I have been absolutely terrible about posting lately – things have been super busy with lots of births, teaching, speaking engagements, event planning and Community Animation at the Centre for Social Innovation. All good things, but I miss having more time to write and share with all of you out there. Hopefully I will have more time soon!
In the meantime…I’m feeling pretty excited about the number of films coming out on the subject of birth these days. I think that the idea of birth as an opportunity for empowerment and birthing rights as a human rights issue are really starting to edge towards the mainstream (have you told someone about doulas today?!) and that these films are a sign of that movement. I thought I’d link to some trailers and things for those of you out there interested in checking out the latest and greatest in birth cinema.
Obviously, the popularity of The Business of Being Born and More Business of Being Born have done wonders for bringing the issue of birthing rights in North America – and how they are ignored, violated or generally lacking – to the fore. As many of you are also already aware, the UK’s One World Birth is working on a massive film project about birth in the global context. They’ve released some smaller films already to start getting the buzz out about their project and raise funds. One, entitled Doula! The Ultimate Birth Companion, was screened at the Centre for Social Innovation (and at hundreds of other locations around the world on the same day) back in March. Their newest film, Freedom for Birth is about birth as a human rights issue and will also be screened globally on September 20th, 2012. Stay tuned for info on a screening at the Centre for Social Innovation that I and Ness Fraser, another Toronto-area doula, are in the midst of planning.
In addition to the awesome work being done by One World Birth, there are some other great films out there that I thought you might like to check out:
Trial of Labor is an American film about several women and their VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean) experiences. As a doula who has supported women through VBACs, both those that ended in vaginal births and that ended in a subsequent c/s, I know from experience that the significance of supporting women as they make their own decisions about their births following a previous Caesarean cannot be overstated. This film really shows the importance of active involvement by and support for women who want to have a trial of labour, and hopefully a vaginal birth, after a previous surgical birth experience.
Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives is a feature-length documentary about the amazing and world-renowned midwifery centre in Tennessee. If you’re not familiar with Gaskin, you need to watch this film (and read her books). Known as America’s Leading Midwife, there is no public figure more influential than Ina May when it comes to the revolution taking place in birth culture today. If you are already an Ina May fan, then you probably stopped reading to go and watch the trailer several sentences ago, which means that I’m talking to myself.
Finally, I wanted to highlight again two films that I really like that feature the heavy-hitters in birthing rights circles today. Orgasmic Birth and Organic Birth feature interviews with some of the most influential, informed and respected birth experts in the world, such as Sheila Kitzinger, Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin, Marsden Wagner (MD, former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health for the World Health Organization) and others.
Watch the trailers, buy the films, attend the screenings and spread the word! Don’t forget the popcorn!