Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh, Rikki Lake, you were so good in Hairspray

Just finished watching The Business of Being Born because it streams on Netflix. First two thirds, I'm thinking "all right, a couple too many shots of ladies in inflatable tubs, but overall your analysis seems wise." That analysis: that birth in the US is weirdly both over-medicalized and under-effective in patient and baby mortality rates, that we're gaga for C-sections without understanding that it's major surgery, and that historically, OB's (mainly men) have tried to get women to follow the latest birthing trends by scaring the pants off of them about how terrible it will be for the baby if they don't.

With which I agree! We should (on this issue) be more like Europe. Absolutely. Yay vaginas. Yay being sensible, yay encouraging women to make informed decisions, yay not fear-mongering wildly -- oh wait. There's more.

That would be the movie's last third. Where two doctors (both male) and Louann Brizendrine (who would be my arch-nemesis if she knew who I was) talk about the real, as yet unproven, risks of Cesarians. Their speculation? By depriving women of the post-birth release of oxytocin, mothers who have C-sections are putting their children at risk for autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, impaired bonding, reduced affection, reduced maternal protectiveness, and more. In fact, as the French scientist expert dude put it (you have to do a French accent if you want the full effect): "When you give a monkey a C-section, and then show the monkey the baby, it does not love the baby. It will not care for the baby. And what are we creating now but a world without love?"

That's right, mamas. Your birth? Responsible for World War Three. Now try to relax, remember stress is bad for the baby.

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