Giving Birth – An inspiring and highly regarded birth film by Suzanne Arms!

Giving Birth The Movie - pngGIVING BIRTH is the renowned 35 minute film by Suzanne Arms that lowers fear and gently builds trust in a woman’s body and her ability to her birth.  It follows one woman through a joyful, empowering natural birth with the father actively involved, and kindly compares the differences between the medical model and physiological/midwife model for birth. Scientific evidence about the impact of the birth process on both mother and baby is explored.  Three obstetricians, including Christiane Northrup (author of multiple books on women’s health), a labour and delivery nurse, a doula, a mother who had a cesarean birth, and a certified nurse midwife with 25 years of experience attending home births all comment on the powerful nature of birth.  No close ups are shown, making the film appropriate for all age audiences.  Nurses, birth professionals and parents all love this film!

Also covered are prenatal care, overcoming fear, dealing with pain in labour, epidural anesthesia, cesarean birth, routine hospital procedures, and voicing mother’s preferences.  Suzanne Arms’ photography and artistic direction have created an exceptional film when compared with other birth documentaries.

This film was updated for re-release in 2007 and has stood the test of time.  Its message and images are as powerful and moving today as when audiences first saw it.

Why is Giving Birth such a worthwhile film?

  • It has gorgeous visual images featuring Suzanne Arms’ photography.
  • It explains the complex issues in perinatal care in a way that people can understand without using scare tactics.
  • It opens a window into what a normal birth without typical interventions looks and feels like, which is hard to find.
  • It captures the beauty and raw nature of birth
  • It illustrates the deep and trusting relationship that is possible between a midwife and a mother.
  • This film speaks to friends and family members, not just pregnant people and couples.
  • It is appropriate for ages 7 to 107!

From the Executive Producer:
We made this film to fill the gap between clinical childbirth education videos shown in most classes, and unrealistic and anxiety producing “reality” genre shows available on mainstream media. We wanted people to feel energized and inspired about pregnancy and birth and supporting those we care about during this transformative time.  One of the things people don’t understand is that birthing safely and peacefully depends on the people you surround yourself with and the energy they bring to the labor room. This film shows what many midwives offer: a relationship of deep trust and caring based on spending time together. While this is most often available at a home birth, which is the model for the film, physicians and nurses who share these ideas are capable of creating the same atmosphere in their facilities.

Updates since 2007:

    1. Nurse staffing has increased, with most large medical centers usually having 2 patients per nurse, not 3-4 as stated in the film. Small rural hospitals usually offer a one on one staff to patient ratio. To find out your area hospital’s staffing ratios, call the labor and delivery unit directly and ask. “On a busy day in the unit, how many patients does each nurse usually care for?”
    2. Physicians are realizing that maternal fever is a side effect from epidural use and are ordering fewer infant septic workups (invasive medical testing) unless other symptoms warrant it.

Watch the movie on YouTube Giving Birth The Movie - png