Pregnant in America: A Nation’s Miscarriage
Directed by Steve Buonaugurio and produced by Betsy Chasse
[2008. Intention Media, 104 minutes, DVD]
[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 89, Spring 2009, © 2009, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Cheryl K. Smith.]
This documentary is an engaging and fantastic follow-up to Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born, and speaks to the growing alarm of parents in the US over the hijacking of birth by obstetricians and the health care system in general. The film portrays the dramatic rise in cesareans, misconceptions regarding pain and the use of numerous interventions to speed the process of childbirth, as well as the crassness of insurance companies and health care facilities, in their quest to make a profit at the expense of mothers and babies.
Buonaugurio interviews a number of well-known childbirth experts, including Marsden Wagner, Ina May Gaskin, Barbara Harper and Robbie Davis-Floyd, as he documents the nine-month journey with his pregnant wife, Mandy, to have a natural birth. The release of the film is especially timely, in light of the ongoing conversations regarding fixing our broken health care system.
The film is available for screenings in communities, and a trailer can be seen at www.pregnantinamerica.com. It is another great vehicle for giving women and their families a different view of birth than is available through the mainstream media.
Reviewer Cheryl K. Smith is managing editor for Midwifery Today. Her new book, Goat Health Care, came out in February. You can learn more about it at www.goathealthcare.com.