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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Episode 38 (Epilogue): Abby Epstein and The Business of Being Born

Tonight we had the honor of speaking with Abby Epstein, director of The Business of Being Born:
Abby and producer Ricki Lake have also partnered to author a book, Your Best Birth, to inspire women to take back the birth experience. The book offers advice on the positive and negative effects of epidurals, Pitocin, and other drugs and interventions. It discusses the practice of inducing vs. allowing your labor to progress naturally, the truth behind our country's staggering C-section rate, and how to assemble your birth team and create your birth plan.

We ran out of time at the end of the show to share with Abby the amazing ripple effect her movie has created in our own community. We hope that she and Ricki will read these testimonials:


Elyesse Betts: "The movie came out after I gave birth to my son (at Rosemary Birthing Home). Watching it made me cringe! It certainly confirmed for me that using the hospital was not for me, unless it was an emergency. One thing that sticks out is how mechanical the nurses and doctors acted. Also, the scene where they are talking about pitocin and how they give it to everyone also stands out. Since the movie was released I have definitely noticed a more positive attitude towards natural birth and birthing outside of the hospital!"

Midwives Alliance of North America: "It was amazing, and such a great film that started a more mainstream conversation about midwifery."

Moriah Herrygers: "So glad to not be the only one who believed in birth the NORMAL way."

Ryan Hartford Stanley: "It's such an easy suggestion for friends who may be on the fence about their birthing options."

Nyssa Evelyn Retter: "When I saw it, I had already chosen to do birth differently that time. I just wish I'd seen it before my first (and second) child was born, because I would have made different choices."

Chelsea Anne Marie Clarkson: "I have been able to recommend it to people with varying opinions and they are all able to enjoy it and absorb it!"

Lorna Reid Fleener: "I have a medical family and there were concerns about my views!! I sat them down and we all watched The Business of Being Born together and they have all become much more aware and positive about midwifery and home births!!"

Erin Elliott French: "I knew I wanted to do the best thing for me and my son, I just wasn't sure what that was in the beginning. After I saw the movie, my path headed in the direction of successful birthing home birth!"

Danielle Cuvelier: "I loved how they didn't just give opinions but facts so it was easier for me to talk to people about natural birth!"

Andrea Supe: "I would agree with how shareable it is. It's a great way to lend relief to family's fears about my own pregnancy. And also a great way to educate those that are pregnant about their own options. The movie is a great window into a beautiful world that many people don't know about."

Mlisa Manning: "The numbers are staggering and this film was one of the first places where I learned about the birthing industry, in that this is not just a problem related to a few impatient, badly trained ob staff and physicians."

Tanya Taylor: "I have a hospital birthing mama friend who refused to watch it, because she already had chosen the hospital birth. In my world, that would be exactly why you should watch it!"

Tessa Lanham- Hysell: "I wish I would have seen it before my first son who ended up being c-section, I would have done things so different. I tried for a VBAC after watching that movie, unfortunately it was a failed attempt after 27 hours of labor. I later found out I had a lot of issues from my previous c-section that we didn't know about."

Stephanie Garcia: "I loved it!! The reason why I changed my birth plan and I don't regret it at all."

Jennifer Beveridge: "We changed our minds completely after watching that movie. My prior 3 births we in a hospital. The 4th was at Rosemary Birthing Home and I would never ever have a hospital birth again. Was the most amazing experience in my life."

Alison Posner-Solares: "OMG awesome documentary! It's a lot of the things you don't realize when you go to a doctor. They rush you through and tell you what you need to do, not letting you make your own decisions. It definitely cemented our decision!"

Mary Behrens: "I try to show it to as many people as possible, even teenage girls. They need to know the truth so they can grow up with the knowledge that their bodies are strong and capable!"

Maguire Peters: "I loved "The Business of Being Born"! for a long time, I wanted to be an OBGYN or a nurse-midwife. the film really convinced me that midwifery would be a better choice for me. I'm no longer set on being a midwife, but I think that the field is going to continue to grow as people become more aware of the physical and emotional health benefits."

Kerry Ann Gardner:  "I was on the fence about whether or not to have a natural birth or to go to the hospital. I kept thinking, what if something goes wrong? I felt like being at the hospital was somehow safer. Then I watched The Business of Being Born, and my perception completely shifted. I understood that all the unnecessary interventions routinely performed at the hospital increased the risk of something going wrong. What really stuck with me was the pained expression of the animated baby writhing in the mama's belly after she got pitocin and an epidural. Right after watching the movie, I transferred to Rosemary Birthing Center, took awesome classes with Carmela, and gave birth to my beautiful sweet baby girl in the water. I was in labor for a very long time and not once did I worry that something could be wrong. Giving birth like that was the best thing I've ever done, and I'm so grateful for the experience!"

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