Today, around the world, the important documentary Freedom for Birth will be premiered in over 1000 locations. This film shines a light on childbirth as a human rights issue and how our birthing systems worldwide so often fail and disrespect women. The time is now to stand up, speak out, and reclaim birth.
I always tell Moms that they must own their birth. You can’t subcontract it out. There is an image that circulates around doula circles that says, “I’m a doula, what’s your superpower?” Of course, it’s not just my personal opinion that doulas really DO make a difference in birth, the studies bear it out, however, we don’t have magic fairy dust to give a client the birth she wants.
Doulas are tour guides helping you along the path you chose in the way you chose. We help you to learn, give referrals, resources and support so you, and your husband or partner, can make truly informed choices in childbirth. A doula’s presence and continuous support during birth can increase a Mom’s calm and confidence, we can hold her space, protect her experience and the memory of her birth, but a Mom still needs to grab on and own her birth. If you do not know your options, you have no options and are ill-equipped to make truly informed decisions about how you want to birth.
Birthing Moms need to do the homework and educate themselves to really own their own birth. Moms will be the power and force behind change around the world. The film Freedom for Birth is a call to action and pulls back the curtain on the realities surrounding the culture of birth.
Freedom for Birth explores the implications of the landmark “Ternovsky vs Hungary” ruling. This case gives women the right to choose where, how and even when they give birth. The decision is monumental not only for women in Europe, but it also has powerful potential to create profound influence in the US and in other countries. European Court of Human Rights Reproductive Fact Sheet Ternovsky v Hungary
The film interviews a myriad of birth experts and global birth heavy-hitters including Ina May Gaskin, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Michel Odent, Sarah Buckley, Sheila Kitzinger among others. It is a moving and inspiring presentation that is relevant to all women and the people who love them. We must stand up to improve birth, not only for our daughters and granddaughters, but for the current birthing generation.
I encourage you to join this movement and this worldwide film premiere. Find a screening location near you and take the first step to help change the world.
If you are in or near Rhode Island, the group I co-founded, Doulas of Rhode Island is hosting a screening, hope to see you there!