Tribe & Health Birth Story July 13, 2012 by Shiva Rose While browsing at Golden Bridge yoga center when I was pregnant with my second daughter, I happened to discover a book that became like a bible for me during the months leading to the birth. Ina May Gaskin's book Guide to Childbirth was a revelation and now there is a documentary on Ina and her midwifery wisdom. Filmmakers Mary Wigmore and Sara Lamm have made an extraordinary film on Ina, and her work on The Farm the mid wife center in Tennessee that evolved from a commune in the 1970's. For the next few days there is a campaign on kickstarter to get enough funds to help with the distribution. You can see the trailer to the film there as well. 1) What inspired you to make the film? A mutual friend gave us copies of Spiritual Midwifery when we were each pregnant with our first children. We both read it and thought, Wow this would make a great film! The stories in it made us feel less afraid of giving birth; it made childbirth seem like a great adventure and just part of life. We still find it incredible that this book has been passed from woman to woman over and over again for nearly 40 years. It uses language from another time but its message is still fresh today. As filmmakers, we were also intrigued by The Farm as a community. It’s incredible that this group of people came together to live their ideals, and because of the structure of the community, midwifery was allowed to flourish there. We wanted to explore how The Farm women worked together and we wanted to show the midwife model of care so people can see and be inspired by the work they do. We also think our film is a great opportunity for an audience to see unmedicated births with minimal interventions. 2) I feel Ina May is an American hero do you think the medical community does as well or do they see her as a renegade? Ina May is a hero to many for good reason! She teaches us that our bodies were built to have babies! She is in the vanguard of the natural childbirth movement as the trend is going in the opposite direction. One in three births in the US is a cesarean section so many of her positions are seen as radical in the eyes of the medical establishment but to some doctors, whom i know personally, she is an inspiration. She is speaking to a new generation of women who are seeking more choice in their birthing options... We hope the film is useful to anyone caring for pregnant women - doctors, childbirth educators, doulas and families… it seems like there is a trend toward more collaboration and maybe the film could help with that. 3) I have always wanted to visit The Farm. Was it as incredible as it seems? Yes! The farm is in such beautiful and pristine Tennessee hill country. We shot there during every season so we saw it blanketed in snow and then also got to pick blueberries and dip in the swimming hole during the lush, green summer.... Everyone eats out of their vegetable gardens year round. It's an inspiring place to be - a living, breathing trace of American idealism at it's best. It's fascinating because you can see the entire history of their community - you'll walk by deserted school buses in fields - the perches where they first pitched their tents, the community center, the meadow where they had sunday services... but for me, the heart of it all is seeing the midwives caring for the pregnant women who have come to the farm to have their babies... 4) What book is on your night stand? The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. 5) You just had a baby and birthed this film along with Sara Lamm. What is key to all this fertile creativity? I am blessed to love what I do, have a supportive family and a fantastic collaboration with Sara Lamm. That the film is about women and childbirth and that it coincided with the birth of my daughter made it all the more sweet.