Full disclosure: I have never given birth and have never considered home birth. I approached The Business Of Being Born with some pretty outdated and mostly TV-derived notions of what home births are like (I miss you, Lady Sybil). Needless to say, it was with a bit of apprehension that I spent an evening watching this week's documentary, The Business of Being Born.
Although it was clear from the jump that this documentary would be in defense of midwives — and would encourage viewers to question our current health system, the mechanical and medication-pushing hospital workers in the film didn't make it too difficult. But on the other side, we see that midwives perform much more complex duties than their old fashioned pop culture portrayal would suggest — they come prepared with their own arsenal of medical supplies, and are trained in procedures both western and holistic.
So what did everyone think? Join me in the comments to talk all things birth.
Possible Discussion Topics
1. Although it was great getting to learn about midwifery, the documentary as a whole did feel pretty one-sided. Do you think the doctors (and the medical field as a whole) were given a fair shake?
2. Scopolamine? Whoa. Twilight sleep is not as relaxing as it sounds. But I guess it wasn't as bad as cancer-inducing X-rays, or thalidomide causing babies to be born without arms or legs. Any other unnerving parts of the film I'm forgetting?
3. What's your view on hospital births as opposed to home births?
4. What's up with designer births? This term was brought up briefly at the beginning of the film, but then never mentioned again. Personally, I would have liked to hear more about this apparent phenomena where women get tummy tucks right after giving birth.
5. Which birth scene was your favorite? I rather enjoyed the one where the woman gave birth in the pool in the middle of her living room next to her upright piano. I was so distracted by her toddler son trying to get her attention that the baby popping out from between her legs took me by surprise. It was just like — POOF! I'm here!
6. Do you think the ending offered a defense for hospital births? And if not, do you think there was any point in the film where the other side's position was reasonably represented or defended?
7. If you intend to bring offspring into this world, did this documentary make you more open to alternative birthing procedures?
Documentary Club is a recurring feature in which we watch and discuss the finest documentaries available to stream on Netflix. It's just like a book club, but without finger sandwiches and passive-aggressive stares.