5 Reasons You Need To Watch BIRTH STORY, The Documentary

When you hear “pain free childbirth” you probably scoff. Well, you won’t after you watch BIRTH STORY, the most engaging documentary about birth you will ever see.

Ina May Gaskin

The feature-length documentary BIRTH STORY: INA MAY GASKIN & THE FARM MIDWIVES tells the story of counterculture heroine Ina May Gaskin and her spirited friends, who began delivering each other’s babies in 1970, on a caravan of hippie school buses, headed to a patch of rural Tennessee land. With Ina May as their leader, the women taught themselves midwifery from the ground up, and, with their families, founded an entirely communal, agricultural society called The Farm. They grew their own food, built their own houses, published their own books, and, as word of their social experiment spread, created a model of care for women and babies that changed a generation’s approach to childbirth.

 

I’ve always been extremely interested in natural birth, since I was 5 years old even, though I did not live in an area full of hippie midwives or anything of the sort. As a child playing with my baby dolls, I was more interested in replicating my idea of a midwife attended natural birth than I was simply changing their clothes or feeding them. It was a deep seeded interest that even my mother didn’t quite understand and none of us knew where it came from. Somehow I just “knew” that birth was a special and amazing process that could be beautiful.

When I first learned about Ina May Gaskin back when I became pregnant with my first child, I felt like I had finally found my birth idol! I was immediately entranced by her warm love towards the laboring woman, her care and concern for the mother’s emotional well being (as well as physical) and her attitude about the spiritual aspect of birth. I found it refreshing because the spiritual aspect of childbirth is something that is completely overlooked in today’s over-medicalized birth settings.

Once you watch this movie, you will feel empowered, inspired and amazed at how beautiful the birthing process can really be. Birth has been so corrupted in the United States and most women believe that birth is painful, horrible and a medical event that requires a full staff of doctors on-hand “just in case”. The medical profession meddling with the natural process of birth has actually created the epidemic of c-sections in this country and no one realizes it.

Nearly 1/3 of all babies in the US are born via c-section! What people don’t know is that this is the direct result of doctors intervening when everyone, including the laboring mother, should sit back and trust the human female body to do it’s job. We are powerful and our bodies know exactly what to do because we are designed to birth children. Our bodies are not broken. Our bodies do not need a doctor’s help to know what to do. As Ina May Gaskin always says, “Your body is not a lemon!”

There are graphic birth scenes within the movie for sure, including a breech birth that is just amazing. Most of us have heard that a c-section is absolutely necessary for a breech baby, so you will be in awe as you watch this woman push her foot-first baby into the world with ease.

Something I noted throughout the movie, was how amazingly calm and peaceful all the midwives were in every birth scene. Nothing at ALL like you see on stupid programs like TLC’s “A Baby Story” (which I highly caution you against watching if you are pregnant!).

But don’t be insulted or feel judged… If you already have children of your own, you come out of it with your OWN “birth story” which can be good or bad. Some of you may feel cheated and wish things had gone different, while some of you might be totally content with the way things went whether it was natural and drug-free birth or a planned c-section. Still, I think all of us know deep down inside that there is something missing from today’s traditional birth scene. That missing competent is self confidence.

The biggest thing you should take away from this movie is the fact that your body is not a badly made machine! If you overcome any and all fears of childbirth, you will absolutely improve your your entire pregnancy, labor and delivery. Just having a positive attitude, remaining calm and dismissing all your fears will empower you to have the childbirth experience that you dream of. It’s not a “roll of the dice” whether or not you have a good experience. I believe that your confidence in yourself and in your body directly correlates to your outcome.

5 REASONS YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE:

  1. To learn more about the amazing history if midwifery in the US.
  2. To understand more about childbirth and how it can actually be an amazing experience!
  3. To empower you and educate you for your own future experiences (and so you can pass along the knowledge to others)
  4. To learn more about the most iconic midwife in history!
  5. To have a greater understanding of natural childbirth.

 

Watch the official trailer for the movie…

If your ovaries are fully functional, be careful because
you will immediately get baby fever after watching this movie!

 

PURCHASE: Click here to buy the DVD for $19.95 or click here to buy the digital download for $12.99.

I received a copy of the movie to view in order to conduct this review. 
All opinions are my own and I did not receive compensation for writing this post. 

When Will Winter Finally End?

red roseSpring begins on March 20th this year (2013) but I’m wondering when will winter finally end? It seems we just keep getting one snow storm after another here in New Hampshire and I’ve just about had it! I want sunshine! Warm air! I want to open my windows and clean my house inside and out! I want to plant flowers and play outside! It seems like Spring will never get here…

I am not into outdoor winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, so the winter months drag on and on for me. I feel like I spend 4-5 months out of the year just waiting for better weather so I can go outside!!! I’m really not suited for New England weather at all. I think I belong in California… as far as the weather goes anyway!

I’m trying to pass the time catching up on emails, writing posts and reading books while I’m stuck indoors, staying warm. I wish I had more time to read because I have about 12 more books to read before I can become a certified Birth Doula.

kindle app for windows 8

I’ve been reading Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel on the Kindle app in my Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 Intel Tablet. I always thought I would want a hard copy of a book so I could highlight and take notes and have the satisfaction of closing the last page of the book when finished. However, I have found the convenience of being able to have dozens of books on my tablet that I can read anytime, anywhere, to outweigh my need for a hard copy of every single book I want to read.

I’m not particularly loving this book so far, so that hasn’t made me want to set aside time to read it either. Having self-paced school work is nice, but when it’s something you really don’t want to read or learn about, procrastination can be a huge problem. At least it is for me!

