7.4/10
1,263
17 user 26 critic

The Business of Being Born (2008)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 9 January 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her ... See full summary »

Director:

Abby Epstein
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

The Face of Birth - a film about pregnancy, childbirth, and the power of choice. This documentary follows the diverse, heart-warming, and sometimes heart wrenching stories of a handful of ... See full summary »

Directors: Gavin Banks, Kate Gorman
Stars: Andrew Bisits, Justine Caines, Vicki Car
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives captures a spirited group of women who taught themselves how to deliver babies on a 1970s hippie commune. Today as nearly one third of all ... See full summary »

Directors: Sara Lamm, Mary Wigmore
Stars: Ina May Gaskin, Rebecca Brown, Heather Chan
Babies (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo.

Director: Thomas Balmès
Stars: Bayar, Hattie, Mari
In the Womb (TV Movie 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Documents the 9 month journey from conception to birth with images taken inside the womb. New photographic and camera techniques allow the viewer to see previously unknown images concerning a time we all go through.

Director: Toby Macdonald
Stars: Dilly Barlow
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Enter the world of undisturbed birth as 11 couples share their intimate personal journeys, facing their fears and moving through pain into the ecstasy of birth. Orgasmic Birth poses the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths.

Director: Debra Pascali-Bonaro
Stars: Mary Jackson
Breastmilk (2014)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Pregnant bodies are easier for society to accommodate. What follows birth is a different, messier story. Through new and honest ways, with a wide range of frank, difficult, revealing ... See full summary »

Director: Dana Ben-Ari
From Conception to Birth (TV Movie 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This program follows the pregnancies of several woman and the development of their unborn babies in state of the art detail using new imaging technology.

Director: Jonathan Grupper
40 Weeks (2014)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A documentary that delves into each week of a woman's pregnancy by interviewing moms about their own personal experiences. It serves as a road-map to support and guide moms, fathers and ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Henze
Stars: Jared Balsky, Debra Bingham, Emily Castillo
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Mary Helen Ayres Mary Helen Ayres ... Herself - Homebirth Midwife in Indiana
Julia Barnett ... Herself - Parent (as Julia Barnett Tracy)
Sylvie Blaustein Sylvie Blaustein ... Herself - Owner & Director, Midwifery of Manhattan
Louann Brizendine Louann Brizendine ... Herself
Michael Brodman Michael Brodman ... Himself
Patricia Burkhardt Patricia Burkhardt ... Herself
Tina Cassidy Tina Cassidy ... Herself - Journalist and Author of 'Birth'
Ronaldo Cortes Ronaldo Cortes ... Himself - Ob / Gyn (as Dr. Ronaldo Cortes)
Robbie Davis-Floyd Robbie Davis-Floyd ... Herself - Medical Anthropologist
Eugene Declerq Eugene Declerq ... Himself
Abby Epstein ... Herself - Filmmaker
Eden Fromberg Eden Fromberg ... Herself - Ob / Gyn (as Dr. Eden Fromberg)
Natashia Fuksman Natashia Fuksman ... Herself - Doula (Labor Support)
Ina May Gaskin Ina May Gaskin ... Herself - Midwife
Nadine Goodman Nadine Goodman ... Herself - Public Health Specialist
Edit

Storyline

Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to explore the maternity care system in America. Focusing on New York City, the film reveals that there is much to distrust behind hospital doors and follows several couples who decide to give birth on their own terms. There is an unexpected turn when director Epstein not only discovers she is pregnant, but finds the life of her child on the line. Should birth be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency?

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Роды как бизнес See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,574, 13 January 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$69,348, 24 February 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Barranca Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features Ricki Lake (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Memories of Manhattan
Written by Edward Bilous
Published by Existential Arts
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A film about birthing at home; you will be surprised by what you see.
29 July 2007 | by shetreatSee all my reviews

This movie is terrific. I had my doubts when I learned it was produced by and starring Ricki Lake, I admit. But it is sensitive, interesting, intellectual, captivating, and incredibly moving. It was not manipulative, but by the end, the entire audience was in tears.

The most important thing about this film is that it shows the public what birth can be, for both the mother and baby. You see several homebirths, nothing too intimate (unless you consider the incredible post-birth high that somehow permeates the screen and affects the viewer, to be too close for comfort). No dilating vaginas or body fluids, sorry to disappoint. But what it does show is something that almost no one, especially not doctors (I am one), get to see. A natural birth with no intervention where things go right. Shocking! In my medical training, I attended hundreds of births. I probably saw one or two with no medical intervention in the hospital. My hospital birth was normal, with no problems, but I had interventions despite having told my OB (and mentor) that I didn't want any.

It does not idealize birth per se, except by showing how simple birth can be without medicalization. But the volunteers of this midwife to be filmed were not excluded if there is a problem; one of the births requires transfer so you see how that is handled as well.

The film educates people about the history of birth in this country, how things are done in other countries including Europe, and shows statistics about birth (there are more than they include in the medical literature) that will probably surprise a lot of people.

I wouldn't say that the film is about Ricki Lake. She shows up here and there, and yes, she gives birth, but there are so many women followed here, and so many experts in birth interviewed.

Dr. Michel Odent is one of them. He is a French OB/Gyn who attends homebirths. He has done considerable research on birthing, and has written multiple very intelligent books about it. He brings up the idea that when a rat or a monkey has an epidural or C/S, they will not bond with their babies. They will not breastfeed, they will not mother them, they do not care for them. There will be no natural hypothalamic oxytocin release, which causes a release of norepinephrine, dopamine, prolactin, serotonin, that prepares a woman not only to breastfeed but to bond. The oxytocin release in this situation will never be replicated, even if the women breastfeeds or does infant massage (which both do cause oxytocin release but not in the same amounts as if you start off with this kick-off). As breastfeeding lowers breast cancer rates in women in a dose related fashion, oxytocin release over time is associated with a certain calm, lower levels of stress, but actually is dose-related to lower levels of stroke and heart attack in the mothers. So it is a long-term benefit of natural birth. This is touched upon in the film, among many other interesting facts.

It is not surprising to discover that doing things the way women are created to do them benefits both the mother and baby in so many different ways. Part of why this movie is so important is that it challenges the notion that man-made is better than the intricate design of man from God or evolution or however you want to approach it. Many people may not subscribe to it when it is stated like that, but in the food we eat, the we feed our babies, the way we grow our food, the chemicals we use in the environment, and the way we birth our babies, we are saying that every single day.

Common sense says that man-made leaves a lot to be desired. Science is proving this every day, in research about omega-3 requirements in neurological and other conditions, in breastfeeding and oxytocin literature preventing cancer/heart attack and stroke, to the benefits of breastmilk for babies. This movie is a peek into how doing things as nature intended is BETTER.

I don't feel I am exaggerating when I say that this is one of the most important films of these times for both men and women. Everyone should see it. You may not decide to have a homebirth afterwards, but you will walk out better educated about birth and what is happening in the hospital when you give birth.


68 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed