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Aug 15, 2008

The Business of Being Born

"The Business of Being Born is a passionate ground-level examination of home childbirth, anchored in a scene in which its executive producer, Ricki Lake, the actress and former talk-show host, gives birth to her second child in a bathtub.

That graphic scene, and several other unblinking sequences of home birth attended by a midwife, are intended to erase any stigma from the situation. Practiced widely in Europe and Japan, home birth has largely disappeared in the United States, the documentary states, because of an image as a primitive, unsanitary ritual.

As the film enumerates disadvantages of hospital births, conspiracy theorists might detect a plot by the medical establishment to take control of a process for both economic and psychological reasons. But the medical establishment would argue that a hospital is the safest place to give birth because if something goes wrong, speed is essential. The Business of Being Born is not overtly political. Its feminism is palpable but unspoken." - The New York Times

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