Birth story.

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Childbirth was a domestic event until the arrival of the NHS and the introduction of maternity services removed it from home to hospital. Women taking part in the programme who were among that first generation to experience childbirth in hospital have bitter memories of the event. They recall fear, ignorance and a regime that was inconsiderate and sometimes brutal. The fact is that women giving birth at home in 1935 were five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in hospital in 1950. Obstetrician Prof. Sir Malcolm MacNaughton admits that preoccupation with patients' safety put other considerations out of mind. The film shows how the hierarchical regime of hospital maternity wards often left the patient excluded from consultation, uninformed and resentful. Also taking part is Prunella Briance, founder of the National Childbirth Association, now the National Childbirth Trust. Her own experiences as a maternity patient made her determined to enable women to become fully informed about the process of childbirth and about their options so that they need never feel that the birth of their child was entirely in the control of uncommunicative medical professionals.


[Place of publication not identified] : BBC TV, 1997.

Physical description

2 videocassettes (VHS) (60 min. each) : sound, color, PAL.



Copyright note

BBC Television.


Where to find it

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  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores

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