The Business of Being Born is a 2008 documentary film that explores the contemporary experience of childbirth in the United States. Produced by Ricki Lake, it compares various childbirth methods, including midwives, natural births, epidurals, and Cesarean sections.
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. The film documents actual home births and water births. They follow a midwife, Cara, in New York as she takes care of and attends several births. They then give the audience several shocking statistics about our current birthing techniques and challenges today's doctors. For example, the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world. Many experts are interviewed and they cite a multitude of reasons for this dismal statistic such as the overuse of medical procedures in the interest of saving time.