30 Natural Birth Videos and Slideshows to Prepare Children for Labor and Birth (Plus Additional Resources)
This post is the second in a three-part series on preparing for childbirth with young children. In “How to Prepare Young Children for Childbirth” I offered ideas on how to talk to your child about what to expect with labor and delivery. Today I share “30 Natural Birth Videos and Slideshows to Prepare Children for Labor and Birth (Plus Additional Resources)” to help you normalize labor and delivery for your child. And in the third post, “What to Do with Young Children at Childbirth,” I share ideas on how to plan for a birth with older siblings present. I welcome your feedback and experiences in the comments!
As we prepare for our homebirth, one of our main concerns is making sure that Kieran, our preschooler, is comfortable with the sights and sounds of labor and delivery. You can read more about how we prepared Kieran in “Preparing Young Children for Labor and Childbirth,” but today I am sharing some of our favorite slideshows and videos that we watched as a family.
I’ve split the videos into three categories: slideshows (no video, only pictures), videos with music soundtracks (music is the primary sound you will hear, but a few have low vocalizations from the mamas), and videos with vocalizations (you may hear light background music, but the sounds of labor are the focus). I’ve tried to put them in order of intensity in each category (from modest to graphic) and have included very brief overviews of each video (see the italicized print directly underneath each video), but you should of course use your own common sense and intuition when sharing these with your children.
To my knowledge, all of the births in this list are vaginal and unmedicated (“natural”). Many are homebirths, others take place at a birth center or hospital; some are unassisted, some are with a midwife. A few show more interventions than you may be personally comfortable with (i.e., immediate use of a nasal bulb, etc.), but you may wish to show children so that they are familiar with these procedures.
At the end of this post are additional resources where you can find even more slideshows and videos. Please share your own favorite videos and sites in the comments.
Click on each link to jump to a section:
Natural Birth Slideshows
(no pushing pics or blood)
(no pushing pics, lots of pictures of the newborn immediately after birth)
(waterbirth, one black and white picture of baby as it is born taken from above)
(Montage of waterbirth pictures, some show blood and babies during delivery)
(birth center waterbirth, a few shots taken above mama as she delivers while sitting)
(waterbirth, several black and white pictures taken as baby is born taken from behind as mama pushes on hands and knees)
(several black and white and color pictures directly on mama while pushing/delivering baby)
(color pictures directly on mama as she pushes/delivers, pictures of baby nursing, shows placenta and preparation of placenta for encapsulation)
Natural Birth Videos with Music Soundtrack
(slideshow and video, no video of labor, waterbirth)
(slideshow and some video of twin homebirth after cesarean)
(water birth, unassisted, no direct pushing shots or blood)
(twin home waterbirth, no direct pushing/delivery shots)
(slideshow and video, music soundtrack but some very low vocalizations, unassisted, no pushing or blood)
(slideshow and video, unassisted water birth, a few vocalizations, children involved)
(birth center, mama births standing up, some direct shots of mama pushing, some very low vocalizations, shows cord being cut with another child involved, shows baby nursing)
Natural Birth Videos with Vocalizations
(mama used Hypnobabies, no vocalizations during contractions, mama narrates, no video of pushing/birth but you do see the baby attached by the umbilical cord being laid on mama’s chest)
(mama used Hypnobabies, low vocalizations, toddler is involved, no direct shots of mama pushing/birth)
(clip from a Discovery documentary (Freebirthing), so breasts and vulva are fuzzed out; almost silent water birth)
(waterbirth with mom sitting down, no direct shots of pushing/birth, very low vocalizations)
(no direct shots of mama pushing, water birth on hands and knees, unassisted)
(background music, but you can hear mom vocalize – lots of “ohm’s,” children involved, some direct shots of mom pushing while sitting)
(waterbirth, one curse word around 4:25, direct shots during pushing)
(waterbirth, unassisted, some fairly direct shots on mama while she pushes)
(one curse word around 1:13, waterbirth in bathtub, fairly direct shots as mom pushes, shows baby latching on and nursing)
(camera is above mom as she pushes on her back in a bathtub)
(background music, but you can hear mama vocalize, camera directly on mama as she pushes in a tub on her back, midwife’s assistant immediately suctions baby after birth)
(camera directly on mama as she pushes while squatting)
(direct shots of mama pushing on hands and knees, children present, dad catches)
(birth center, camera is directly on mom while she pushes in squatting position, one curse word about 2:10)
(camera is directly on mom while she pushes on hands and knees, one curse word from dad around 3:25)
Additional Resources for Natural Birth Videos and Slideshows
*I have neither seen all of these videos nor looked extensively into all of the websites. Please use your own discretion.
- A Clear Road to Birth: Photos and footage of eight unassisted homebirths.
- Birth As We Know It: A “film aimed at illuminating future parents on the impacts of conscious conception, pregnancy and birth. . . . The movie features eleven natural births, including home birth, water birth, birth of twins, breech delivery and an astounding self-birth by Tanya Sargunas – a world renowned Spiritual Midwife and pioneer of Conscious Birth in Russia.” Read more at the Birth As We Know It website.
- Birth Day: A short video documentary on one family’s birth experience.
- Birth Into Being: Footage of five home waterbirths by Russian Spiritual Midwife Tatyana Sargunas and her filmmaker Husband, Alexi. “Their original footage takes you on a breathtaking expedition to witness two families birthing in the Black Sea, and into their home to see two of their daughters being born in a handmade clear birthing pool. Scenes of children and babies swimming with dolphins will delight and amaze audiences of all ages.”
- Born in Water, A Sacred Journey: A collection of seven waterbirths.
- Bornfree!: Find pictures and videos of families who opted (or were surprised with) an unassisted birth. The site also has articles and information on unassisted childbirth, as well as DVDs for sale that include footage of birth.
- The Business of Being Born: A documentary about the increasingly profit-driven business of pregnancy and birth. Several homebirths are shown. Read more on The Business of Being Born website.
- Free Birth Videos: A great collection of birth videos with ratings from modest to very graphic. Videos are broken down into categories – animal, homebirths, hospital births, unassisted births, waterbirths, and more.
- GentleBirth.org: GentleBirth.org has a section that reviews birth video and audio resources; there is one section specifically on resources for siblings.
- House of Babies: A Discovery Health TV show about midwife Shari Daniels and her practice.
- Hypnobabies: There are several labor/birth videos of mamas who have studied Hypnobabies.
- I Watched My Brother Being Born: A video of one family’s home waterbirth with children present.
- My Best Birth: A collection of birth videos.
- National Geographic – In the Womb: National Geographic uses technology (including computer generated images) to explore the development of babies throughout pregnancy, the documentary also includes a woman giving birth.
- Natural Birth and Baby Care: This site has a short collection of birth videos.
- Orgasmic Birth: A documentary that “brings the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths by inviting viewers to see the emotional, spiritual, and physical heights attainable through birth.” Read more at the Orgasmic Birth website.
- Unassisted Birth: A bonus video that has its embed code disabled, so you’ll need to click to watch. (unassisted, one curse word about 4:53, very little blood, no direct pushing shots, mom is on hands and knees, lots of rubbing/sucking with bulb once baby is born)
- Water Baby: Experiences of Waterbirth: An hour-long documentary of four waterbirths shot in Russia, France, and the United States.
- Waterbirth International: Offers a collection of waterbirth photos.
*And special thanks to the mamas who are part of my Facebook community and who post at Mothering. I found many of the resources listed here by asking on Facebook and by researching old threads on Mothering.
Did I miss any great video, audio, or photographic resources? If you know of one I should add to the list, please share in the comments!
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