The business of being born

The documentary provided a lot of useful information about the benefits of home births and disadvantages of hospital births.  However, while film says it is presenting women with more options in birthing, they are very biased in pushing the use of home births instead of presenting a more balanced view of hospitals and midwives. They are trying to limit women’s birthing choice in another way. They didn’t provide any advantages to using the hospital and disadvantages to using a midwife. A lot of the experts were using scare tactics to push people away from the hospital which is exemplified by the French scientist who said mothers who give birth via c-section can’t love their babies. Some arguments used are that as US have more hospital births, there have been higher infant mortality and higher cases of autism and other diseases. Correlation doesn’t mean causation. It might just be as more births happen in the hospital, more infant deaths are reported, and as medicine advances doctors can diagnose (or misdiagnose) more cases of autism and other diseases. Another statistic used is that European countries uses midwives much more than the United States and have lower infant mortality. European countries also have universal health care so it’s possible that more pregnant women can receive prenatal care that allows them to have more live births. I’m not saying my speculation are true, but the film should provide a deeper analysis to the data they present before saying they are solely caused by the move away from home births to hospital births.

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2 Responses to The business of being born

  1. irism999 says:

    I definitely agree that exulting home births and presenting these types of births as a way for women to demonstrate and prove their womanhood biased the documentary. Hospital births were heavily criticized as a way in which physicians disrespect women and exert absolute control over individuals who are vulnerable under unnecessary medical drugs. The disrespect for women and control over their bodies is certainly true in hospitalized settings, however this lack of respect and degradation of women is not limited to that of the walls of hospitals. Although the documentary made home births and the lack of Pitocin during pregnancy seem like a liberating experience for women, changing the form of birth really does nothing to challenge the real source of the problem- the system itself. It does not matter whether the woman is having the birth in the hospital under the direction of domineering physicians, or if the woman is in a home in the company of the midwife braving the pain without sedatives. No matter what the setting, society still manages to find a way to blame woman for their offspring’s issues later on in life. A child’s low IQ score can be attributed to a woman having had a caesarean section, and a low birth weight may be attributed to the fact that the mother did not partake in the appropriate health methods during her home births. Thus what needs to be addressed is the way society views women. Society needs to stop blaming women, through the use of medical terminology, as the source of all pregnancy and child issues. The responsibility of childbirth and childrearing needs to be expanded to include other factors outside the woman’s body such as father involvement and environmental factors the child may experience later on in life.

  2. sharose6 says:

    I agree that the movie did not cover all bases, but they did mention very briefly that all women cannot have home births, such as women who have high risk of emergency situations, and that women sometimes must be taken to the hospital in home births. But I agree that the movie did not show many birthing centers and other options for a women. The movie did show that a woman should have a choice in giving birth other than the hospital, but it pushed women far in one direction that it only gave women one choice, to have home births.

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