Film/TV » Film Features

Birth Rights



Ricki Lake had an amazing experience she wanted to share — via film — with the world: giving birth to her second child Owen in her own home (the bathtub, to be exact). But the motive for Lake, an actress and former talk-show host, is far from creating shock value.

In her recent documentary The Business of Being Born, Lake and director Abby Epstein focus on the reemerging trend of midwifery. The film, which will be shown Thursday night at First Congregational Church, chronicles the lives of Lake and other expectant mothers as they wrestle with the fears and rewards of their decision to deliver babies at home.

Amy Stewart-Banbury is a certified professional midwife with Trillium WomanCare, which is hosting the screening along with Mothersville. She decided to screen the film because of the lack of information on midwifery.

"I think it shows the variety of decisions that women have," Stewart-Banbury says. "I don't think it says this is the right way or this is the wrong way, but it lets them know their options."

The film also addresses the state of obstetrics in hospitals today, which Stewart-Banbury likens to an assembly line. Here, the film's images of home birth are compelling and stand in stark contrast to the more impersonal world of hospitals.

"I think women will come away with a sense of empowerment," Stewart-Banbury says, "because it shows that they have a choice."

The Business of Being Born at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper, Thursday, November 1st, at 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $8, with proceeds going to the March of Dimes. Discussion of the film follows the screening.

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