4.15.2009

The Business of Being Born

Tuesday nights are normally when Keight and I head over to Griffin to attend our Bradley birthing classes at the First Assembly of God, or something like that...I just remember it has a singing lake. Anyway, that's where we normally are. Last night however we had some stuff come up and decided to stay home and to "make up" for it we watched a documentary that several people had suggested to Keight called "The Business of Being Born" that was produced by Ricky Lake.

I wasn't really expecting much, since I used to watch Ricky Lake when I'd get sick and have to lay out of school as a kid, and I couldn't imagine what could have improved since then. Much to my surprise though it was excellent. If you've ever wondered why America has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the world among developed nations and why now 1 out of 3 births are done by Cesarean Section, you can find out.

The premise of the movie is that something has changed in the way we give birth in America. Much of the change is the result of technological advances and scientific research and is good, but just because we have technology available to us, doesn't mean that we must use it or that it is even helpful to use. So throughout the movie they seek to answer the question, "Are hospitals and doctors acting in the best interest of mothers and their babies during the birthing process."

I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't go into exactly how it plays out, but I will say that they are pretty even handed throughout the whole movie. They show several home births assisted by midwives, but its really cool because during the filming one of the producers was actually pregnant and was planning on doing a home birth. However at the end of the movie, you go through her birth and her son is breech and they take her to a local hospital and she has a C-section.

So it shows beautifully why we have OBs that are trained and qualified and skilled surgeons for dangerous situations that arise in the birthing process. But there is clearly a problem if 1 out of every 3 births end in an emergency surgery. Clearly God did not design the birth process so that 1/3 of all births need emergency intervention and in any other age would have endangered the life of the mother or baby, so maybe this is a situation we have created...

Anyway, check it out if you get a chance, it was illuminating to say the least. I highly recommend it to anyone who is currently pregnant or plans to be at some point.

-Jesse

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