Monday, September 28, 2009

Mass media birth vs. reality

How many times have I said, "Birth is nothing like it is in the movies" or complained about how "A Baby Story" or "Maternity Ward" portray labor and delivery? (I just can't watch those shows any longer. I start yelling at the TV and then I have to turn it off.)

That's why the movie "Laboring Under an Illusion" looks both educational and fun. From the press release:

"There are more pregnant women watching TV birth scenes than attending childbirth classes. So when labor starts, they may be surprised by the real thing. ... A new documentary film, “Laboring Under An Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs. The Real Thing,” contrasts actual birth footage with the fictionalized commercial version. In over 100 video clips, anthropologist Vicki Elson explores media-generated myths about childbirth."

Here's the trailer:

This looks like a nice way - perhaps even a little more gentle than "Business of Being Born" - to introduce people to the difference between the way they perceive labor & birth and the way it actually is.

The website lists some events. I'm thinking about whether it's worth me investing in a copy (or better yet, finding some way for our breastfeeding student group to pay for it and screen it!) Has anyone seen this yet?

(h/t to Dou-la-la!)


Dou-la-la said...


I have NOT seen it yet, but I'm dying to. If I recall correctly, the running time was just under an hour. Honestly, I think it would be great as a loaner to clients, or during an ICAN or other birth advocate group meeting, or even in a childbirth ed situation.

SO yeah, I think it would be worth the money - but I'd love to see it at one of the events listed too. Oh, to be able to travel carefree . . . Let me know if you get to see it before I do! I'll post a review when I do.

valmich said...

We watched it at a recent meeting of my local BirthNetwork. It was fantastic! Sparked some good discussion afterwards. I think it would be great for all the things Dou-la-la suggested.

publichealthdoula said...

You guys are tipping my scales towards "yes"...I need to see if I can get it funded through school before I spend my own $$ though ;-)