US talk show host Ricki Lake jetted into London to lend her support to a campaign for women to have more choice in how they give birth.
The star, who felt traumatised by the birth of her first child due to medical intervention – "I felt cheated of the birth process," she says - chose to have a home birth with an independent midwife when she had her second child. The two experiences led to the development of The Business Of Being Born, a documentary that investigates the increased 'medicalisation' of childbirth in the States that has seen a 46% increase in C-sections since 1996 alone.
Yet America has the second highest infant mortality rate in the developed world and one of the highest maternity mortality rates. The film campaigns for the right of women to give birth outside of hospital assisted by midwives instead of obstetricians and is now being shown in community groups around the country, as well as being available on DVD. Visit www.nct.org.uk/businessofbeingborn for more details.