The Business of Being Born

Last night Texas State University screened Ricki Lake's new documentary The Business of Being Born. Having seen the film twice now, I am officially in the thumbs-up camp. I think those of us who are in the birth community are so familiar with this stuff that we get jaded, and we forget that the audience of BoBBB is largely comprised of consumers -- the very people we want to reach. It's an up-to-date, well-produced, interesting film, and there are some real "aha!" moments in it that I could hear the audience around me responding to.

I had the privilege of sitting on a panel after the movie with two wonderful local midwives, Illysa Foster and Samantha Evans, a homebirth client, fellow doula Jessica Atkins, and (drumroll please), the inspiring and impressive Robbie Davis-Floyd, who is featured in BoBB. We fielded questions for almost an hour and a half, and my husband claims that the panel discussion was as good as the movie. I thought most of the comments/questions were very thoughtful, and I was extremely moved when a young woman in the audience said, "I want to be a midwife. How can I learn more and see some normal births?"

To answer her question for anyone who might be reading this brand-new blog, here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Attend a doula training and start looking for clients. Amie and I highly recommend ALACE workshops.
  • Find out who your local midwives are, and see if they are taking on apprentices, or are willing to let you shadow or assist them.
  • View movies like The Business of Being Born. Nothing compares to the thrill of being at a birth in person, but this can give you an introduction.
Of course, the key word in her question was normal, and that's not easy to find (especially if you are unlucky enough to live in an area where midwives have been banned from the hospitals). But maybe you can be the one to change that!