Pregnant in America
www.pregnantinamerica.com Reviewed by Molly Remer
Filmed by a father-to-be, Pregnant in America follows a young couple as they prepare for the birth of their first child at home and are surprised by what they learn about “life’s greatest miracle in the hands of a nation’s powerful interests.” The film was created by a layperson and sometimes that shows, but overall the film’s format lends a contemporary edge. Interview clips with birth experts such as Marsden Wagner, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Ina May Gaskin, and Kerry Tuschhoff are interspersed with segments of the pregnant mother (Mandy) talking about her pregnancy and her hopes for the birth. There are also a number of clips of person-on-the-street soundbites that add interest to the film.
Substories about a woman who travels to
The film comes to a fairly dramatic close when the Buonaugurio baby is born at home and then transferred to the NICU for an undiagnosed reason. Because of the stressful feelings generated by the hospital footage, I would hesitate to recommend this film to a pregnant couple without a “disclaimer” letting them know that the baby is hospitalized (the baby is later fine and is shown as a happy, walking one year old).
The main emphasis of Pregnant in America is advocacy and activism. It is not a “birth movie” per se in that it has no live birth footage (there is some labor footage and then snapshots of the birth). It definitely kept my attention and it has a powerful message to share with parents-to-be about maternity care as an industry.