Birth : A film about feelings and experiences.
- Kitzinger, Sheila
About this work
A film with testimonies from women who have recently had children: the women talk candidly about how they felt and feel physically and emotionally leading up to the birth of their children and then afterwards. The women try to dispel some of the myths around pregnancy and childbirth. They comment on the unsolicited horror stories which were shared with them. The testimonies are intercut with a sequence of a woman who is in the process of giving birth at home with a midwife (seen only partially, Afro-Caribbean in heritage), a doctor and her husband. One woman talks about her birth aspirations: she wanted everything to be normal and not be part of a 'sausage machine' (she opted for a home birth). Another woman talks about the importance of a good mental approach. Several women opt for a 'natural' approach. Sheila Kitzinger talks about the importance of education and breathing exercises; she is seen hosting a NCT class in a home with a series of couples (she talks about the psycho-sexual aspects of the experience of childbirth and her memorable but controversial analogy of the birthing process being like a flower opening). She differentiates between the pain of injury versus the 'positive' pain of childbirth. Three-quarters through the film, Dr Frédérick Leboyer the writer of 'Birth without Violence' talks about the benefits of natural childbirth and birth in water intercut with another home birth.