For Christmas, I was given a copy of Pregnant in America a documentary film that chronicles an expectant couple as they learn about the process of birth and their options as parents and consumers. Over the course of the pregnancy, they unearth the whole drama that is choosing between hospital and out of hospital birth with all the propaganda employed against parents who desire to become apart of the statistical exception.
In some ways, I liked this movie more than the Business of Being Born. I like that the film follows the journey of a family and especially enjoyed how the filmmaker connected personally to the experts that he interviewed. Robbie Davis Floyd was featured in a touching interview where she turned it around and became the interviewer anthropologist that she is. I was touched by her compassion, astuteness and understanding. Another interview that I found very compelling took place outside the FDA offices where Maddie Oden delivered a petition to stop the administering of Cytotec to pregnant women. It highlights the story of the Tatia Oden French Foundation in such a way that the issue is made clear how its misuse can harm families.
The facts and statistics presented were consistent with all that I've read and learned about birth and provides a companion film to the Business of Being Born and Orgasmic Birth.
All three are great movies to share with expectant families who may be among the uninitiated in the discrepancy between evidence and practice. In a way, I feel that Pregnant in American is more convincing on this score, showing how the choice to birth at home is a valid choice where help when needed is effective and accessible.
*Spoiler* The family chooses to transfer to the hospital after a peaceful home birth because of concern over the baby's breathing. The transfer may not have been necessary, but the parents chose to consult with experts over a valid concern. They, and the viewers, learned how a transfer can occur smoothly, without harm coming to baby or mother and that emergency care is available when needed.
The style of the documentary imitates the style of Michael Moore pretty closely. I don't have a problem with this because I had been hoping that the controversy with birth issues would be presented in the same style. In fact, if Michael Moore tackled the topic, I don't think he would have done it as well. Michael Moore enjoys being over the top and for birth, that's not necessary. The tone of Pregnant in America is sweet and endearing with just enough anger and frustration to highlight the injustice inherent in the American maternity system.
I'm hoping to host a screening of this movie soon for a Meet-up group I belong to.