One thing that had been sorely missing from homebirth advocacy was a celebrity spokesperson. Then Ricki Lake and her documentary, the Business of Being Born came along. Suddenly, it seemed, home birth was taken out of the patchouli saturated communal tent and brought into mainstream Americans’ living rooms, where they were sitting in blow-up kiddie pools having babies.
The media started talking about home birth as a reasonable and safe birthing option for many, many women — not just crazy cult Christians and yoga instructors.
Still, how? How do you do it? Where do you find a midwife? What about all those questions?
The Business of Being Born created such a discussion that Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein, the duo behind the film that launched a thousand homebirths (or, surely, at least a few dozen), started a social networking site for all things childbirth last month — with personal stories, pictures and lots of resources for births — no matter where.
Next week, My Best Birth will start its celebrity webisode series, where famous moms who gave birth at home will talk about their experiences. Kicking things off is Cindy Crawford, whose birth stories will be posted in four parts over the next four weeks. Others also in the schedule are Christy Turlington Melissa Joan Hart, Alyson Hannigan, Laili Ali, Kellie Martin, Sarah Wayne Callies, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Joely Fisher.
You can watch a trailer for the celebrity birth series over at the site. Also up is a two-minute video of Ricki getting all emotional while Ina May Gaskin autographs her new book, Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding. In the video, Ricki points out other faces you might recognize from the Business of Being Born. And it’s funny how Ricki’s all in awe of Ina May Gaskin, probably the country’s most revered midwife. Meanwhile, Gaskin’s obviously pretty grateful for Lake.
Already home birth is a lot less freaky or eye-roll inducing since the BOBB was released. But I wonder if celebrity endorsements of childbirth at home will do for the home-birth movement what Angelina Jolie did for international adoption.
What I think is especially great about the site is that for women who have already made up their minds about attempting to birth at home, they don’t have to wade through a bunch of alarmist “you’ll die!” stories on the one hand or extremist “only in the forest surrounded by fairies” stuff on the other.
Clarification (see Epstein comment below): the site doesn’t endorse one type of birth over another. They’re just in it to help you get the best birth for you (hence, the name!).