Business of Being Born
There is a culture of “women-only” that runs rampant in spaces for pregnant women. Much of the talk is about how valuable women find the support of other women. It also excludes men from the process and experience of pregnancy, as much as they can experience it. Overall the film focuses on the fact that women have been told they’re not responsible for their birth. Katsi Cook, a Mohawk women and Native women’s health activist said she “believes that the relationship of trust and respect between a woman and her midwife empowers the woman to ask questions and obtain the information she needs to make real choices about her health and life.”(The Mother’s Milk Project, 611) In the film, Ricki Lake wanted to explore women’s “rite of passage,” by giving the power back to the women. There’s this idea since hospitals are a business that once they “facilitate” an intervention has been started and it becomes a domino effect after that. When these interventions have started, the questions: “what’s best for the baby?” “Is the baby going to benefit from this or not?” need to be well thought out. According to Overview of Maternity, “medical evidence shows that the routine use of unnecessary interventions put mothers and babies at risk.” In the film Marsden Wagner M.D., stated that there is no history of worthy obstetrical practices and careful studies of the long-term effects of the interventions. The United States has gotten away from midwifery starting in 1955, only 1% of births took place at home. The culture shift portrayed midwives as “vestige of the old country.” Midwives were understood as dirty, ignorant and illiterate. Now midwives are often perceived as unprepared. Once doctors started graduating from medical school, business took over the birthing process. Births then went into the hospitals and midwives did not follow. The concept of normal changed. Midwives often lack available and affordable...
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