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Midwives ... Lullabies ... and Mother Earth.

This program from an Australian television series on people with creative approaches to world problems should be broadcast throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe. The film follows Dr. Michel Odent in France, England, Holland and Morocco as it highlights his work and research with birth and perinatal influences from conception through the first 18 months of life.

One of the British midwives interviewed hits the nail on the thumb when she says, "Doesn't it really get you up the nose that it's a man saying it?" But he hits all the issues which we as midwives and childbirth educators promote or should be promoting - the importance of midwifery care, the validity of the home birth ("institutionalized home birth" as practiced in Holland), the relationship of types of birth trauma to types of suicide from Swedish studies, the relationship of interrupting maternal-infant bonding/nursing to aggression in society, and much more.

One of the best parts of the movie is an interview with Odent's mother, at 87 the oldest living poet in France. Her comments and the pictures of Odent as a baby and comments about his childhood are fascinating.

Odent is a fascinating researcher and thinker, but he keeps telling birthing women what to do. Having decided that involving the father hasn't resulted in less violence or lower divorce rates, he has come to feel that birth is actually more like going to the bathroom than a sexual act. Therefore it is best for the mother when the husband/ father isn't involved in labor at all. When his wife gave birth at home in London several years ago, he was in the house, but not with her. From her telling, the midwife wasn't there for most of it either, and her sitting on the toilet and yelling for much of labor doesn't sound like my idea of a good time, although she seemed to be satisfied by her experience.

As someone who gets tired of men telling women how to give birth, I was prepared not to like this video. But I loved it and feel it is really worth shoving in public information evenings. I really wish it was broadcast in this country - it's thought-provoking and consciousness-raising.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Dancy, Rahima Baldwin
Publication:Special Delivery
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Jun 22, 1995
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