Talk show host. Actress. Filmmaker. Ricki Lake wears many hats. But her latest—as an advocate for birthing issues in the U.S.—is the one that gives her the most pride. "I feel personally that this role is so fulfilling for me," says the 40-year-old mom (to Owen, 7 and Milo, 12). "I feel so passionate about this. I want all moms out there to be active participants in their births."
Since the 2008 release of the movie she executive-produced, The Business of Being Born, Ricki and her business partner, Abby Epstein, have written a tell-it-like-it-is book for pregnant women called Your Best Birth. Covering everything from how to choose a doula to the reasons you may need an unexpected C-section, Ricki's book is a friendly, easy-to-digest, no-nonsense guide to help women feel smarter and more in-control of how their babies are being born. Though, as Ricki herself says, when it comes to birth, the only thing to expect is the unexpected.
"One of the amazing things about giving birth is that it gets you ready for being a parent because you have no control," says Ricki. "You can do all your homework but at the end of the day you are not in control."
Why did you write this book?
Abby and I are both so proud of the movie we made, The Business of Being Born, but after it was over, we realized there were so many questions that we didn't address. People were asking us things like, "What's a doula?" and "How do I find a birthing center near me?" We realized that we needed to go more in-depth.