Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just birth

This is a lovely birth video. I call it the "anti-Hollywood" birth scene. It shows a laboring woman and occasionally her husband. She labors and grunts and moans a bit and then she has a baby. Wow! Who knew it could be so simple? I like seeing birth videos that show the essence of giving birth--not the machinery, not the procedures, not the attendants, but just the woman working with her body to bring forth a baby.

I think that was the most valuable part of The Business of Being Born: seeing so many women simply give birth. (Now there was more busy-ness with some of the births than I would have liked; Cara is too hands-on and chatty for my own preferences, but I digress.) I think my favorite birth in that movie was the hospital birth center birth, where the woman in the minidress has her baby standing up.

At its core, birth is so simple and yet such a mystery.


  1. That was awesome! That's why I love homebirth videos and photos. I can't even look at hospital birth vids/pics anymore, all the equipment and IVs and staff just muck it up for me. It makes it into people doing things TO the mom, where in a HB, SHE is the one DOING. Love it. And for a near-precip, she handled it really well!

  2. There are little things about this video that I love...

    the pregnant art hanging in the background.

    the fishy pool (we had the same one!)

    when she asks for the mirror, takes a quick look then tosses it aside and struggled to get into a better pushing position all as if "ARGH.. okay. here i go. more work, i can do this... okay....."
    and then pushed. i just loved that. so...normal. sooo birth, then on with life kind of feeling.

    the dad made the film a bit awkward for me to watch. he seemed like maybe he had knowledge of how to help or what she'd previously told him how to help...but didn't really know how to put it into practice. lol =) It was a good awkward, but awkward none the less. Like him asking if the baby was moving around at all, and she said he was out.
    And when he noted the time, and was going back and forth patting her head.

    I don't mean to sound like a nit pick. I really enjoyed the video. Thank you for posting it. Like I said... so wonderfully....normal.

  3. Ok, now that was AMAZING.

    I would have to say that my favorite part of the video was the amazing baby and mommy bonding time. How the mommy embraces the baby, holds him near her, the skin on skin that is so important in my opinion.

    May I say AMAZING again??

  4. Love it! Thanks for sharing-I'm such a birth junkie =) Also loved baby bonding time. BTW-love that you commented on the woman in the mini skirt giving birth in BofBB because that one sticks out in my mind as well. Lu came with me holding on to the side of the bed just like that!

  5. I was thinking. With all these births being on utube, you could probably do a study on them. It would be nice to see hard data. Such as amount of time head is out before body. Apgars. I think seeing the video is more accurate becaue assingning apgars can be wide variety. I would also love to do cord gases on these babies. That would be non-subjective data that could be accumulated.

    So many questions. So much to look up.

    I also think "why can't this woman have a birth similar to this,in a hospital setting?" So that if help was needed they would be a stones throw away? That is what I would like to see. I would like to see birth made safer in general. Just don't always know how we can accomplish that.

  6. oops! (That last post from KL not "Pam")

  7. Pinky,
    Some great questions to ask. I think there are two ways to get to this kind of birth in a hospital setting:

    1) via individual practitioners such as doctorjen. Of course, this means you have to work in an institution that won't impose so many restrictive rules that midwives or doctors can't practice the way they want to--which I know is a real issue. You'd also need a birth attendant who has a vision and knowledge of what birth can really look like. And nursing staff willing to adapt their routines accordingly!

    2) via in-hospital or hospital-affiliated birth centers. I'm talking *real* birth centers, not just a maternity ward called a "birth center" for marketing purposes. My sister in Dayton went to probably one of the few such ones in the US, Miami Valley Hospital's Family Beginnings Birth Center (scroll down the page about 2/3 down). It's accredited through the American Association of Birth Centers, the organization that accredits mostly freestanding ones. She had her last two babies there and was thrilled with her experience. Her CNM called the birth center "the best-kept secret in Dayton."

  8. Ben (my 4yo) and I just watched that video together. We watched the part where the baby came "squirting out " (Ben's words) twice because it was so cool. Her vocalizing brought back a lot of memories, and I almost felt like I could hear how close the baby was to being born. That was just beautiful. Ben and I spent some time afterwards talking about the birth of his sister that he got to watch. So cool.

    Thanks for posting,
    Ben and Kelley

  9. i think youtube is such a valuable tool in teaching women about childbirth. i'm so excited that there are videos like this out there.
    i found a few of my favorites and watched them over and over when i was pregnant. they are by "futuremidwife". my faves are the one with the marilyn monroe look alike orgasmic birth and the twins underwater birth in a clear tub. AWESOME!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing! I love to watch birth videos, and this one was wonderful:) She was so sweet with the baby after, that was my favorite part.

  11. That is pretty much what I envision as a perfect birth. Wow. If only I could be so lucky next time around.

  12. Her sounds and vocalizations were so very similar to the sounds of a woman really enjoying sex. It amazes me how in the context of intercourse, those sounds mean one thing, and but in the context of birth, they are so often reacted in fear.

    Also the video sold me on the fishy pool. It looks wonderful.

    And the way the baby cradled so perfectly in her arms was breathtakingly beautiful to watch. Such a beautiful moment, I feel blessed to have seen it.


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