Monthly Archives: September 2007

Gather in the Spirit of Birth

Greeting from the Lamaze International Conference in Phoenix, AZ. I am having a blast, despite being insanely exhausted. But that’s what happens when you spend your days attending information packed classes with some of the brightest minds and souls in birth and your evenings playing with the same.

Here is a bit of what I’ve seen and heard so far:

  • Maureen Cory from Childbirth Connection on the Listening to Mothers Survey
  • Penny Simkin on When Pain Becomes Suffering in Labor
  • Dr. Michael Klein on Maternal Request Cesareans: Whose request?
  • Karen Gromada talked about multiple birth and how one size doesn’t fit all
  • Birth networks group – starting and maintaining a birth network
  • A Native American Dance group

I am about ready to head to a class on using sign language in labor and then breastfeeding the near term infant. You also have to love the activist hearts around here, some of the moms with nursing babies are going to go to a local Applebee’s for a Nurse-in. And a shout out to The Lactivist. I was pleased to find her blog advertised in the bags they handed out at registration!

I am so excited because today I’m going to be talking about how celebrity babies influence women’s ideas about birth. I did speak about using the internet yesterday. Then we’ll talk about The Birth Survey and transparency in maternity care.

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The Business of Being Born

Hello Friends!

We are thrilled to announce that THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN has been acquired by Red Envelope Entertainment and New Line Cinema. The film will have a limited theatrical release this autumn in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and 11 other cities. After that, it will be available for rentals and internet viewing on Netflix and the DVD will be released in March 2008. Stay tuned for theater locations and dates!

Other upcoming screenings include the Gentle Birth World Congress in Portland, OR on September 29th, which Ricki and Abby will attend, ( and our International Premiere at the Zurich Film Festival in October.


Many of you have contacted us over the past months to inquire about HOSTING A SCREENING in your area. Well, now is the time! We have arranged a way to rent advance copies of THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN to individuals and organizations for grassroots screenings. You can use the film as a fundraising event or just an opportunity to raise awareness in your community or University. The screening could take place in a professional theater or in your home – the idea is to get a movement going and to get people talking! If this is something that interests you, please visit the website for the guidelines or contact us at

Thanks again to everyone for all your support of our film. We’ll be in touch soon with more details about the release!


Ricki and Abby
Ricki Lake, Executive Producer
Abby Epstein, Director & Producer
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Using Guilt to Target Parents

The recent article by the Washington Post really brought to mind that the argument that the formula companies tried to use (which worked) was don’t guilt parents into breastfeeding. While on the surface this may seem fine, let’s look at all the guilt programs we currently have going…

You’re a bad parent if you don’t use a car seat because if you get in a wreck your baby will die.

You’re a bad parent, not to mention thoughtless citizen, if you don’t immunize fully and on schedule.

You’re not a good parent if you homeschool your child, because after all, the government knows best and it’s your tax dollars at work.

Your baby will die of SIDS if you don’t put them to sleep on their back.

So why is it any less acceptable to say, “If you don’t breastfeed, the risk that your baby has of getting diabetes is X or your baby will likely have X?

I think parents have a lot of guilt, regardless of what society says, but seriously, whatever happened to informed consent? Or does that only apply to VBACs and refusal to do constant fetal monitoring?

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