The Business of Being Born

09born75 Director Abby Epstein's controversial documentary takes a hard look at America's maternity care system, juxtaposing hospital deliveries against the growing popularity of at-home, natural childbirths that some expectant parents are opting for. Former talk show host Ricki Lake was inspired to produce this compelling exposé after a dissatisfying birthing experience with her first child left her with many unanswered questions.
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Netflix Rating: 3.9
NYT Review
"The Business of Being Born" is a passionate ground-level examination of home childbirth. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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Former talk show host Ricki Lake had her first baby in a hospital and came away with the need for a birth experience that was more empowering, with less medical intervention.
Maureen M. Hart, Chicago Tribune  full review
"The Business of Being Born" is messy and amateurish but heartfelt and compelling.
Nell Minow, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
A powerful, frightening look at America's delivery room that makes a strong case for natural childbirth overseen by experienced midwives rather than by surgery-prone doctors.
Tamara Straus, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
Pregnant women -- and involved dads -- would be well advised to check out this provocative portrait.
Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times  full review
[It's] so selective in its presentation of information that it makes Michael Moore look like a fat lady in a blindfold holding a pair of scales.
Dana Stevens, Slate  full review
Passionate, enlightening and unabashedly one-sided, Abby Epstein's documentary is not for everyone. But at the very least, it should be seen by every pregnant woman in America.
Jack Mathews, New York Daily News  full review
The Business of Being Born is not overtly political. Its feminism is palpable but unspoken.
Stephen Holden, New York Times  full review
[Director] Epstein's opinion on the issue is never in doubt and once the attitude of the film is established, it seems to make the same points repeatedly. Fortunately, Epstein herself gets pregnant, and she gets to test her own theories.
John Anderson, Newsday  full review
No one, male or female, pregnant or childless, who sees The Business of Being Born will ever see the hospital maternity ward as a normal environment again.
Andrew O'Hehir,  full review
Epstein and Lake have crafted an absorbing, thought-provoking inquiry into what modern birth has become and how to make it better.
Julia Wallace, Village Voice  full review
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  • Release Year: 2007
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 84 min
  • Available From: Dec 20, 2008
  • Queued by: 539 people
Directed By
Abby Epstein
Ricki Lake

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