Ricki Lake has more than dancing on her mind this week.
For sure, she must be giving great thought to tonight’s (Monday, Nov. 7) edition of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” in which she and partner Derek Hough will face off against the other four finalist couples as they learn which song they draw just before they perform. But Lake has another big event this week, and one with much personal meaning.
The mother of two is the executive producer of “More Business of Being Born,” a documentary series getting its DVD release Tuesday (Nov. 8). It’s a sequel to the 2008 project “The Business of Being Born,” in which she and director Abby Epstein explored modern aspects of birth, from the different methods to the cost entailed.
“It’s this incredible snowball effect where people are learning something from it they didn’t know,” Lake tells Zap2it, “then passing that onto a friend, and it’s just grown. We found basic questions were still unanswered after the first film, like ‘How do I find a midwife?’ We felt we could go deeper, and that’s what we’ve done … and all these other high-profile women were willing to share their amazing, empowering birth stories.”
Celebrity moms including Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bundchen, Alanis Morissette, Alyson Hannigan, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Molly Ringwald and Kellie Martin discuss their maternal experiences over the four DVDs of “More Business of Being Born.” The series also is available via digital download at thebusinessofbeingborn.com.
“I’m so excited,” Lake says, “because I feel this generation of women having children and starting families wants information. They want access to what will let them make the best choices for themselves, whether it’s buying a stroller or when, where and whom is present during the birth. Those are important decisions to make, and you can be impacted for the rest of your life by them.”
Set to return to the syndicated talk genre next year, Lake reports she was asked by many of the included personalities to participate in the follow-up after they watched the first “Business of Being Born.” She cites music’s Morissette as “incredibly generous with her time. I interviewed her twice, while she was pregnant and after she had the baby. Many times, you have a birth plan in mind, and things don’t go the way you planned.
“Gisele Bundchen talks about her water birth at home, and she’s a pretty private woman. For her and Tom Brady to talk so eloquently and openly about the birth of their baby, it’s powerful stuff. And Cindy Crawford was one of the first ones to come on board. It really is such a challenging movement, with all the malpractice issues. There’s a lot of red tape, and I’m just trying to continue to raise awareness.”
“More Business of Being Born” was in the works well before the venture Lake is getting the most attention for now, but she certainly isn’t unhappy about the timing.
“I’m so grateful for the ‘Dancing With the Stars’ platform and the amount of viewers who tune in every week and vote,” she reflects, “but my pet project really is these documentaries. They don’t make us any money — in fact, they cost me money — but they really are important, and I think they’re making a difference.”