Saturday, September 27, 2008

Orgasmic Birth Film

My local Friends of Midwives chapter held a fundraising screening of the new documentary Orgasmic Birth this past weekend. The film was beautiful! Even after seeing it, I do continue to have serious reservations about the choice of title for the film and wonder if it will hinder the films ability to realize its full potential. (I fear the title keeps it on the "fringe" and in the "choir.") It is a beautiful and impactful film. Very well done and the message is profound. The title does not seem to accurately portray the births and messages about birth in this film though. Ecstatic, euphoric, pleasurable, or joyful all seem like more appropriately descriptive words.

One element that particularly stood out to me in the film was how active and engaged the fathers were with the birth process during the home births shown. They were right there holding and loving their wives through their journeys. this was a stark contrast to the hospital births in which the fathers nervously held their wives hands and occasionally patted their backs. "She was in entirely too much pain, so the epidural was very welcome," says one of these fathers, shown earlier as his wife discussed their plans for a natural hospital birth. The sense of power and exhiliration is markedly diminished (or even absent) in the hospital settings shown.

This was a deeply moving film and I hope it reaches the audience it is meant for because it has a powerful message to share about the joy of birth and potency of the birth experience.

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