Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10

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Critic Reviews

  1. It's a serious and well-researched consideration of natural childbearing vs. hospital delivery that explores the larger social conditions and assumptions that shape women's choices.
  2. 75
    More propaganda than cinema, and at an hour and a half, its exhaustiveness diminishes its impact. But Epstein anchors the film nicely with her own pregnancy, which occurs while the documentary is in production and comes to an unexpected conclusion before shooting ends.
  3. Passionate, enlightening and unabashedly one-sided, Abby Epstein's documentary is not for everyone. But at the very least, it should be seen by every pregnant woman in America.
  4. A powerful, frightening look at America's delivery room.
  5. 70
    Epstein and Lake have crafted an absorbing, thought-provoking inquiry into what modern birth has become and how to make it better.
  6. A passionate ground-level examination of home childbirth.
  7. 70
    Lake and Epstein are not in fact trying to stigmatize other women's choices about how and where to give birth. Instead, they're trying to introduce an entire universe of history and information that should inform those choices, and that the medical establishment has virtually erased from American memory.
  8. This unflinchingly shot picture is not for the squeamish. Epstein and Lake's own commitment to you-are-there realism is remarkable as well, each bringing new meaning to the phrase "naked truth."
  9. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    60
    Documentary seems best suited to cable: Lake's informal, Oprah-like concern invites the intimacy of home viewing. But the chick-chat approach in no way undermines the gravity of the problems the docu addresses.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    50
    It's full of moving (and surprisingly ungross) filmed deliveries, including those by Epstein and Lake themselves. Unfortunately, the movie is also a propagandistic brief on behalf of the home-birth movement that's so selective in its presentation of information that it makes Michael Moore look like a fat lady in a blindfold holding a pair of scales.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Mar 11, 2012
    8
    This documentary should be viewed by every single american couple that is pregnant. I am a 20 year old male who had to watch this for myThis documentary should be viewed by every single american couple that is pregnant. I am a 20 year old male who had to watch this for my anthropology class. So I was forced into it, but wow they bring up some very great points. This movie affected me so much that I'm pretty sure when my future wife is pregnant I will make sure she is informed, of course it will be her decision but at least she will know her options unlike the majority of women in this country. Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2012
    6
    I probably could have done without seeing Ricki Lake's ummm... "thing", but her argument is compelling nonetheless. The American hospitalI probably could have done without seeing Ricki Lake's ummm... "thing", but her argument is compelling nonetheless. The American hospital system, at the corporate level at least, consists of for-profit businesses who don't always have your best interests in mind. These hospitals, in turn, are heavily influenced by for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies who definitely do NOT have your best interests in mind. Lake's focus on the extreme overuse of labor-inducing drugs and cesarian section procedures in the US, along with the arguments for "squatting" vs the seemingly-stupid "feet in stirrups" method of birthing are probably the most compelling points that she makes. However, the argument that "we've been having children at home since freakin' forever" doesn't necessarily cut it either. Old ways of doing things tend to die out for a reason. The solution should be to improve certain hospital practices, not necessarily to bolster expectant mothers with a "do it yourself" attitude. If the baby comes out bright blue, it's unlikely that a midwife can provide the same emergency care that a hospital staff can. But then again, empowering women to take back the control over their bodies that's been slowly stolen from them is an awesome thing too. It's a tricky subject that Ricki Lake can't hope to cover in 90 minutes but she does just enough to light a spark in the minds of folks who just accept the status quo. Full Review »
  3. BiancaK
    Aug 17, 2009
    9
    A movie everyone thinking of having a child or being an OB-GYN needs to see. We've become so lost at such a crucial time in our human A movie everyone thinking of having a child or being an OB-GYN needs to see. We've become so lost at such a crucial time in our human race's longevity and successful prosperity. Everything depends on how well we come into this world and right now we're doing such a bad job. Shame on the US when it comes to how it handles childbirth! It's a very empowering movie for women. I especially like the fact the movie covers all sides of the matter and gives as honest a look into the matter as possible. Only downside is that it was too short. More information and talking to people, please! Also, the stats given seemed weak, even though they were trying to be powerful. Could have backed the stats up a bit better. Full Review »