I have no idea when this was film was shot, but it’s incredible. It’s a black and white film from France (I’m pretty sure) in which a woman, who looks like Marilyn Monroe, is visibly euphoric during the birth of her baby.
What’s remarkable to me is just how little activity there is in this film. Mom is very calm, but more importantly the birthing assistants–a man (possibly the father and/or a doctor) and midwives (or maybe nurses)– are not freaking out, or doing much at all. At the very end the man helps the baby onto mom’s chest. There’s no suctioning, episiotomy, pulling on the head… The baby just comes out. Voila!
Since most of us are pumped full of imagery of births as medical emergencies or otherwise terrifying, screaming nightmares I think it really helps to see that there are other possibilities.
A couple of things:
1. Her perineum. Look at that stretch. Your body is meant to do this. It’ll stretch out, and stretch back. Here’s some more info on how a vaginal birth without lots of intervention can actually reduce tearing and pelvic floor damage.
2. Her position. Often when a mom is not medicated she’ll opt for a more efficient, pelvic-floor friendly, gravity-friendly position to push in. But hospital policy or care-provider sometimes require that mom be in the supine position (lying on her back) as it’s more convenient for the catcher/an old irritating tradition. Nevertheless she rocks the supine pretty hard.
(PS– The sound has been disabled so we can’t hear what I imagine would be happy French dialog and maybe some moans and laughter.)