Last week I attended the Bridgwater Positive Birth movement’s screening of the film ‘Face of Birth’. This is a documentary looking at our human rights as women, to chose where, when and with whom we give birth. The film focuses on birth in Australia, and the stories of women who had chosen to birth at home, but also looks at birth on a global scale. It features interviews with some of the worlds top childbirth experts – Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger and Ina May Gaskin to name a few.
What struck me was the power of their emotions surrounding their stories, even though for some their children were now adults. Our births are an experience that remains with us for life. Research has shown that if women do not have a positive birth their confidence in mothering their new baby can also be undermined – mothers are less likely to breastfeed and are more likely to suffer postnatal depression.
The important message that is conveyed by this film is that women need those choices and to feel empowered in their birth so that they can have that positive experience. In the film the UK was portrayed as a country where there are more choices surrounding birth – here we are still cared for by midwives rather than doctors during our pregnancy and birth, and home births are an option whereas in some countries it is not supported.
I wonder, how did you feel about your birth? Did you feel that you had autonomy surrounding your choices? Have you been left with a sense of empowerment and fulfillment?
Do visit the page http://www.faceofbirth.com/index.html for lots more info and interviews