The Business of being born is an informative film that highlights us how hospitals turned into businesses and who actually benefits from the medicalization and the money that is made. We could see women giving birth naturally at home and others in hospitals and what has happened to women throughout the years in regards to childbirth. Also, doctors and midwives are interviewed which gives us a perspective from both sides.
Before watching this film, I did not know about the “designer birth” which consists in scheduling deliveries and C-sections. This showed me how women prefer the medical aspect of birth that involves physicians. As one of the mothers said midwifery is “done”; it has become part of the past. In the US, midwives attend less than 8% of births because of technological and medical advances.
Formerly, women including midwives used to give birth more than men before male doctors took over hospitals, turned them into “patriarchal” institutions and made business out of it. However, we have to recognize that they should be remunerated for their services. Some mothers perceive surgery as an efficient and less time consuming medical technique. It has become uncommon and rare to see ”fully” natural birth in hospitals. Doctors make decisions for monetary and legal reasons. These decisions can even affect the health of the mother or the baby.
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The use of Protozoan (medication that causes contraction) or Pitocin (helps inducing labor) and the practice of the Cesarean, which is a doctor-friendly technique, only reinforce the authority of doctors and the influence of their techniques on women bodies. Moreover, I found revolting that the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world. The medicalization of childbirth is challenging women’s confidence and self esteem. As one of the informant said “convince them that they do not know how to birth and the “power of birthing is taken away from women”.
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