The business of The Business of Being Born

Alright!  2 blog posts in a row with disclaimers!  Full disclosure: I have not watched “The Business of Being Born,” so I cannot comment on the actual content.  If someone wants to lend it to me, I would welcome it and watch the entire thing.

Every so often, in my transition from believer in all things modern and material gives to the dirty, tree-hugging hippie that was apparently inside, I come across someone raving about the documentary about giving birth called “The Business of Being Born.”  It is, in a nutshell, about how medical interventions during the birthing process are dangerous to women and that doctors choose them for legal and financial reasons rather than what is best for woman and child.  It cites statistics such as “the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world” (now, I don’t know if they address what they define as the “developed world” not to mention I did hear on one occasion that this number is skewed because other countries don’t count a baby as being born unless it lives at least 48 hours past birth, but I don’t know the accuracy of that statement either).

Now, to the reason why I have not watched “The Business of Being Born”: for a documentary about an industry choosing profit over safety, they are charging $20.00 for their DVD.  If this was such an important thing for women to watch, wouldn’t you make it more accessible for everyone?  That’s the price for a Hollywood blockbuster just out of the movie theater, not a statement on modern medicine.  Now, I’m aware that you can buy it on Amazon for under $7, but the original retail price listed there even is still that $20 price point.  Also, if you go to their webpage, you are confronted with giant ads for all of their other products and packages, some of which cost as much as $110.00 for the ultimate fangirl.  It took a good couple of minutes of browsing the site just to find the actual trailer to get any concept of what was in this movie, but I right away knew about all of the different things that they sell!  Even the digital downloads of their new episodes (you know, the kind that don’t cost anything to distribute once created) are going for $10 a piece.

Now, if this money was going to charity or awareness or SOMETHING other than the producer’s pockets, I would not take issue.  I also understand selling merchandise and accessories to recoup the costs involved in making the original documentary.  The way they market this brand, however, proves that they are not interested at all in sending a message to the medical community – they are doing the exact thing that they are condemning.

You know who really needs this information?  Poor and uneducated women.  The ones that don’t follow the crunchy, eco-mom movement.  The ones that can’t afford to buy organic or health insurance, even.  This company does not target that demographic at all, even though they are probably most at risk to have a hospital dictate their “birth plan” and do things out of convenience.

If they really cared, this movie would be available at Planned Parenthood, not Best Buy.


4 comments on “The business of The Business of Being Born

  1. Jenn3128 says:

    I’ve heard of this documentary, but like you, haven’t seen it. I probably won’t, it’ll just annoy me and I’ll end up throwing something at the tv. That would suck, I like my tv.

    • fancybob says:

      The worst part is, like every piece of sensationalism, it probably has some grain of truth to it. If it didn’t cost $10, we could go to one of the showings & throw popcorn at the screen instead of destroying your TV!

  2. Robyn says:

    You can get it through netflix, and the library (for free). It is available to the masses, you don’t have to buy it. People who buy it are usually doulas or birth junkies and want to loan it to others to watch for free. It really does have a great and empowering message. Go rent it, and see it before you start hating on it.

    • fancybob says:

      Hmmm… that’s good to know. It kind of proves my point that the producers don’t make that information readily available. The only information I got from their website was how to purchase all of their paraphenelia. Like I said, I’m not commenting on the content because I haven’t seen it. My issue is with the marketing. If I can get a hold of someone with a Netflix account or get over to the library, I will definitely check it out.

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