The Business of Being Born

This evening, J & I watched the documentary The Business of Being Born. I read a little about the movie at wikipedia before we started it: “The film criticizes the American health care system with its emphasis on drugs and costly interventions and its view of childbirth as a medical emergency rather than a natural occurrence.”

“Are you okay with that?” she asked. She knows I’m not very granola.

I said: “Yes. I’m already there.”

“You’re already there?” she questioned.

“Yes. You know that I don’t think babies should be born in hospitals.” Which is true – I’ve said it many times before. I’ve expressed a preference for some sort of birth centre – which, to my knowledge, doesn’t exist in Saskatchewan (but there’s one in Calgary, apparently, and one to open in Winnipeg).

But I could understand her reluctance to believe me. It was not all that long ago that I knew very little about pregnancies or, frankly, much else about female physiology generally (my specialty has been on the fun parts!). And I also had a preference for pain killers and anesthetic. Somehow things have changed.

In other ways my evolution makes perfect sense. I’m just enough of a contrarian and a libertarian that I’d rather not have doctors tell me what to do. Plus I’m a historian and I happen to know that billions of births have taken place outside of hospitals without complications.

Now it’s easy enough for me to have whatever opinion I’d like. I’m not the one giving birth. And besides, J and I haven’t really considered home birth, nor are we using a midwife. We’ve only really just started to feel educated about this whole pregnancy-thing. And midwifery in Saskatchewan is relatively new (Saskatchewan regulated midwifery on March 14, 2008 ).

We are planning on having a doula.

But I really think that if we have a second pregnancy we’ll seriously consider a home birth.

The movie was quite good. Quite even-handed. And there’s a helluva ending.

And now: the machine that goes PING!

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2 thoughts on “The Business of Being Born

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