The Mama Sherpas’ Director Brigid Maher Shines Positive Light On Midwifery With New Film — VIDEO
In what will surely be a compelling, educational, and influential documentary, The Mama Sherpas is one film to check out, especially if you're interested in midwifery, the birthing process, and the choices women have when welcoming a baby. Brought to you by executive producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (The Business of Being Born), and director Brigid Maher, the film focuses on the "growing shift in the birthing industry" and "the rise of Caesarean sections," which account for over 30 percent of births in America, the documentary reaveals. For those interested and intrigued by The Mama Sherpas, you've come to the right place, because Bustle has an an exclusive look at the film's trailer and an interview with its director.
As you can see in the clip below, the doc, which is described as both "moving" and "urgent," dives deep into the job of midwives and how they work "within and [to] better the hospital system," while preventing putting mothers at risk before, during, and after labor. Overall, the documentary showcases why midwives might be the answer for any pregnant woman and focuses on the positive aspects of birth, rather than the negative elements.
I was lucky enough to chat with director Brigid Maher, who discussed why this film is so important, what she hopes others will take away from it, and how it will impact everyone — not just pregnant women. Maher explains she wants people "to realize that there's an obstetrics crisis in America and that midwives can be at the forefront of the solution by working collaboratively with doctors and providing optimal care." She adds, "I really want people to realize the role that midwives can play in mainstream obstetric care and that women, overall, have better, strong outcomes when a midwife is in the picture during the birth."
The story hits close to home for the director, who is not only a professor and filmmaker, but also a mother. Her son was born via Caesarian section after 22 hours of labor, but three and a half years later when she became pregnant with her daughter, she realized she didn't want to go through the same process and recovery that comes with a C-section. Eventually, she realized a midwife was the best option in order to have a vaginal birth. During her daughter's birth, Maher got the idea for The Mama Sherpas, and now she's bringing her story to light.
Maher hopes others will stop looking at midwives with an "old world view" and not see birth as something scary, because it's a beautiful, amazing, and empowering moment. She says it's not like what we see on TV, aka it's not always women screaming in pain. For her, "birth is normal" and "is so much a part of our lives." The film "really normalizes the images that we have about birth," Maher says, which she hopes both men and women will take away after watching the trailer and documentary in its entirety.
She also says birth and pregnancy isn't "just a woman's thing," but rather "a subject matter that affects all of us." After watching The Mama Sherpas, she truly hopes her film will "demystify" the role of midwives, in addition to showcasing "positive views of birth." She describes the film with these three words: "Mothers. Collaboration. Midwives."
The Mama Sherpas will be released on July 21 on DVD, iTunes, digital VOD, and on its official website. Until then, check out this exclusive premiere of the trailer.
Images: The Mama Sherpas