The Business of Being Born

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The Business of Being Born
Directed byAbby Epstein
Produced byAbby Epstein
Paulo Netto
Amy Slotnick
Ricki Lake
CinematographyPaulo Netto
Edited byMadeleine Gavin
Music byJason Moss (as Supersonic Music)
Andre Pluess
Release date
  • January 9, 2008 (2008-01-09)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Business of Being Born is a 2008 documentary film that explores the contemporary experience of childbirth in the United States. Directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake, it compares various childbirth methods, including midwives, natural births, epidurals, and Cesarean sections.[1]


The film criticizes the American health care system with its emphasis on medicines and costly interventions and its view of childbirth as a medical emergency rather than a natural occurrence.[2] Lake drew inspiration for the documentary from the disappointing experience she had had with the birth of her first son, Milo Sebastian Sussman.[citation needed]

The film documents actual home births and water births, including in the latter category that of Lake's own second son, Owen Tyler Sussman. They follow a midwife, Cara, in New York City as she takes care of and attends several births. They then give the audience several statistics about our current birthing techniques and challenge today's doctors. Many experts are interviewed and they cite a multitude of reasons for these, such as the overuse of medical procedures in the interest of saving time.


DVD release[edit]

The DVD was released in the US on May 6, 2008 and soon after an international version was released.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guardian (newspaper)
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (January 9, 2008). "American Motherhood and the Question of Home Birth". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2022.

External links[edit]