Thinking about delivering your baby med-free? If that's your goal, you're probably already preparing by reading up on natural childbirth and maybe even practicing relaxation techniques. There's another way to prepare, and it's fun: Watching movies about natural childbirth. Here's six films that take a critical look at mainstream American maternal care and explore the joys and challenges of unmedicated birth outside that system.
1. The Business of Being Born. This is one of the best-known films about childbirth. Produced by and featuring Ricki Lake, it weaves together the story of Ricki's second pregnancy, the work she does with her midwife to prepare for an unmedicated home birth, and an examination of how mainstream childbirth is managed in America.
2. Laboring Under an Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs. The Real Thing. Anthropologist and childbirth educator Vicki Elson examines chidlbirth myths and reality.
3. Woman to Woman. This is a film about natural childbirth and activism. It's available on Amazon Instant.
4. Orgasmic Birth. This film experiences the intimacy of childbirth through couples sharing their stories about childbirth as a sensual experience. With insights from legendary midwife and educator Ina May Gaskin.
5. It's My Body, My Baby, My Birth. This film follows 7 expecting mothers through the emotional journey they each make toward natural childbirth. The film also follows midwives and childbirth educators.
6. Pregnant in America. Young, expecting couple Steve and Mandy Buonaugurio decide to bring their baby into the world outside the hospital system. They travel around the country investigating American maternity care. You can watch this 2008 documentary on Hulu.
Do you have any inspiring childbirth movies or videos to recommend?