Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

The Business of Being Born

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Before watching this eye-opening film, I had never really even given a second thought about the conditions of child birth. I had just assumed, as many other women do, that the hospital scene is where a baby “should” be born. But why? I don’t really have an answer to that. Any person I’ve known to have a child in my entire life has always done a hospital child birth. I have never known anyone who has participated in a home birth. After watching this film, I realize that America is missing out and ultimately harming their children by being mislead into a hospital birth. The Business of Being Born is a video that presents the issue of child birth: where should it take place? Hospital or home?

To begin with, in a hospital setting, a woman is exposed to an obstetrician… a surgeon. This person performs surgeries and specializes in that field. Often times, an obstetrician has never even witnessed a vaginal, live birth before beginning his or her practice! That is amazing to me. Women put their faith in the hospital setting because it appears as though that would ensure the safety of their newborn children. American couples use a hospital for birth much more often than a midwife. America also has the second worst newborn death rate in the world! This is caused by our reliance on hospitals. Although hospitals are good for that rare occasion where an emergency happens, they are usually harmful; the hospital only practices one type of birth. They do not acknowledge diversity among mothers. A hospital is a business just like anything else. They want those beds filled and emptied in an allotted time frame. The hospital definitely has more negative aspects than positive.

On the other hand, in a home setting, a midwife helps the mother through all three trimesters during her pregnancy. A midwife is much cheaper than the often costly medical bills, and she is also much more helpful. She usually only cares for a handful of mothers; she devotes her full attention to each individual mother when she is present. A midwife obviously performs vaginal birth, which cause fewer complications with the baby. A vaginal birth is almost always a better solution than a cesarean section. What happens during birth is undoubtedly very important to the future development of the child. That is why it is vital to have a vaginal birth if possible. A midwife does not see you as a number or a nuisance. She will help you and is not concerned with just getting you out of the way.

In conclusion, the better choice is quite obvious. A midwife is much more beneficial to the mother and the baby. Most parents do not usually take the time to consider alternative decisions that can be made concerning child birth. The film mentions that people put more thought into a new stereo system, car, or digital camera than they do the birth of their child! That is unacceptable! This film brought forward some very important issues I really had never considered. Of course, I probably won’t be making these decisions about child birth anytime soon. When the time does come, I will definitely inform myself, look at my options, and decide what is best for my child. Again, what happens during child birth is very important to the child’s future development. That’s enough to make you step back and consider your options!

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