Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Our new baby, installment #17

In addition to the copy of Optimal Foetal Position, our home birth midwife each week would send us home from our appointment with something else to read or watch. On one ocassion, it was a vintage VHS of a film called "Birth in the Squatting Position," which was only about 10 minutes long but showed the crowning and births of a handful of babies in stark anatomical fasion. The only sound one hears in addition to the background music is the narrator in his English accent sounding like the host of Wild Kingdom's World of Animals as he explains in awe that women actually give birth squatting -- and smile as they do it! It took many weeks for my husband to bring himself to watch the film, which left him sort of speechless. It left me sort of speechless, too. One of the births shows a baby whose head molded so incredibly that it looked more like a summer squash than a human!

7 comments:

darius said...

that film is legendary. my wife who's a student midwife was placed once at a very interventionist and unfriendly hospital. although the hospital did have a breast feeding expert, who, when she met my wife, said, "oh, you gotta come see this," and took her to a back room to see birth in the squatting position. i have yet to see it myself (surprise, it's not on Netflix), but sounds fascinating. i have also heard of a similarly antiquated film of women given birth among dolphins...........

Tina Cassidy said...

Darius, I am not familiar with the dolphin video but would love to track it down if anyone has any details. I have heard that dolphins help each other out during labor/birth, pushing a calf up to the surface for air, etc. I guess that is why midwives have adopted the creatures spritual mascots of sorts.

Ellen said...

The dolphins are a minor yet beautiful part of Birth As We Know It, a film about women who give birth into the Black Sea. http://www.birthasweknowit.com/

starparticle said...

This is my favorite birth video ever. I recently attended Karen Strange's lecture ( http://www.newbornbreath.com/ ) and she shows it...Some of her commentary is about watching how the women react to the birth. They don't scoop the baby up onto their chests, first they take a "I can't believe I did that" breath, then slowly start examining the baby from afar. No rushing, the babies aren't screaming, and the Mama are so matter afact about the whole process. I cry everytime I see it!

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