Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Media Review: "Giving Birth: Challenges & Choices"

"Giving Birth: Challenges & Choices"
Christiane Northrup, Suzanne Arms
1998, 35 minutes

This video comes from two renowned women - Christiane Northrup (author of "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" - the reading of which is a coming project for me) and Suzanne Arms (author of "Immaculate Deception").

What can I say? It's great! It's very basic, simple and short. It's hard for me to review it from the standpoint of the general public, because nothing in it was new or novel to me. I know all the drawbacks to typical intervention-filled Westernized birth (emotional, social, physical, spiritual) and the corresponding benefits of natural birth. So this video was nothing new to me! But for the general public it might be something of a shocker.

There are good interviews with an OB, midwife, doula, mother, labor & delivery RN, etc. - Short and to-the-point.

There is only one birth video in this production - a midwife-attended homebirth in which the mother births on a birth stool and the baby is caught by the husband and midwife. It's not the clearest birth, as the view is obstructed by the position of the attendants in front of the mother. In fact, it's kind of funny to watch the person with the video camera trying to squeeze in shots around shoulders and under arms! But he does a pretty good job, although there are clearer videos out there.

This is a great video. I highly recommend it for childbirth educators and for expectant mamas and their husbands and families.


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