Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives (2013)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The feature-length documentary BIRTH STORY: INA MAY GASKIN & THE FARM MIDWIVES tells the story of counterculture heroine Ina May Gaskin and her spirited friends, who began delivering each other's babies in 1970, on a caravan of hippie school buses, headed to a patch of rural Tennessee land. With Ina May as their leader, the women taught themselves midwifery from the ground up, and, with their families, founded an entirely communal, agricultural society called The Farm. They grew their own food, built their own houses, published their own books, and, as word of their social experiment spread, created a model of care for women and babies that changed a generation's approach to childbirth. Forty years ago Ina May led the charge away from isolated hospital birthing rooms, where husbands were not allowed and mandatory forceps deliveries were the norm. Today, as nearly one third of all US babies are born via C-section, she fights to preserve her community's hard-won knowledge. With incredible access to the midwives' archival video collection, the film not only captures the unique sisterhood at The Farm Clinic-from its heyday into the present-but shows childbirth the way most people have never seen it-unadorned, unabashed, and awe-inspiring. (c) Official Site
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

This film is so bereft of conflict and seems so intent on celebrating commune life and the sisterhood and the joys of midwifery that it glosses over important issues.

Full Review… | March 7, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Highlights Gaskin's down-home gumption as an advocate for the glory of natural childbirth.

Full Review… | January 16, 2013
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Challengingly graphic but good-natured doc is an eye-opener on midwivery.

Full Review… | January 16, 2013
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A granola ode to natural childbirth that makes you want to hop into a tub of warm water and start pushing.

January 15, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

It's interesting how in retrospect what [Gaskin] espouses, something so simple could be considered radical. Yet Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore's documentary Birth Story makes that very point.

Full Review… | March 28, 2013
National Post

Lengthy documentation of births. . .are fascinating to watch. . .but ends up reinforcing every stereotype. . . of midwifery as more appropriate to hippie lifestyle or Amish.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013

Audience Reviews for Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives. As an (Oregon) apprentice midwife myself, this is a treasured part of our history. I was glad to see the number of births in the film, both the straightforward baby-head-down ones and the one where a breech baby managed to successfully come out of a woman's vagina (something modern OBs aren't apt to do). This film does an excellent job of inviting the viewer onto the Farm and reassuring us that we can birth our babies.

Elizabeth Baer
Elizabeth Baer

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