Watch It: The Mama Sherpas Now Online!
Written by Patrice D'Agostino
Photography by Photo Courtesy of The Mama Sherpas
If you’ve seen the trailer for The Mama Sherpas, and haven’t been able to catch one of the regional screenings, you’re in luck, because, as of today, you can view it online!
Concerned about the rise in medical interventions used during labor? Well, The Mama Sherpas is the perfect film for you. Filmmaker Bridig Maher, along with executive producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (the powerhouse duo behind the wildly successful The Business of Being Born and Breastmilk The Movie), have produced a film that is sure to have a lasting impact on how we think about the possibilities of vaginal birthing.
The Mama Sherpas follows four hospitals across the country, each providing collaborative care models between midwives and obstetricians to reduce the number of cesarean births (the current rate is 30% nationwide and as high as 50% in some locales). Each facility is unique, based on its individual design and demographics of care, however they all hold one thing in common—they provide holistic care to pregnant women to reduce labor interventions.
This all sounds great in theory, but watching it in practices is nothing short of miraculous. Ever witnessed a vaginal breeched birth? The chances are you have not. Well, prepare to be stunned and moved while watching one courageous mama defy the odds and deliver her breeched baby all with the help and encouragement of a midwife. Plus, follow the journey of other mothers determined to have VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) deliveries.
Did you know over 90% of practicing midwifes work in hospital settings? This is one of the many clarifying statistics provided throughout the film to inform the viewer about alternatives to obstetric-only care. And what’s a documentary on midwifery without a cameo from the ever-so-inspirational Ina May Gaskin, who has influenced a birth movement over several generations?
The Mama Sherpas showcases a realistic lens into the science behind childbirth. While many of the women in the film are able to delivery vaginally without intervention, we are introduced to one woman who delivers via cesarean out of a medical necessity. This is the beauty of the film. It is not mythical about what midwifery care provides, but demonstrates an honest portrayal on the spectrum of laboring experiences.
No matter how many births you’ve watched, the process of witnessing life enter the world never fails to pull on those heartstrings. Just seeing tiny babies taking their first breaths and opening their little eyes is enough convincing alone to press play!
The Mama Sherpas, $3.99 to rent, $12.99 to buy, Amazon.
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