“Orgasmic Birth” is an awesome film, in the true sense of the word, talking to the deepest needs of women, at the gut, emotional, and intellectual level. In one sense, words fail me. The film follows home birthing parents growing and being reborn as different people, fulfilling their full potential of parenthood, and in particular womanhood. Interwoven are scenes of emotionally bereft, stark hospital births. This film confirmed what I’ve seen and known for so many years. The two systems can “birth” completely different families.
“Orgasmic Birth” strips away the “pretense” of the medical profession, with prominent medical people willing to explain how unscientific ‘routine’ procedures and aggressive labour management of low risk labour are, and how these interventions create complications and unnecessary deaths. Tellingly, hospital staff filmed, appear both unaware and unconcerned at what is being filmed, as if convinced of the rightness of what they are doing. The birth journeys, statistics presented, narrative and medical explanations accurately cut to the heart of what is really important to babies, parents and families, and why gentle normal birth is so important.
The verbal hesitance, fear, uncertainty and lack of confidence shown by most of the parents undergoing medical management in the hospital system, and how they feel afterwards, contrasts with the confidence, love, caring, bonding, family creation and parental empowerment experienced by those birthing at home.
The birth of Renee Perkins from New Zealand stood out as one of the best deliveries on the film, and not just because we are from the same country. The homebirths portrayed in other countries often had more midwife "interference" than those I’ve been involved with, in New Zealand.
An important perspective, perhaps not explored enough, were the thoughts, fears and and birth of a woman who was sexually abused as a child, and how her successful home birth healed her as a woman. I could relate to her sentiments. Watching the hospital sections of “Orgasmic Birth” I refelt my own helplessness and resignation while watching women treated in a similar, though less aggressive way than I had been. I watched their faces, and wondered if they felt as I had done; that unnecessary aggressive medical management of our first son's birth, and the treating of me as a barcode, was worse than sexual rape, because unlike rape, it’s a betrayal by supposedly caring people I trusted at the time. What made me even more powerless then, was that by walking into their territory, I had acknowledged their right to control and coerce, and had tacitly consented to allow that abuse in the first place.
I felt no personal “trauma” watching the film, because I had chosen not to lock away those feelings, or deny them at the time. We also made the choice to take control of where, and with whom, we birthed our second son. His birth, which fell slightly short of what you will see on this film, righted our “capsized ship”. Anyone who has read both our books will know how important we view birth. How a “family” gives birth is intimately linked with the competence of their future parenting. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that after the medical system cuts, sucks or pulls babies out of uteruses, many parents lose their confidence, and become passive, powerless, bystanders in the medical care of their children’s lives. It’s as if they refuse to remove the plastic hospital bar code from the mother’s wrist and baby’s ankle, becoming instead, token helmsmen on a ship being piloted by “medical experts”.
This DVD needs to be given to every pregnant woman in her first pregnancy. Birthing the way we are supposed to, with love and respect, reverberates for years, and through generations. Many young women today, don’t have parents who had natural, normal births, and as a result don’t have the support of family who know what it is to birth their own babies.
Natural bonding, lying in, successful breastfeeding, and becoming a real family, without control and compliance as the key orchestrator, would have the most powerful societal impact on reducing baby and child abuse. It’s so strange that most in the medical profession fail to see this. Parents who achieve the natural births in this film have the greatest potential to create loving caring families, because they were provided with an environment that fosters knowledge; informed choice; respect for their decisions; and appropriate support and care, which provides the best emotional, physical and intellectual foundation for future family love, and nurturing.
Monday, 17th May, 2010
We are no longer carrying this DVD because there was little demand for it.
We have since donated the last 10 copies to libraries, maternity hospitals and midwives, who, ironically say, it's the best film resource they have ever had.