Despite having one of the leading healthcare systems in the world, the United States is falling behind other developed countries in terms of newborn death risk. With the second highest infant mortality rate on the planet, the documentary The Business of Being Born examines the variety of childbirth methods that are available to mothers-to-be.
The documentary raises concerns that the current business of giving birth in the U.S has been made into a profitable business rather than what is best for mother and child. Should childbirth be treated as a natural process or a potential medical emergency?
Presented in the film are interviews with various medical experts who say that obstetricians are putting too much emphasis on drugs and other medical procedures in what would otherwise be normal deliveries. Despite midwives having a proven history of care and success, only eight percent of American mothers choose to employ them, while in Japan and Europe, over seventy percent of births include the services of a midwife.
The movie then follows certified midwife Cara Muhlhahn from New York City, as she provides care at a variety of home births, giving viewers a graphic look at some of the different home-delivery methods being used. Cara and her clients share their thoughts on how giving birth is a natural process, and that the services of a professional midwife can be an exhilarating process.
While The Business of Being Born promotes the use of midwifery, it presents solid facts, statistics, opinions and experiences from both mothers and midwives, not to convince pregnant women from using hospitals, but to educate them about their choices in childbirth.