Gentle Birth Choices
Considering the tens of birth videos that I have watched, I was so surprised that I hadn't seen this one! (I'll have to start reviewing birth videos as well when I have time.) I found it randomly at the library and eagerly snagged it, as I am in the process of reading the companion book, "Gentle Birth Choices" by Barbara Harper.
My hubbie and toddler and I ended up watching the whole thing in one evening, and it is truly excellent. Aside from the atrocious hairstyles (why, oh why, did people go outside in the '80's?), it is truly a classic and a must-see for any natural-childbirth aficionado.
This video focuses more on birth center births than homebirth (although there is a homebirth), and there are some really great births shown - waterbirths, a birth in the all-fours position, a posterior baby, etc. The doctor and midwives who attend are simply wonderful. To be honest, I'd never seen a male OB (or, let me be non-sexist, any OB) attending births who was respectful and hands-off, and this OB was was featured in the birth center videos was simply great.
(In all fairness, though, I should make a note on my above comment.... I tend to limit my birth-video viewing to primarily homebirths and birth-center births. I have watched some hospital births, but frankly, I have found them too deeply disturbing and angering to want to watch any more. Thus, while I know that there are plenty of respectful, gentle, OB's out there, I just haven't seen a lot of them. But they are there, and here's to them for their good work!)
One interesting thing was the opportunity to watch a couple of births where the baby had to have a bit of stimulation. Most birth videos that I have seen have babies who come out either crying or alert, but there were two births here where the baby needed stimulation to get going, and one who needed a bit of neonatal resuscitation. I found myself holding my breath anxiously!! Both babies were just fine within a couple of seconds.
This movie also boasts the advantage of having interviews with both Marsden Wagner (I LOVE that guy!!) and Michel Odent, both of whom are wonderful men and outstanding obstetricians who support midwifery and midwifery-style births and are outspoken advocates of homebirth and gentle birth.
I truly wish that more birth centers were available for birthing mothers in this nation. They are a great in-between for mothers who want a natural, non-interventionist birth but aren't comfortable birthing at home. Every city should have a couple! Now that Phoenix's one-and-only birth center has closed, the millions of women here in the Phoenix valley have only two choices - hospital or home, and I know that many women who fall in the middle in terms of childbirth choices would love to have the opportunity to birth in a birth center. It's too bad. I hope that Phoenix will soon get another birth center.
This is an awesome movie! Dated, of course, but a wonderful resource. If I ever see one hanging around, I am definitely going to snag it for my library!!