"Trial of Labor" Film Screening in Wichita, KS
hosted another successful film screening and panel discussion here in Wichita, July 23, 2015. “Trial of Labor: A Documentary About Modern Childbirth From the Mother's Perspective” is an emotional, thought-provoking look into the lives of four women as they undergo their unique journeys to a vaginal birth after cesarean, or a VBAC.
The film explores the subjects of VBAC bans in hospitals across the country, unsupportive medical care providers, and inadequate prenatal education through the thoughts and emotions of women who gave birth surgically for various reasons. Although it must always be a woman's choice to give birth in the way that she desires, which includes medication and Caesarean sections, we see in the film how important it is that she should never feel forced, scared or belittled into making a choice. Throughout the film, the four women show us the steps they took to educate themselves, find supportive caregivers, and make choices that were right for them and their babies.
We had an excellent panel of experts for the discussion after the film: Niki De Longe, a mother who has experienced a VBAC, Dr. Jackson Sobbing, an OB-GYN in Wichita, Sharon Foster, a Certified Nurse Midwife, and Rachel Cheek, a Certified Nurse Midwife. Some great discussion was generated between the panel and the audience about how care providers can better support VBAC, how mothers can get good education about birth, and the current birth environment here – thankfully, there is no VBAC ban in Wichita hospitals and a number of local mothers have been able to achieve that goal both at home and in our hospitals.
Photo courtesy of Katie Miles.
I enjoyed the film, which we screened in the new
Building for the first time. It was short, but managed to pack a punch in its 1-hour run time. It was a well-made movie, but as the tagline suggests, it focused on the mother's personal perspective rather than science and expert interviews - and that was a nice change, in my opinion. It should definitely get people thinking about their options and about rights and humanity in childbirth. In one particularly gripping scene, one of the mothers describes in great detail the powerlessness and failure she felt during her Caesarean birth. My eyes got misty as she recounted her story with pain in her voice. Not every mother will feel this way, but we must validate and understand her feelings and work toward creating change.
Have you seen "Trial of Labor"? What were your thoughts?
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