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March 21: Film documents birth of modern midwifery

Thursday, March 21, 2013

FREDERICK, Md.—A documentary that follows a group of women who rescued modern midwifery from extinction and changed the way a generation approached childbirth will be shown April 22 at 6:30 p.m. in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall at Hood College.

Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives tells the story of counterculture heroine Ina May Gaskin and her friends who, in 1970, unhappy with hospital birthing environments where mandatory forceps deliveries were the norm, began delivering each other's babies. They taught themselves midwifery from the ground up, and became an integral part of a new communal agricultural society in rural Tennessee called The Farm. As word of their self-sustaining venture and social experiment spread, they became a model of care for women and babies that challenged and revolutionized traditional attitudes toward childbirth.

Gaskin is the founder and director of The Farm Midwifery Center, one of the first out-of-hospital birth centers in the nation. She is the author of four books related to midwifery and breastfeeding, and is a prominent national and international speaker. She is the recipient of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award, presented by the Swedish parliament for her life's work teaching and advocating safe, woman-centered childbirth methods that best promote the physical and mental health of the mother and child.

The event is sponsored by Hood's women's studies program.

For more information, contact Jolene Sanders, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, at