Raising awareness of childbirth choices

Newport resident and Ricki Lake make film promoting the use of midwives. They say busy hospitals lack the care necessary for women.

November 08, 2007|By Michael Miller

Kris Bagiu wants to spread a message to her community about the importance of assisted birth — and she has a famous voice on her side.

The Newport Beach resident, of South Coast Midwifery and Women’s Health Care in Irvine, first heard about the documentary “The Business of Being Born” in an Internet chat room for midwives.

The film, produced by talk-show host and actress Ricki Lake, outlines the problems with hospital maternity wards and argues the case for personal assistance when a woman is giving birth.


Through a few e-mails, Bagiu — a mother of four — made contact with Lake and the film’s director, Abby Epstein, and arranged a screening of the limited-release film in her hometown.

Friday evening, South Coast Midwifery plans to host two showings of “The Business of Being Born” at the Orange County Museum of Art, with Lake in attendance for a question-and-answer session.

Bagiu’s hope in bringing the film to town, she said, was to highlight what she calls the “maternity crisis” and shine a spotlight on alternatives to regular hospital births.

“In my little niche of the community, we tend to have a lot of women who are inspired by their own childbirth experiences,” she said. “They’re kind of our choir, so we’re kind of preaching to them, but we’re hoping to reach other people who aren’t in our choir as well.”

Bob Sears, a doctor from the Sears Family Pediatric Group, will also be on hand to answer questions at the screenings. The shows are scheduled for 6 and 9 p.m. at the museum, with tickets $15 each. The first show was sold out by Wednesday afternoon.

Bagiu, who has been a midwife for two years, said the practice was essential because many women needed more personalized care during childbirth than a busy maternity ward could provide. She spends roughly half of her job making home calls, she said.

“During the time we’re in a woman’s home, she is the focus of 100% of our attention,” Bagiu said. “Both the mother and the baby benefit from that.”


WHAT: “The Business of Being Born”

WHERE: Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach

WHEN: Friday at 6 p.m. (sold out) and 9 p.m.


MICHAEL MILLER may be reached at (714) 966-4617 or at

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