I spent vast amounts of time cruising the internet, reading, learning, and curating collections of content to share with my doula clients and childbirth education students. So I'm kicking off a Top 10 series of blog posts with 10 of my favorite birth videos (in no particular order)! Have fun watching, and if I missed your favorite - leave a comment and a link!
Why I love it: Gorgeous cinematography and real life scenes of this family of five make this a beautiful representation of home birth. Real sound and use of a variety of coping mechanisms show this woman working hard and coping beautifully.
Bonus: Super cool tattoos on this strong mama!
2. This homebirth slideshow by The Memory Box Photography
Why I love it: This birth appears to be an unmedicated hospital induction, which is something we don't often see in modern birth videos. This mama labors out of bed, despite the wires and cords. We see her working hard, and we see that perseverance pay off.
Bonus: The love between this couple just jumps right off the screen. I wish this mama had gotten immediate skin to skin with her baby, like we usually see in our region.
4. This historic footage from France
Why I love it: So rarely do we see or hear about ecstatic, joyful birth. That this footage was captured at all is amazing. Hands off, woman centered, slow, lovely birth. And dad is fully involved in the birth. I wish I had a date for this, I am guessing it's from the 1950s.
Bonus: No gloves in those days! I believe the man on the left at the end is the doctor, showing the father how to catch his baby.
5. This instructional cesarean video from the UK
Why I love it: I show this video in all of childbirth classes. The Nurse Midwife - Obstetrician - Anesthesiologist team at this UK hospital works together using simple but innovative techniques to really bring mothers and babies to focus in their cesarean deiveries. Understanding the procedure makes it a lot less scary.
Bonus: I'm seeing skin to skin becoming the standard of care in most of our area hospitals! Several other innovations shown here are also finding their way to our region.
6. This video of Documenting Delight's own second birth
Why I love it: Gorgeous filming and editing make this Australian hospital waterbirth just beautiful. We hear real birth sounds, see a very emotional papa in the tub supporting his partner.
Bonus: The baby needs some help upon arrival, which the midwife provides skillfully and without creating a lot of fear for the family.
7. This birth center video by Crowned Birth Photography
Why I love it: Quite simply, the love between this couple is so real and beautiful. The way he supports her is so moving.
Bonus: We see the birth center midwives accommodating her chosen birth position, and then being ready with support when mama and baby need it after delivery.
8. This multigenerational homebirth video by MyBirthMovie
Why I love it: Watching this mama labor with her parents, partner, children, and support team around her is a beautiful celebration of a family welcoming their newest addition. (Click through, it's worth it!)
Bonus: It's (not) surprising how difficult it is to find birth videos featuring women of color, I'm glad to have found this one.
9. This trailer for the film Laboring Under an Illusion by Vicki Elson
Why I love it: This film is a hilarious and honest look at how we portray birth in the mass media, vs. what real life birth is really like. An interesting anthropological perspective by a local filmmaker.
Bonus: For less than $2 you've got yourself a movie night!
10. This educational video by Birth By The Numbers
Why I love it: This video was released in fall of 2014, featuring up-to-date research by Gene Declercq, Ph.D, LCCE of Boston University School of Public Health. It puts the state of maternity and newborn care in perspective by summing up what's happening in the United States and comparing us to the rest of the world.
Bonus: This will definitely put you in touch with your inner birth activist!