The question of “what are your favorite teaching videos?” has arisen on several email lists I belong to recently. I decided to re-post my answer here, since I had it freshly typed up!
I have quite a few birth DVDs now and I don’t show them in class anymore, but I offer the selection to my clients and they can borrow anything they want to watch at home.
- Orgasmic Birth (highly recommended! Beautiful births, powerful message)
- The Big Stretch (kind of “hippie-ish,” but very lovely. Has naked man riding bicycle at the end–have to warn people about that!). I like how it is women talking about birth, no experts.
- Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves (all water births, from Compleat Mother magazine, kind of amateurish, but good).
- Birth as We Know It (also hippie-ish, but really peaceful, beautiful births–clients seem to really like it. The voiceover content is mildly annoying).
- It’s My Body, My Baby, My Birth (very reasonably priced at like $10–mostly about “natural childbirth” vs. showing a lot of births. Very good introduction to the “whys” of natural birth)
- Pregnant in America–more of a birth activism/advocacy film than a birth movie. I give a disclaimer before offering anyone this one, because baby does end up in the NICU and you worry that she is going to die (she doesn’t)
- Homebirth Dads–primarily “talking heads” format, a bit on the boring side really, but good to have available for homebirth couples.
- Birth Day–nice waterbirth in Mexico.
- Noa was Born–another nice waterbirth. Same filmmakers as the It’s My Body one. A lot of my clients love this one!
- Gentle Birth Choices–rarely checked out because it is more “dated.” I make sure they know that the quality of the births doesn’t change though, only the hairdos! I like that it comes with the Gentle Birth Choices book (the set is around $15 and the book is a classic).
- Penny Simkin‘s Rhythm, Relaxation, and Ritual, which is good to show for labor support purposes. I only have this on VHS and it is rapidly getting a, “how archaic!” reaction!
- Laboring Under an Illusion–this one is brand new. Compares 100 birth clips from the media with the real thing and looks at the impact of media perceptions on birth. Clips from I Love Lucy, Coneheads, etc. Pretty funny and a bit of a different “take” than the other films.
- Natural Born Babies–can be watched online. Nice, contemporary video that is almost like an extended “commercial” for homebirth/midwifery (in a good way!). No birth scenes, just modern couples talking about homebirth (some of them are doctors, which gives the video a little extra zest!)
- Dance of the Womb–lovely instructional bellydancing video. Also includes bonus homebirth video.
- The Business of Being Born–I think of this as a “classic” now. A must have. Very good activism video as well as educational.
There is also a nice series of free video clips available on Mother’s Advocate. This series is based on Lamaze’s Healthy Birth Practices and is a great resource for use in birth classes.
I also have several breastfeeding videos (the Mother of 7 ones), a babywearing video (Tummy2Tummy), and several prenatal yoga videos (my favorite is the Yoga Journal/Lamaze Yoga for Your Pregnancy DVD).
On my wishlist is: