Ricki Lake co-hosts The View and discusses her documentary, The Business of Being Born

05/01/2007 at 07:42 PM ET

CBB Reader Diana wrote up the following synopsis of today’s episode of The View in which Ricki Lake was the guest co-host.  They spent the first10 minutes talking about her new documentary, The Business of Being Born.

Highlights of the conversation include:

  • She emphasized that she is trying to send a message about having a choicein how you’re going to have your baby. 
  • She said that in Europe and Japan, 70% of births are attended by midwivesand they have fewer newborn deaths and fewer maternal deaths. 
  • She said she wants to get information out to the public so women can makeinformed choices about childbirth.  She’s happy that she gets to be anadvocate for women’s choice.
  • She talked about how she was transformed by giving birth to her baby,without being "saved" by a doctor, in her home on her terms. 
  • And she said that midwives are more trained in normal birth than doctors– OB’s are trained surgeons.

Joy Behar was skeptical/negative about the whole home birth concept. Sheseemed to also be skeptical that midwives are even adequately trained.Rosie O’Donnell said, "These midwives are trained.  They’re not like theneighborhood lady who wants to come out.  They’re trained medical experts."

Rosie said that when the movie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, itwas the only film to get a standing ovation.  ElisabethHasselbeck said it was a service to women to let them know all thedifferent ways they can give birth.

They also showed a clip of the movie showing Ricki in labor at home and herreflecting on the birth. Read more about The Business of Being Born in our recent post.

And while you’re at it, check out this fascinating interview/slideshow with a certified professional midwife in Ohio, Like Heaven Into My Hands.

Also, click below for a video from the show.

Did you give birth at home or are you considering it for a future birth?

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Ashley on

If (or I should say when) I get pregnant with my third child I have decided to have it at home with friends and family watching. I have had two other children and both with an epidural but not really for pain relief. I was never in that much pain (in fact I was in labor for 18 hours and dilated to 9 1/2 with no drugs at all!!) and I think some peoples bodies act differently than others. Since I have had almost painless births and pretty easy going labor, i thought it would be neat to experience labor at home all natural. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with home births and i can’t wait to see Ricki’s documentary.

Shelby on

I’m a student midwife, and i will have all of my babies at home.

MelissaMae on

I think it’s great that Rikki Lake is advocating for home births, however they are not for everyone. Home births are just one option of many. I wish Dr.’s would offer ALL the options to their patients, one large reason they do not is because of insurance and malpractice lawsuits. Dr.’s aren’t against these things, they just cannot afford the $ in the even that something goes wrong and someone sues.

~D~ on

I birthed both of my babies at home. One in my bed, one in my bathtub. I had brilliant, skilled midwives in attendance, no drugs, and both were born so healthy. The way my first labor progressed, I know that, at the very least, I would have been put on pitocin to speed things up, and, at worst, would have ended up with a c-section. And that would have jeopardized my chances to deliver my second naturally.

Having an OB is a wonderful thing when you have had a complicated pregnancy and you may need surgical assistance in delivering your baby. But that is what an OB is: a surgeon. Normal, healthy pregnant women rarely need most, if any, of the “typical” medical interventions, i.e. episiotomy, IVs, inductions, etcetera.

Jessica on

Obviously it’s a wonderful thing that we live in a country where a woman has the right to choose just how exactly she wants to have her baby (though in the end the baby may not always agree with mom’s plan and things have to be accomodated for!). However as the daughter of a physician who delivered HUNDREDS of babies each year I take issue with the comment that OBGYNs don’t know how to help with a “normal” birth. These doctors put in at the very least 8 years total of school (4 for medical school), sometimes 11 depending on whether or not they decide to specialize in something. Then afterwards they have to put in a residency, then an internship where they are always under the scrutinizing eye of more experienced physicians and nurses before they are “let loose” on their own. I had my daughter in a hospital and when I am ready to have my son (in 12 weeks) I will choose a hospital again. Knowing that the OR is down the hall should I need an emergency c-section and that the NICU is also right there in the event of a serious problem with my child gives me unmeasured peace of mind. They had a hot tub if I wanted to use it, I was asked if I wanted to stand under the hot water in the shower (I declined both as I was in an indescribable amount of pain and the idea of even standing up had my eyes rolling in the back of my head), I was given 3 different choices for pain meds should I want them and of course I was asked if I would prefer a natural, unmedicated birth (I chose the spinal epidural). My options were all laid out to me in my labor room.

I completely support a woman’s choice to give birth without the aid of drugs in her own home, but I don’t believe any which way is better than the other. It’s whatever is best for YOU.

Cindy on

I wouldn’t do it — simply because I rather enjoyed my hospital birth experience. I had a wonderful hospital, wonderful doctor, and wonderful nurses. I was induced and aside from my baby getting stuck at the end, it was a relatively fast labor. I pushed for over an hour trying to get her shoulders past my pelvic bone with no luck, so I’m not sure what a midwife could have done in that situation (we ended up using suction).

It’s okay for others, but it’s not for me…

karen on

I think what Ricki is promoting is informed choices, not necessarily home birth.
I’ve always been a firm believer in making your own choice–but only after you’ve done your homework.
For instance, don’t make a choice based on what you’re used to seeing or what your friends did, base your choice on what you’ve learned after your research.
Because, as another poster said, home birth is not for everyone.
I’ve had a c-section, then a hospital vbac, and then finally recently a home birth. You have to be in the right place mentally, that’s for sure! But I think if people who were afraid of it learned more about it, more would be apt to try for that state of mind.
I loved being able to just stay in bed and go to sleep afterwards with my baby next to me. The home birth was by far the best experience and I can’t imagine going to a hospital to give birth after that.
If you have a home birth, you may turn into a birth junkie 🙂

karen on

As for babies getting stuck; a midwife probably would have done something called the Gaskin maneuver. There are lots of things that can be done at home and at the hospital if the baby gets “stuck” at the end that don’t necessarily involve intervention beyond changing positions.
I’m not sure if the other poster had an epidural, but that certainly limits the positions you can get a woman into if she needs to get the baby out if he/she is stuck.

becca on

Count me as one who wouldn’t have a homebirth… I believe that midwives are wonderful and well-trained professionals, but I had a one-in-a-million birth where my daughter was born visibly healthy with a brain hemorrhage. If she hadn’t been in a hospital, being carefully monitored, and had oxygen tanks at the ready to breathe for her when the seizures caused her apnea, we wouldn’t have her around today. I am endlessly grateful that we had that kind of medical care.

Fizz on

I gave birth to my son at home last September. Although I recognize that home births (or natural births) are not for everyone, I felt I would be most comfortable at home surrounded by my husband, mom, and two experienced midwives. I loved the experience…no vag exams, only sporadic monitoring of the baby, no set timetable, and I got to nurse my son in my own bed right after his birth. I was left with a renewed appreciation of my body; it knew exactly how to birth a healthy child.

For all those considering home birth, I would recommend Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth – the first half of the book is composed of women’s birth stories, and reading it really gave me an idea of how varied the birth experience can be. My own birth story can be found at http://www.fizzwhiz.com/blog/?p=163 .

Holly on

I had two of my four children at home. I would do it again in a heartbeat because it was an incredible experience. My third child (first homebirth) was born a week late after 35 minutes of labor and weighed 8lbs 14 oz. My 4th child (second homebirth) was born after 4 1/2 hours of labor and weighed 10lbs 4 oz. I know I would have had a completely different experience if I had a hospital birth. I am so glad I was surrounded by family in MY home giving birth the way I wanted to.

Cindy on

Karen —

I did have an epidural, but I could still feel my legs. I was up and walking minutes after she was born. One thing I forgot to mention was that she had a lot of fluid in her lungs as well and she actually was purple when she came out. Luckily (since Chloe’s nurse was my cousin’s mom), she got the NICU doctors to come up to her (six of them, actually) so they didn’t have to take her downstairs.

In my case, it may have been life or death for my child. I had a normal healthy pregnancy as well, so it wasn’t expected. I think it’s all about peace of mind for the woman…whatever floats your boat, right? 😀

Tara on

I had a homebirth this past October with my daughter. I had a hospital birth (with epidural and all that jazz) with my son, and felt…out of control. I hated the experience. When we got pregnant with my daughter, we immediately knew we wanted to be at home alone. My prenatal care was all with a midwife, who knew of our plans and was on call. Her birth was quick and amazing. The pain was intense, but it was an incredible experience that my husband and I cherish, as does our son, who is six and was present at the birth (although not in the room because he wanted to leave). We educated ourselves and made plan after plan and we were very comfortable and quite happy to have our bouncing 9 lbs 4 oz surprise come flying into this world! My son loves the idea too, and even asked what was wrong with a baby cousin when he found out the baby had been born in the hospital! 😀

For anyone interested, I recommend checking out the works of Ina May Gaskin and Sheila Kitzinger, as well as the forums at mothering.com.

Jean on

My first son was born in a hospital. I had to fight tooth and nail to have the normal, natural birth there that he deserved. 80% of my labor with him was spent refusing routine ridiculous procedures that were “policy” and being threatened with CPS for my normal, natural, med free, HEALTHY birth. He was perfect, I was fine and 3 hours after birth I had my room packed up and I was ready to go, even though they wouldn’t “allow” it.

My second son was born at home. To say the experiences were night and day different is an understatement. It was beautiful, peaceful and frankly, the birth story is almost boring! But hey – after my first experience I love “boring”. I got to recover how I chose and when I chose – and I felt fine and was ready to go out just two hours after he was born. I’ll never have another baby in a hospital without an actual medical reason for either the baby or I to be there.

I love that choices are afforded in this country but wish there was more education to go along with them. People seem to often choose what is “expected” without thought, which is sometimes frustrating to me. But, it’s their right and their choice.

