The majority of the birth stories I heard about during my life—and the number wasn’t high—was traumatic. Births were facilitated and scheduled. They were basically surgeries. I was a premature baby too. Based on my data, I thought this was normal.
Some years ago I was introduced to Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by a friend (thank you, J). She read some of the birth stories to me. I was amazed by the natural process of birth giving. There were women who even enjoyed giving birth (sic!). First, I was even shy to look at the pictures (not even videos) of women in labour. I had never seen a woman giving birth before after all. This experience triggered me, and I started to educate myself about natural birth giving.
With my partner, we decided to consciously paint a wonderful picture about birth giving—and what can be more powerful than listening to couples sharing their natural, beautiful birth giving experiences. We watched couple of documentaries and home footages. The following ones were the ones that we found the most helpful and inspiring. They are all English-speaking videos (some are available with subtitles or with different audio).
Orgasmic Birth: The Best Kept Secret (2008, US, documentary, 85’)
- Filmmaker: Debra Pascali-Bonaro, doula trainer and childbirth educator
- While a catchy title, the movie is about natural (home) birth really. Features women who had sexual, sometimes orgasmic experiences during labour.
- Interviews midwives (including Ina May), and hospital staff including doctors nurses, gynaecologists. Many conclude that home birth is safe and is the natural way. Technical facilitation/intervention is unnecessary in 90% of the cases.
- Dads also speak about their experiences of the process
Birth As We Know It (2006, Russia, documentary, 73’)
- Filmmaker: Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, spiritual midwife, founder of organization Birth Into Being promoting conscious birth, maker of a former movie Birth Into Being
- The movie features also 11 natural birth stories, many of them are water birth, and even includes a self-birth. It discusses water birth a lot.
- Has a bit esoteric narration and ambience to my taste, but the content is great
It’s My Body, My Baby, My Birth (2017, US, documentary, 27’)
- Filmmaker: Maria Iorillo, professional midwife in San Francisco, advocate of natural birth — be it at home, in a hospital or at a birthing center
- The movie includes 7 birth stories, interviews medical experts and partners too
Birth In Nature (2013, Australia, home video, 22’)
- Video footage of a woman’s fourth birth giving
- She gives birth without professional assistance outdoors in the jungle with the presence of her family
- This video is just unbelievable beautiful