Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

The Business of Being Born

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The documentary, The Business of Being Born opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn’t realize about having a baby. I used to think that having a Midwife was not a good idea and that being in the hospital was the best option for women to go with. When I was hearing the difference of having a baby at home or in the hospital my opinion changed very quickly.

The different scientific evidence and the history of how they treated women were not good. The thought of being strapped to bed and laying in my own urine and feces for days while pregnant is torture. Looking and hearing about the different examinations that most women went through while preparing to give birth, I would rather have a home birth than have something be wrong with my baby when it comes out.

In the film, some of the obstetricians argued that it is not safe to have a  home birth. They said that with out there being no fetal monitoring it would be hard to monitor the baby to make sure that its heart is beating. Some even thought that Midwives don’t have the proper equipment to perform a home birth. One of the obstetricians even compared midwives and home births with driving a car and wearing a seat belt. He said that “Having a Midwife and trusting them with your home birth is like saying ‘hey you don’t have to wear your seat belt because I’m a good driver.’” I believe that analogy is not very good one simply because the Midwife is there for you more than the doctor at the hospital. The doctor at the hospital just comes in and basically rushes for you to have a baby so they can get out of there. However, the Midwife stays around and makes sure things are okay and that the baby is healthy. The only way the doctor would be in good use for the home birth is if complications arise and the mother needs to be rushed to the hospital like we seen in the film where the baby was breached.

Some of the Midwives, mothers with experience, and some doctors argued the opposite of what the other obstetricians argued. They stated how it’s a big difference with having a baby naturally then being drugged by the doctors at the hospital. Ricky Lake, the actress/producer, stated that having a natural birth or home birth without any medication makes the experience worth it all. It brings the mother and baby closer because the mother gets to hold her baby after she pulls it out, but at the hospital the baby is taken away to be cleaned and monitored so the mother can rest. And it gives the baby a chance to come when it’s ready rather than in the hospital doctors gives pitocin and other medicines to rush the contractions to speed the process of the birth which can cause problems and in some cases cause the baby to distress. If the baby is distressed that would cause for a Cesarean Section. Another doctor stated that if a monkey was given a cesarean section it would want nothing to do with its baby, that’s why a cesarean should be given an option unless it has to be done. I strongly agree with what this doctor was saying because if you walk into the hospital and scheduled your birth there seems to be nothing to be excited about. It’s like you walk in, have a baby, and then leave like it wasn’t a big deal.

There were a lot of different views and attitudes towards the option having a hospital birth or a natural or home birth. A few mothers liked the fact of having a doctor around and being in the hospital. Another mother thought that it would be a better option to have natural birth and that those that wanted to be in the hospital to be drugged were just scared of feeling the pain of the birth. Ricky Lake, again, stated that feeling everything natural is the sole purpose of having a baby in the first place. In the birthing centers you could tell that the midwives were very supportive of the mother and was there throughout the whole time while she was in pain. In hospitals you see nurses coming in and out of the rooms and giving the mothers more drugs and the actual doctor is only there when the mother is having the baby and then leaves. Also a lot of the mothers and some doctors stated that it makes the mother feel more comfortable being able to move around instead of laying down the entire time like they would be if they were in the hospital. Laying on there backs makes it a little more difficult to push than sitting up or possibly squatting like one of the mothers did when she gave birth at home.

This film really made me realize what women had to go through to have their babies in the hospitals. Since the 1900’s women have suffered and so have their babies because of the different medicines that were used. Women were strapped to beds with lamb wool which, to me, is torture. In later years women bellies were x-rayed and then later x-rays had to be stopped because it was causing cancer. Also medicines were given that caused babies to be born without their limbs. All the procedures that caused women to have complications came from the hospital. That is why I agree would side with the midwives and the doctors that would rather the mother to have a home birth or natural birth because it seems to be a safer way to have a baby. One of the doctors mentioned that having the natural birth the mother releases love hormones which would bring the mother and baby closer and they connect on a different level than a mother would if they were to have a cesarean section or in the hospital. If I were a pregnant woman and I watched this film I would, without a doubt, choose to have a natural home birth because it seems to be a better way. I wouldn’t allow having all those different medicines injected inside of me to rush my baby to come out. Having a midwife would be the best option, in my opinion.

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