#inteltabletsI’m hoping I can finish “Natural Hospital Birth” before the end of the month, but I’m finding out that if I have 5 minutes to sit down with my Intel Tablet that I am much more likely to try to catch up on emails than I am to read a book. There are SO many things to do on my tablet that it’s hard to stay focused sometimes! I have downloaded a lot of really useful and fun Windows 8 apps and my daughter is totally hooked to Windows 8 now. I was tired of sharing my tablet with her so her computer genius uncle helped us put Windows 8 on her laptop so she can download and enjoy all the apps that I am using. I think Windows 8 is a lot more kid-friendly than any other version of Windows which is making them serious competition for the iPad now. I’m really impressed with the latest version of Windows and it runs seamlessly on my Intel Tablet.

I hope it really does start to look like Spring soon because I can’t take this winter weather another second!!! I love sitting out on my back deck in the afternoon while the kids are napping and getting some SUN! I can’t wait to do that again.

What do you like to do during the winter months? Do you engage in outdoor winter activities or do you like to stay inside and keep warm like me?

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.

Disclosure: The Acer Iconia W5 was gifted to me by Intel as part of their Tablet Crew program. All opinions expressed above are my own. See #tabletcrew on Twitter for other bloggers’ honest thoughts on the tablet.

My Journey to Becoming A Birth Doula

You might have thought that The Fashionable Housewife was just a stylish, pretty face with a big interest in fashion trend, beauty products and stylish chich outfits, but there is a lot more to this woman than meets the eye and I’m hoping to start sharing a bit of my personal life and personality with you in the coming weeks and months.

First and foremost, I am training to become a Certified Birth Doula!!!!!!!!!

doula supporting motherIt’s something I’ve known for over 15 years that I’ve wanted to do, but life kept getting in the way. I’m now making time to reach for my dreams and can’t wait to embark on this amazing journey to becoming a Birth Doula.

What is a doula?

The word “doula” (pronounced ‘doo-lah’) is a Greek word for “woman’s servant.” A Birth Doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. Some doula’s provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period as well. Studies have shown that when doulas attend a birth that the labors are shorter, have fewer complications, less likelihood of a cesarean section, babies are healthier, bond better with the mother and breastfeed more easily.

Part of the process of becoming a certified birth doula involves reading a lot of books (see picture below) and doing a lot of studying and extensive research.

doula books

 

I am so happy and thankful that I recently got a Acer Iconia W51Windows 8 Intel Tablet! I have quickly become addicted to several Windows 8 apps that I downloaded in the “store” which have made my personal and work life a lot easier. Honestly, I think the app I have used the most is the Kindle App which I use to read my school books.

One of the books I just finished reading on my tablet is Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta by Ina May Gaskin.

Renowned for her practice’s exemplary results and low intervention rates, Ina May Gaskin has gained international notoriety for promoting natural birth. She is a much-beloved leader of a movement that seeks to stop the hyper-medicalization of birth—which has lead to nearly a third of hospital births in America to be cesarean sections—and renew confidence in a woman’s natural ability to birth.

Upbeat and informative, Gaskin asserts that the way in which women become mothers is a women’s rights issue, and it is perhaps the act that most powerfully exhibits what it is to be instinctually human. Birth Matters is a spirited manifesta showing us how to trust women, value birth, and reconcile modern life with a process as old as our species.

I’ve studied birth extensively in the past 6 years and honestly, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I think EVERY pregnant woman should read this book. I found it empowering, enlightening and even brought tears of joy to my eyes several times while reading it. I purchased the kindle version but I’m going to buy the paperback version because I loved this book so much, I want to be able to loan it out to my pregnant friends so that they can have the chance to read it to. SO GOOD!

Besides the Kindle App, I like having Evernote on the tablet, on my laptop and on my desktop PC so all my notes and bookmarks are synced. At first, I didn’t think I would like Windows 8 since I wasn’t too impressed when I used it on a Windows Phone, but after a couple of weeks using Windows 8 on this touch screen tablet, I can’t imagine my life without it. All of the research I do online, I can bookmark into Evernote and then excess it from any of my computers.

I didn’t realize that Windows had built in Speech Recognition Software until I got this tablet… Yes, you can laugh at me now. But seriously, how did I not know this?! I trained it in less than 15 minutes and can’t believe how handy it is! I say “Launch Wordpad” and it opens WordPad. Then I just start talking and it types it! I can only imagine how much easier blogging could be if I had known about this earlier… At least it will be easier to write up reports etc for my Doula studies.

ANYWAY! I am definitely getting the most use out of the Kindle App because I have a ton of books left to read for my Doula training. I’m going to start reading “The Birth Partner” next.

It’s been hard to concentrate on writing good “Fashion posts” since my head is someplace else. Who would have ever guessed that a die hard fashionista would turn out to have such a passion for labor and birth. Well it goes to show, you never know! You really can’t tell everything about a person just from what you see on their blog or Facebook, etc. We always tend to put our “best foot forward” in these public domains and you really can never tell what’s going on in another person’s life… or their head. Don’t always assume you know what another person is thinking! This is a great example, because I bet none of you had any idea I was passionate about natural birth and similar subjects. Not that I was trying to hide it from anyone, it’s just there is a time and place for everything and I felt like now was the time to get a little more personal with my readers and let you know a bit about my personal life rather just always dishing out awesome fashion advice. hehe ;-)

I obviously have lots more to say on the subject of becoming a Doula but I will save that for another day!

I received an Intel Windows 8 Tablet to test and review as part of the #TabletCrew
All opinions are my own and I did NOT receive compensation for writing this post nor was I obligated to write about my tablet in this post.