Did you know that despite having one of the most advanced health care systems in the world, U.S. is also the second highest infant death rate in the entire developed world?
Is it conceivable that in the United States, profit is increasingly driving the business of birthing – sometimes at the expense of the best possible outcome for mothers and babies? Should birth be viewed and treated as a natural process or as potential medical emergency?
The Business Of Being Born documentary, produced by Ricki Lake and directed by Abby Epstein, exposed the dirty truth about the way Americans give birth. The film presents interviews with medical professionals including Dr. Jacques Moritz, OB/GYN from St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital; Dr. Michel Odent, OB/GYN researcher; and Masden Wagner, MD, former Director for Women’s and Children’s Health at the World Health Organization. Each expert paints a dismal picture of American birthing and emphasizes the frequent overuse of medical procedures in what are otherwise potentially normal deliveries. Stressing the prevalent use of midwives in birthing in other developed nations (70% of births are attended by midwives in Europe and Japan, versus 8% in the U.S.), the documentary then follows Cara Muhlhahn, a certified nurse midwife in New York City, as she attends a variety of home births.