Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ricki Lake on Larry King Live

Ricki Lake was on Larry King Live last night, and while I couldn't find a video, I did find a transcript of the interview. I've included the excerpt where she discusses her documentary.

KING: Tell me about the documentary.

LAKE: The documentary is called "The Business of Being Born." It's basically -- it's more me than anything else. You know, I did I my talk show for 11 years and I think this was something I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that was pro-woman.

KING: What do you mean by the business of being born?

LAKE: Well, it's very much a business. If you look at the money that we spend for birth in this country, you know, there are decisions being made about women and C-section rates and, you know -- for fear of malpractice, for reasons that are other than being in the best interests of the mother and baby.

KING: So we're seeing birth?

But what do we see in the documentary?

LAKE: Well, that's me -- that's me in labor. That's me probably an hour before I gave birth. It's not the prettiest picture of me. But I think there's images of birth in this film -- not only mine, but other women.

KING: You show births?

LAKE: Yes. We show my birth -- the birth of my second son in my bathtub. It's a very small part of the film. But I think these images of women giving birth on their own terms is so important for women to see. You know, we look at birth and we fear it. And we think that it's something that we need to be saved from or it's an emergency -- a potential emergency.

And, really, it's very natural. And I think in the technology that's been created with women being able to carry children at 50 years of age or premature babies that are able to live earlier gestation, I think it's amazing. Great strides have been made. But I think we've lost natural birth in the process.

And so this message is about women's getting -- women getting empowered and educated when it comes to birth.

KING: Why a bathtub?

LAKE: I had done a lot of research about water. And Michel Odent is in the film. He's a doctor from France. I had studied. I had done all the research. And I felt like that was the safest place for me and for my baby. And I have to say, for me, physically, it was so gentle on my body. And for my baby, which you've seen the film, he was alert. He was clean. There was nothing gross.

KING: Was a doctor there?

LAKE: I had a midwife. I had a midwife. And so this -- I'm very pro-midwifery. I think midwives are underrated. They are undervalued and...

KING: Was this your second baby?

LAKE: This is my second baby. I had a midwife with my first, as well.

KING: All right.

But what was the big difference in water and not in water?

LAKE: Well, I was in the hospital. The first one was in a hospital setting.

KING: A standard birth?

LAKE: Pretty typical. I mean, especially if you look at like what happens today. A lot of births are given -- you're given intervention to move you long because they need that bed filled with other women.

KING: Yes.

LAKE: You know, they don't want you to labor on your own for as long as it takes.

KING: But what was the big difference between the tub and...

LAKE: I think the respect that was given to me at home. I mean I remember giving birth. You know, in the movie you see that I pull my baby out. She says reach down and pull out your baby. And I do.

And he's skin to skin. He's completely alert. There was no drugs, no intervention.

I got into my bed. He was in my arms for a couple of hours. And then at a certain point, my midwife asked permission to take the baby and weigh him and check him over.

And I felt like the respect that was given to me to ask permission, as opposed to in a hospital, where you, as a mom, have to ask permission to see your baby, you know?

KING: The documentary is "The Business of Being Born." It's being shown right now.

LAKE: It is. And it's coming out on Netflix next month.

KING: And we'll be right back with more of Ricki Lake and then Ringo Starr. Don't go away.


  1. Was this the interview that was actually aired? Because I don't recall it happening this way. And Larry King is supposed to eb a professional???This part was bad enough (and what I saw aired only included ablout 2 lines of what I thought the interview was supposed to be about- ie the MOVIE!), the rest of it was just insulting. I commend Ricki Lake for the grace with which she handled the whole thing.

  2. this transcript seems like he's stuck on giving birth in the tub. just from reading *i didn't actually see* he seems a bit... i don't know, confused, or unsure of it..asking why???

  3. Thanks for posting this here. I had wanted to watch it but missed it. I don't think Larry King asked interview questions consistent with his reputation as a great interviewer. Why was he so stuck on the tub? But to that question, I believe Ricki could have answered it with more facts about the benefits and comfort of laboring in a tub.

  4. How awkward! I am dissapointed in them both. But this is how I think I would come across if ever interviewed, so I feel for her.


  5. Thank you for posting this. I sadly missed the interview but heard aboutit and this blog through my local ICAN chapter. I agree the questions were weak and Ricki may have missed some opportunities to get more in depth with her responses. It is hard to say without seeing the interview. Is this the entire transcript?

  6. I thought Ricki did a nice job. But I guess I was expecting more from Larry - better questions and more focus on the film and less on Ricki's sexual abuse as a child. He seemed to keep bringing the conversation back to that topic (perhaps because like many people he has deep-seated fears about birth). Ricki talked a little more about birth in the rest of the interview, and there was only one thing I disagreed with. She said something about women needing c-sections for breech births or twins. Anyone who has seen Mindy Goorchenko's DVD knows this isn't always true. But Ricki's enthusiasm for homebirth really came through. I think she is and will continue to do great things for the homebirth movement.

  7. It seems to me that the transcript is not entirely accurate... in any case, the video does have a different feel to it. The video is here:

    It's too bad it had to be so rushed! I was annoyed also at all the time spent talking about her weight loss, but I suppose it is a subject most of our society is fascinated with. Oh well.

  8. The Video:


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