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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to Goersitemail@aol.com.

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    Nov 08
    2007

    The Business of Being Born

    Archived User

    from thebusinessofbeingborn.com:

    "We are very excited to announce that The Business of Being Born will open theatrically on January 9th in New York City at the IFC Film Center (323 6th Avenue at Waverly). Special "Bring your Baby" matinees will be scheduled by the theater! The New York opening will be followed by a release in Los Angeles on January 18th at the Music Hall Theater on Wilshire Blvd. and in San Francisco on January 25th."

    My ICAN group is hosting an advance screening of this film next weekend, and I must say, I am very excited and encouraged by all the buzz being generated. This film has the potential to do for childbirth advocacy what An Inconvenient Truth did for environmentalism. Has anyone seen it yet? Thoughts?

    ~Sara

    Henci Goer

    I saw it at at a special screening at the Lamaze conference. It is really excellent, and the best thing about it is that its appeal should reach far beyond "the choir." 

    -- Henci 

    Archived User
    GRRRRRRRR....
    http://www.slate.com/id/2181860/
    maria.
    Henci Goer

    You might want to ask your contacts to write a reasoned response to the article. If published, it could have more effect than writing the ob with the "cesarean surgery" is good for you website.

    -- Henci 

    Archived User
    Will do!
    Some already did!
    maria.
    Archived User
    I saw this tonight and really found the best part of it was the discussion that followed. One member of the audience brought up a point that I have seen in other forums. This is what they said: "I just don't think that a woman's empowerment is an argument for a home birth." This made me really think more about it and I am not convinced it is about empowerment at all because the goal is not to empower a mother to become more powerful than her husband or her doctor or anyone else. She is asking only for her body and her baby to be treated with respect and kindness. The fact that she needs to ask for this speaks to her own recognition of her vulnerability, conscious or not. Because every mother during labor has only one thing on her mind – the safety of her baby. the baby is her Achilles' heel. More than anyone else in that room, she fears for the safety and life of her child. So much in fact, that she is willing to do just about anything for a guarantee that her child will be safe and whole, even sell her very soul. This is clearly the case as we watch woman after woman, educated and strong, armed with knowledge about birth and medical interventions, still agree to countless interventions. She willingly submits her body to being strapped down, to the most uncomfortable birthing positions, to painful intravenous lines and foley catheters. She agrees to Pitocin which causes abnormally painful contractions, knowing that this will hurt. She will even have her body cut open with a knife or mutilated with an episiotomy. She will do all these things despite any misgivings she has for one reason. Because she is willing to sacrifice herself for the false promise that her child will be safe. Our job as a society is to protect her. Because, in the blink of an eye, she will throw herself needlessly in front of a bus to protect her child, we must prevent her from doing so. She must learn from us that the safety of her child lies not in false promises from technology and interventions but in herself. Only by doing this will the future of the child be safeguarded, because childbirth is not the destination. It is the beginning of a long journey during which a mother’s mettle will be tested countless times and she will need to believe in her own ability to parent effectively. It is in that singular moment during childbirth when she doubts herself and her ability, that a mother is either born or lost. So it is not about empowerment, but preservation. We must preserve a baby’s mother or neither has a future. So my feeling is that, in a way, the term empowerment is detrimental to the birth advocacy movement. Thoughts? Tienchin Ho
    Archived User
    One more comment that I would love to hear other's opinions on. In the movie, Michael Odent suggests that a highly medicalized or negative birth may disrupt "love hormones" and interfere in mother-baby bonding. I disagree. A mother’s birth experience does not change the love that a mother feels for her child. In fact, the feeling is only intensified after a negative birth experience as she battles her suspicions that she may not be up for the awesome responsibility of motherhood. No matter how people around her may try to encourage her, she harbors secret self doubt. If she feels that her body has failed her during her first task as a mother, she may feel that perhaps, someone or something else is better at other parenting tasks as well. For example, she may doubt her ability to breastfeed. She may doubt her ability to parent compared to another caregiver. She cannot admit this out loud; however, so she is caught. On one hand, she knows instinctively that she is her child’s only mother. On the other hand, she feels that her child deserves better. Only there is no one better. So she becomes increasingly desperate to find a way out of this. No matter how she talks to other people, they only say that she is of course adequate. Only she knows better. She knows that she could be better, that she should feel differently. So she grieves. The birth experience didn’t change her bonding, it just made her doubt her ability as a mother. Comments? Tienchin Ho
    Henci Goer

    I think your comments show great insight. I think, though, that it depends on how you define "empowerment." Empowerment does not necessarily mean being more powerful than others. I see it as meaning what you say in the rest of your post that women need to do: find their voices and stand up to those who would oppress them.

    As for disrupting the hormonal interplay between mother and baby, women can and do overcome that handicap. Nonetheless, we are mammals, and that disruption acts to the detriment of mothers and babies alike. It is by no means a trivial loss, and, of course, some, more vulnerable women and babies may not be able to overcome its loss.

    -- Henci 


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