Anyone who is thinking about having a baby, or who is already pregnant, should watch this movie ("The Business of Being Born"). As of this writing, it is available for instant streaming on Netflix.
The synopsis of the film, from the website:
Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business.
Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.
Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?
Everything about the way that Western Medicine has ‘medicalized’ labor creates a less-than-optimal environment for the mother and the baby. Inducing labor hugely increases the potential for fetal distress, which will likely compel a C-section (compared to non-induced birth). Women lying in a prone position does not support the path of the child down the birth canal, increasing the possibility that forceps and vacuum suction will have to be used. The pelvis is narrower when a woman is lying down than when she is standing, which again may increase the chances of the need for an epidural and other interventions which can harm the mother and the baby. Watch the movie to learn more.