Natural Living Family

The natural parenting place...

Friday, 13 February 2009

Announcing a birth video/documentary contest! $1000 prize!

Birth and specially homebirth, is one of those life events that I am passionate about. Recently I was approached about a fantastic competition from Birth Matters Virginia.

Announcing a birth video/documentary contest! $1000 prize!

Birth Matters Virginia (an organization that works to promote an
evidence-based model of maternity care) is inviting mothers, fathers,
filmmakers, film students, birth advocates, and others to create a 4-7
minute educational video about birth. The first-place winner will
receive a cash prize of $1000. Second place $500 and an "honorable
mention" prize of $100 will also be awarded. The deadline for entering
the contest is Mother's Day, May 10, 2009.

Guest judges include: Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, acclaimed producers
of the Business of Being Born and Sarah J. Buckley., MD, international
birth expert and author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. Ricki,
Abby, and Sarah will join a consumer-based panel of judges who will be
evaluating the tone, educational content, creativity and more. You
don't have to be a professional to enter and you don't have to be from

As the national rate of c-sections surpasses 30% and the U.S. ranks
41st in terms of maternal mortality, it is more important than ever
for women and their partners to be educated about the options they
have during pregnancy and birth. Birth Matters Virginia advocates "evidence-based" maternity care, which simply means using the best available research on the safety and effectiveness of specific practices to help guide maternity care decisions and to facilitate optimal outcomes in mothers and newborns. There are a lot of ways to approach that topic, and we're looking forward to the variety of entries.

For rules and to see how to enter, please visit

You can also join our Facebook group to get updates about the contest
and exchange ideas with other participants at

And if you have questions, email Sarah at

Even if you don't plan to make a video or submit an entry, please pass
this email on to everyone you can think of.

Having birthed all three my kids at home, I consider myself among the lucky few to have had that experience. Partly I have to thank my mom for raising me to never follow the so called experts blindly - be they doctors, religeous leaders or other - this has taught me to question, research and question again anything that did not feel right. While statistics in the US quote c-section rates at 30%, I have read that here in South Africa they are as high as 60% in many private hospitals - a frightening fact! Specially if you consider that giving birth is something that women have been doing since the begining of time, I find it truly hard to belive that 60% of women are incapable of giving birth without all the interventions that doctors deem as necessary.

I recently watched a Birth Stories episode on TV and realised yet again, that women simply are not educated enough about their choices when it comes to birth and many follow doctors blindly. I cannot recall one birth that I watched where there were not interventions, mostly to speed up labour that was not progressing sufficiently. When one woman asked about being induced, she was not warned that the induction would make for a more painfull labour, that she would be hooked up to an IV and require constant monitoring and most likely need pain relief meds - due to the drugs used to induce. The doctors all just said, that the gel or IV would simply get things going, no mention of side effects etc. In one case where the woman ended up needing a c-section, the father dared ask about being involved in the birth and was rudely shot down by the doctor (in my opinion, doctors are after all demi-gods and above being questioned, are they not!?!). Not to even mention that every woman who did give birth vaginally, did so lying on her back on the bed... Anyhow the reason for this post was to spread the word about the competition and not to vent my frustrated feelings - maybe I should stay away from these TV programs in future LOL.