When I announced the birth of my second son just hours after his arrival, I thanked my midwives, my doula, and my mom (who had graciously opened up her home for my homebirth). But, I should have also thanked Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, the executive producer and director, respectively, of the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born, as it was only by watching their film that I learned enough about my options for birth to know that I didn’t want to give birth again in a hospital, as I had when my first son was born. (Fortunately, I finally got to thank Lake yesterday in this interview.)
As packed as the film was with information on obstetrical and midwifery practices, viewers let Lake and Epstein know that they wanted even more information on topics like doulas and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)… Hence the creation of More Business of Being Born, a follow-up four-part DVD series coming this October, to help expectant parents learn more about the world of birthing options available to them.
Unlike The Business of Being Born, which was shown in movie theaters across the country, this DVD series will be available through retail, movies on demand, iTunes, etc., and will skip the theaters. Sadly, Lake and Epstein were unable to get funding for this project—so they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise a minimum of $100,000 to help finish, market and distribute the films. They’ve got less than a week until the end of the campaign, on July 14, to raise as much money as they can, to help educate as many expectant and soon-to-be-expectant parents as they can—and the more money they can raise, the more women they can reach. Want to help? Visit their Kickstarter campaign to donate even as little as $1 (but they’ve got some awesome thank-you gifts for pledges starting at low as $5).
Here’s a quick glimpse of what’s to come in the new series:
DVD 1: Down on The Farm: Conversations with Legendary Midwife Ina May Gaskin Epstein and Lake visit with pioneer midwife Ina May Gaskin at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee. Includes conversations with actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Christy Turlington Burns.
DVD 2: Special Deliveries: Celebrity Mothers Talk Straight on Birth Celeb moms like Laila Ali, Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford, Alanis Morissette, and Molly Ringwald discuss their birth stories.
DVD 3: Explore Your Choices: Birth Centers, Doulas & C-Sections An examination and explanation of the role of doulas, the advantages of birth centers and the rising rate of c-sections in the U.S. (up to 50% of births in some hospitals) and Brazil (over 99% of births in some private hospitals).
DVD 4: The VBAC Dilemma: What Your Options Really Are A look at the hot-button issue of VBAC—if it’s safe for mothers with a previous c-section to try for a vaginal birth the next time around—and the stories (both successful and not) of women who attempt it.
And, beginning August 1, 2011, the four-part series can also be purchased as an online, streaming rental. You can visit thebusinessofbeingborn.com to view the series for a limited time before it is available to the public. The rental schedule is as follows:
- August 8 – August 21, 2011: Down on The Farm
- August 22 – September 4, 2011: Special Deliveries
- September 5 – September 18, 2011: Explore Your Choices
- September 19 – October 2, 2011: The VBAC Dilemma
Have you seen The Business of Being Born? What was your reaction to it?