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Business of Being Born Essay

There is a culture of “women-only” that runs rampant in spaces for pregnant women. Much of the talk is about how valuable women find the support of other women. It also excludes men from the process and experience of pregnancy, as much as they can experience it. Overall the film focuses on the fact that women have been told they’re not responsible for their birth. Katsi Cook, a Mohawk women and Native women’s health activist said she “believes that the relationship of trust and respect between a woman and her midwife empowers the woman to ask questions and obtain the information she needs to make real choices about her health and life. (The Mother’s Milk Project, 611)

In the film, Ricki Lake wanted to explore women’s “rite of passage,” by giving the power back to the women. There’s this idea since hospitals are a business that once they “facilitate” an intervention has been started and it becomes a domino effect after that. When these interventions have started, the questions: “what’s best for the baby? ” “Is the baby going to benefit from this or not? ” need to be well thought out. According to Overview of Maternity, “medical evidence shows that the routine use of unnecessary interventions put mothers and babies at risk.

In the film Marsden Wagner M. D. , stated that there is no history of worthy obstetrical practices and careful studies of the long-term effects of the interventions. The United States has gotten away from midwifery starting in 1955, only 1% of births took place at home. The culture shift portrayed midwives as “vestige of the old country. ” Midwives were understood as dirty, ignorant and illiterate. Now midwives are often perceived as unprepared. Once doctors started graduating from medical school, business took over the birthing process. Births then went into the hospitals and midwives did not follow.

The concept of normal changed. Midwives often lack available and affordable malpractice insurance; because of this midwives are then perceived “inferior” to physicians. Overview of Maternity states “Midwives recognize birth as a normal, natural process and support the use of less invasive techniques, such as position changes, waiting, hydrotherapy, and perinatal support, that carry fewer risks to mothers and babies and are usually more effective. ” Another effect the culture has on the lack of midwives is when the culture as a whole insinuates that birth s scary and dangerous.

Yes, there will always be some sort of risks when it comes to birth. However, that is where I believe technology has had a positive effect on birth. More than less, we are now able to detect the dangers ahead of time. The film associates the amount of trust we put into hospitals and technology is reflected upon our infant-mortality rate. Our neonatal statistics are not the greatest. In the film midwives and hospitals are not looked to blame. It is our diverse population that distorts those statistics in where we stand in the world.

The argument presented in this film to revitalize midwifery focused generally on the idea of pain suffered during birth was the only way to feel accomplished and provide love for their baby. However, I completely disagree. Women that undergo C-sections and even families that adopt can have the same amount of love for their children as the women that endure pain during birth do. Normal births are not medical issues, yet they may turn into life threatening issues within seconds. Not all women are the same, they have different difficulties, and some even have disabilities that impact their birthing process.

Which then increases the risks. According to Overview of Maternity, “Research shows that midwives are the safest birth attendants for most women, with lower infant and maternal mortality rates and fewer invasive interventions such as episiotomies and surgical births (cesareans). ” Optimum outcome of the mother and child is based on how open to suggestions we are with midwives and patient satisfaction. The validity of your options must always be questioned. The safety of the birthing process is going to vary depending on the training, patient choice, and circumstances on geographical constraints.


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