9:37 minutes. South Africa
Still photography and video. She is in a birth pool, moving freely, leaning forward positions. A hand held doppler is used. The mother births on hands and knees. She rocks her pelvis. Her partner massages her with oils. Only the mother, father and midwife are present. You can see the profile of the positions the mother chooses and how she uses her body, but there is no view of the perineum. When the baby is born it is lowered onto the mattress and left for the mother to look at and pick up in her own time. The baby begins “chatting” to the mother immediately, and is noticeably soothed when she gently says, “shhhhhh” to him.
Active birth – dancing to tribal rhythms
This shows a woman dancing and swaying during her contractions, as she utilises active birth techniques to get through labour. A strong, positive image to counteract the “stranded beetle on the bed” image we see so much. It only shows a few minutes of labour – the birth is not shown.
Gemma’s Birth Music Video
5:58 minutes. USA
This shows a hospital birth, to contrast with the homebirth videos here. All goes well, but it is hard to see a healthy strong woman having a great spontaneous labour having to do it on a bed, against gravity. Directed, not instinctive pushing – she is told to “pull her legs back”. The cord is cut immediately and the baby is taken away from the mother rather than delivered up onto her abdomen. Great sound track.
4:12 minutes. USA
This beautiful waterbirth turns out to be an unassisted birth, because evidently the midwife does not get there in time, but chats with the couple as they birth over the phone. Present are mother, father, grandma and a toddler boy who is not impressed with not being allowed into the pool. Grandma and Dad do a superb job as the birth support team. It it lovely that the loudest cries are the mother’s own cries of exhilaration, joy and wonder. No one is telling her what to do or not do.
Natural Birth (Normal Doğum)
There are no words, but great images of a woman actively using her body to birth her baby. She does an extended “proposal position” on one knee to help the baby as it is crowning.