The Business of Being Born
Life is full of choices, but some women are concerned they no longer have a choice when it comes to delivering their babies. The concern largely stems from an increase in births via caesarean section. For example, in 2004, the caesarean rate was 29.1 percent, an 8 percent increase over the previous year and a 41 percent increase from 1996, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These figures lead to speculation. Are more women being coerced into C-sections because doctors are afraid of lawsuits stemming from vaginal births? Or are women just not informed of their choices — doulas, midwives, home birth?
Ricki Lake (yes, that Ricki Lake ) tackles those questions and talks about her own home birthing experience in a documentary set to be shown at the Byrd Theatre in February. The Business of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein, has been screened across the country; this will be the third and final preview in Richmond. “We want the dialogue to continue and the conversations to grow so that women, men and families know what their options are, what their choices are so that they can make truly informed decisions on how best to bring a dear baby into this world,” says Richmond organizer Therese Hak-Kuhn. Jenny Simpson, who owns and operates Birth and Baby Kneads in the West End, agrees: “Women don’t understand birth anymore,” she says. “I’m not pro-home birth or anything, but I’m just like, ‘Ladies, get a grip; you’re going in for major surgery.’ ”
Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 3, and the movie begins at 1 p.m., with small facilitated group discussions afterward. Tickets are $2; students get in free with I.D.