Ricki Lake on Natural Childbirth

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I saw the new documentary, “The Business of Being Born,” at the Tribeca Film Festival. It will soon screen in Manhattan at the IFC theater on Sixth Avenue in the Village and, I assume, elsewhere with a DVD likely to be released in a short while. It’s a probing challenge to medical practices that often are more based on economic considerations and convenience (the doctors’).

Here’s one take, from the review by Faye Penn in New York magazine (full review available here):

Ricki Lake’s documentary, The Business of Being Born, features her most revealing role yet: naked in the bathtub of her West Village apartment, delivering her second child, Owen. She wants to call attention to what she sees as the shortcomings of giving birth in hospitals, which she believes push for a Cesarean too readily: Some New York hospitals’ Cesarean-section rate tops 40 percent. Lake wasn’t always the Al Gore of natural births:only after the drug-assisted delivery of her son Milo at St. Luke’s–Roosevelt did she look into alternative practices, which led to the tub birth that gave her”an indescribable high.”But being filmed doing it?”It’s not flattering in any way,”admits Lake, 38, whose movie will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. For the event,”My publicist said I needed to be in the best shape possible, so I just lost 24 pounds. I’d look pretty good naked in a tub now.”Still,”to this day,”says Lake,”my assistant talks about how she had to clean up my bathtub afterward.”

-Ralph Michael Stein

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0 Responses to Ricki Lake on Natural Childbirth

  1. boogie_check says:

    I’ve been dabbling with the idea of becoming a midwife, and began my research into it by subscribing to a couple of internet groups related to birthing.

    I am in awe of the strength of midwives out there that are such strong advocates of mothers-to-be.

    Recently, a young mother was being highly pressured by her physician to allow him to induce her. He claimed the ultrasound showed she had a huge infant (11 lbs). She didn’t want to be induced and sought counsel with the group.

    The midwives were reassuring her in knowing her own body. They also provided information for her to make up her own mind on what she felt was best. One thing they told her was that ultrasounds (US) are notoriously wrong and had several stories where the child was normal weight after the doctor claimed it was huge.

    There was also a doc who was pressuring a mother because she had “too much fluid”…and I’m thinking whaaat?? It seems that since my last birth, over a decade ago, they are now measuring amniotic fluid and fill the mother with dread if she has too much. Gah.

    The midwives also have brought stories to the forefront that aren’t quite making it to the national level: one young mother had a normal birth in a hospital and came home a quadruple amputee.

    See story here:
    http://www.wftv. com/news/ 6253589/detail. html)

    The U.S. also has a worse live birth rate than Japan. Really sad.