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FMTV - The Face of Birth

The Face of Birth

Runtime: 87m 30s | Release date: 2012

This film features: Ina May Gaskin.

The Face of Birth - a film about pregnancy, childbirth, and the power of choice.

Three years in the making, filmed across the globe from London to Alice Springs, The Face of Birth is a movie with vital information for anyone considering giving birth today. In 2009 it nearly became illegal to have a home birth in Australia. Three years later, in 2012, the number of women choosing a home birth has doubled! Who are these women and why are the medical establishment and current birth culture so against them?

This documentary follows the diverse, heart-warming, and sometimes heart wrenching stories of a handful of mothers as they guide us through the plethora of information and opinions facing mothers-to-be when deciding how, where, and with whom to give birth to their babies.

The film sorts fact from fiction in childbirth. It explores the politics of risk, safety, and fear, and exposes our mistrust of women in birth. The film also features many of the world’s top birth experts, including the famed Sheila Kitzinger (author of over 23 books on pregnancy and childbirth), and the founder of modern midwifery in the USA, Ina May Gaskin.

We hear from Dr. Rupert Sherwood, (President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) whose college actively opposes home birth saying that it is ‘unsafe’. Obstetricians Euan Wallace and Andrew Bisits (who have started up hospital home birth pilot programs) strongly disagree, claiming that modern obstetrics is not serving the best interests of women.

Our diverse home birth mothers include AFI award-winning actress Noni Hazlehurst. She’s known by one generation from Playschool and another from City Homicide, but do her fans know why she chose a home birth?

Mother and doctor Sara Renwick-Lau, chose a home birth for her second child after her first baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section at a maternity hospital in Darwin, where she also worked. She claims her independent midwife gave much better care than her colleagues at the hospital.

Young Aboriginal mum Tanya Kunoth, from the remote community Utopia in central Australia, who had two babies in hospital and two babies in the country. She shares why it’s so important for her to be able to birth on her land, and why her home felt safer than in hospital.

Beautifully filmed and openly revealing, The Face of Birth tells about all the things we never knew about birth and the power of choice.

Featuring:
Sheila Kitzinger
Michel Odent
Rosie Pula
Lena Pula
Hannah Dahlen
Richard Porter
Ina May Gaskin
Euan Wallace
Rhea Dempsey
Rupert Sherwood
Robbie Davis-Floyd
Justine Caines
Patrice Hickey
Andrew Bisits
Djapirri Mununggurritji
Jan Ireland
Lesley Page
Diane Menage
Sally Tracy
Andrew Foote
Kath Mills
Sarah Doherty
Deb Patrick
Tracy Smith
Tere Garnons-Williams

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Comments / 45

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Kevin Crump | 1 month ago
I had 1 child in the hospital, the horrific experience of which prompted me to have the next two at home with the support of a midwife. Being at home, making my own decisions and following my body's prompting was a wonderful experience. Never would I give birth in a hospital again. There were some problems with pediatricians after. Mine was very mad and berated me as an irresponsible mother and let his anger out on the baby. A friend of mine was refused by several pediatricians when she was concerned about her baby having a health issue. I hope that pediatricians these days would not react in this manner. I had this experience 30 years ago.
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Joyce Ann Solomon | FMTV | 1 month ago
We appreciated you, sharing this with us, Kevin :) ~ Joyce
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Chana Batya Rosenberg | 3 months ago
I believe in home birth. When you trust your body it will do the right thing without all the intervention. I had one in the hospital which was a nightmare and the other two at home which were pleasant and easy.
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Pauline Balidiong | FMTV | 3 months ago
Thank you for sharing this with us, Chana :) ~ Pauline
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Chana Batya Rosenberg | 3 months ago
I believe in home birth. When you trust your body it will do the right thing without all the intervention. I had one in the hospital which was a nightmare and the other two at home which were pleasant and easy.
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Judie Koller | 4 months ago
This was so informative. A must to get things turned around for all women to have the choice of how they want to deliver their babies!
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Joyce Ann Solomon | FMTV | 4 months ago
Totally agree with you, Judie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us :) ~ Joyce
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Linda McCarthy | 6 months, 3 weeks ago
I almost died giving birth to my first born. I am thankful and grateful for the Doctors and Nurses that saved my daughters and my life. Never would I be a martyr to giving birth to a baby at home. For my second I was considered a high risk pregnancy and all went well with the supervision of doctors and nurses.
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Lisa Gardner | 1 year, 4 months ago
Blown my mind, I can’t wait to birth at home with my next baby, this has made me feel so empowered, amazing women speaking in this.
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Ivory David | FMTV | 1 year, 4 months ago
We are glad to know that Lisa, please keep us posted when this happened. We would love to know how you go ~ Ivory :)
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