birth mother shows her laughing, awake, involved, actively participating in the cleaning of her baby, etc.
My very good friend LB gave birth at home to her second son. When she did that a year ago I was shocked and scared and thought she was crazy. But now that I have begun reading different literature and talking with mothers about their deliveries I am certain that I want a home birth, too.
And the best part about Saturday is that I found out it is covered on my insurance. We'll see what happens!