Thursday, November 20, 2008

Individuals can make a difference after all

I was pleased when Ricki Lake released "The Business of Being Born." But I had more reservations than many of my birth colleagues, who seemed to think the movie would spark a renaissance in attitudes toward labor and delivery in the U.S. Surely the movie would draw a crowd of converts like myself instead of women unsure about or wholly skeptical of non-medicalized birth paradigms. Surely an Obama rally would draw only the Democratic faithful.

Or would it? We have a liberal president for the first time in 8 years. And apparently home birth rates are up in New York. Not only that, they're appealing to new classes and cultures of women. Says the article, "Home birth professionals in New York City have been the fact that the increase is coming not so much from the dyed-in-the-wool back-to-nature types as from professionals like lawyers and bankers."

Moreover, "One reason for the change, it seems, is “The Business of Being Born,” a documentary produced by the actress and former talk show host Ricki Lake, which ran in only a few theaters during its theatrical release in January but has become an underground hit among expectant parents since coming out on DVD. "

I stand corrected. Ms. Lake, I apologize for my cynicism. You made a movie to "educate[ ] people and empower[ ] them to really know their choices in childbirth." Darned if it doesn't appear you did just that.

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