Jean on

Oh, and most midwives carry well stocked bags. Oxygen, pitocin (for hemmorage), herbal remedies and more for all kinds of “emergencies” that are minor and/or need to be dealt with immediately before transferring if need be. They also know manouvers and procedures to deal with things that doctors with other resources at their disposal may not be overly familiar with.

Mikaeli on

i have a bleeding disorder so i wouldn’t even consider a home birth for a second. i might have considered it if not for that though. you never know…

Lorus on

I’m planning a home waterbirth this time around.

My first birth was a schedule c-section because she was a footling breech. I was actually one of the few women (less than 5%) that NEEDED a c/s instead of the alarming rate of 23-25% of women who end up with one. I’m glad that it was scheduled as I ended up having a condition that none of the doctors/ultrasound techs knew about beforehand. My uterus had a septum down the middle and my daughter was only in the left side. So had I went into labour it would have torn causing a lot of bleeding which would have ended up as an emergency c/s.

I’m glad that we both ended up healthy after the fact however this time around I want a homebirth. I don’t want some doctor scheduling me for another c/s come my 40th week just because I can’t be induced. I want to be able to birth this baby the way that I want with no outside pressure.

die eule on

I don’t have a child yet, but if I’m pregnant and everything is ok, I’ll do it at home for sure! Even my boyfriend likes the idea of a homebirth a lot…

Medjool on

My first 2 were born at home, and I’m planning a 3rd homebirth this fall, as well. My first birth was exquisite and peacefully normal. My second was longer and a little more difficult, as I did it in a foreign country with a midwife who didn’t speak English. But she did have pitocin to give me to help encourage my placenta out. As far as this pregnancy progresses normally and I remain healthy, I’ll definitely do it at home again. I dread the thought of travelling in a car in labor, much less moving from one room to another! I like to labor in one little cozy nest the whole time.

J.M. on

I would not have my child at home however I would consider a birthing center. We have them around here where you still use a midwife and you don’t have the drugs but they are hospitals that allow you to have a private room with as many friends and family and stay longer if your uncomfortable about going home.

I am not comfortable giving birth then saying goodbye to the midwives a few hours later! I know several people though who have had natural births with midwives but all went to a birthing center.

One thing I know is I DO NOT one a C-Section unless it’s the last resort and all other options have been executed. I know some people who take this route because they don’t want to experience “labor” but for me I want to experience it. I’m not saying I won’t change my mind and beg for some pain meds but hopefully my support group will keep me from thinking down that road.

I commend anyone whose had a natural no drug birth. But I do agree. It’s not for everyone and nobody should be ashamed on how they have their baby. All that matters is that each and every child is born healthy!

Raebees on

I guess I’m pretty lucky. My first two were born in a hospital but I had an awesome supportive doctor who knew I didn’t want any interventions if at all possible. I was able to walk around, eat, shower, I didn’t even have an IV put in, which is routine in a lot of hospitals. I knew my choices and was well educated, I just knew I wanted to go natural and I just stuck to it. In my birth plan I said I didn’t even want the nurses asking me if I wanted drugs while I was in labor… I didn’t want the temptation. I also had a doula with my first two. I loved her. With my first I labored at home with my doula and my hubby for the first 7 hours and then went to the hospital were our daughter was born 3 hours later. With our second I planned on doing the same thing… laboring at home for the most part. Well, when my doula was on her way over I called her back and said she better just meet us at the hospital. Good thing to ’cause Our son was born an hour later after only three hours of labor! He really sneaked up on us! Wonderful experiences both times. Now with my third (a year ago) both my doctor AND doula had moved so I decided to go with a certified midwife but still deliver in the hospital. Our third was born after only 4 hours of very painful but very smooth un-medicated labor. I fully support home births and think they are great, but for me… I like to be in a hospital in case of an emergency. Plus, I like the food! And who wants to clean up all that blood and stuff out of your bed and tub when you’re done! Anyway, I guess I got the best of both worlds. I got to have three totally natural births while still being in a hospital.

mamalicious on

I had my first baby at a hospital, but my second baby was born at home, in a water tub, with a midwife in attendance. By far the home birth was the most memorable and pleasant birth.

TwinMom24 on

I have no desire to give birth at home. I would be too worried about something going wrong and I don’t care how “well trained” a midwife is. I would rather be someplace that’s meant to handle potentially life-threatening situations.

I had my twins in a hospital with an epidural. I was very happy with the way things went and of course the end result!

I have absolutely NO desire to see Rikki Lake labouring and giving birth in a tub. Yuck.

Lanna on

I had a homebirth with my second. It was amazing, and helped heal me (mentally/spiritually) from my firstborn’s hospital birth. I get to tell my son, whether he likes it or not, that he was born mere inches from where he was conceived. 🙂 Recovery and the nursing relationship with babe were *so* much easier with a homebirth, too.

To me, pregnancy is a regular occuring life event, not a sickness. Which is how insurance companies and doctors are trained to think of pregnancy, as a sickness to be treated. At least where I’ve lived. 🙂