Ricki Lake, the amiable former talk show host, has produced a new documentary about the child birth business that covers both natural and medical child birth methods.

The film premieres this week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. I do not yet know how her documentary will be distributed, but it features a video Lake never intended to make public–that of her second child’s natural birth in the bathtub of her West Village apartment. Fun!

Lake is becoming a doula (someone who helps pregnant women either stay at home to give birth, or get to the hospital at the right time)–a far cry from talk show hosting. She says she’s upset by the medicalization of routine labors in hospitals, and wishes to empower women to explore other ways when possible. Lately, I’ve been thinking that the natural childbirth movement was pretty much over (my second labor was drug-free), so it is wonderful that Lake, who has the connections to get her film noticed, is energizing the spiritual midwifery movement again–though she insists she wants all women to feel proud of whatever labors they have.

There’s no right way, right? Lots of babies are alive today thanks to heroic doctors in hospitals.

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