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Orgasmic Birth 2009 NR

Enter the world of undisturbed birth as 11 couples share their intimate personal journeys, facing their fears and moving through pain into the ecstasy of birth. Orgasmic Birth poses the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths.

Mary Jackson
1 hour, 25 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Debra Pascali-Bonaro
Starring Mary Jackson
Studio Seedsman Group
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

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By K. James on January 3, 2011
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I consider myself to be a fairly mainstream type of gal. I am a natural birth advocate and cesarean mom. I was a bit leery of the movie because of the title. However, the OB website defines orgasmic as ""[i]ntense or unrestrained excitement or a similar point of intensity or emotional excitement." It's important to read this statement with the word "or" clearly in mind. You don't have to orgasm to have an orgasmic birth if you read the definition this way.

What I particularly like about this movie:
* beautiful homebirth stories
* interviews with experts (midwives, educators, OBs, medical researchers, epidemiologists)
* not all of the hospital births shown ended in cesarean
* a sexual abuse surviver is featured
* birth stories showed pleasure, pain, fear, excitement, extacy, the works!

What I didn't like as much about the movie:
* a mainstream watcher or anyone who is skeptical may be turned off immediately; IMO, the watcher could be "eased in" a bit better to the concept of the movie
* it bothers me that all of the homebirths were wonderful and the hospital births weren't; I know that the medical model is the dominant paradigm right now, and that the natural physiologic model needs to be given back its power, but I didn't like the "either/or" presentation

The Business of Being Born is probably my favorite birth movie, but this one is important to watch too. I think the idea of transformation is often missed, and this movie brings that into focus.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As an ex-doula who has attended birth as a sole birth attendant, this is not a film I would recommend. The authors of the film took a term and concept well known in radical midwifery circles-- "orgasmic birth: the nine month orgasm"-- and applied it to a film that is about three-percent on the subject of orgasmic birth: A two minute clip of renowned midwife, Ina May Gaskin, giving a statistic from a survey she had taken amongst women who had birthed with midwives. The statistic of women who had experienced orgasm during labor and birth was much higher than she had anticipated-- in the twenty-plus percent range.

There was talk about how birth is sensual, and orgasm is possible during birth. However, the examples of birthing in the film were mostly not examples of an orgasmic birthing experience. There was one orgasmic birth documented, and quite frankly it appeared to me to have possibly been an acting job on the part of the woman. What this film does contain is documentation of a mix of what I would describe as normal, healthy home births with several women. Births which ranged from easy, quick labors to relatively long labors. And two hospital births, one of which was downright traumatizing to watch. Scare tactics on pregnant women are not the way to improve birth. Having women who have had traumatic births tell their stories, without the actual visuals of a traumatic birth, is, in my opinion, far more effective in educating women about what they will be in for in a planned, non-emergency hospital birth.

It concerns me that this film offers the idea of "birth methods" and an orgasmic goal for birth, rather than emphasizing the physiology of natural birth and what is required to make birth safest overall.
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Format: DVD
It's not very often that a book or movie comes out that has the potential to directly change people's lives, but "Orgasmic Birth" is such a movie. Debra Pascali-Bonaro's film is monumental in it's message for women everywhere: birth can be empowering, transformative, and even pleasurable! The film chronicles the pregnancies, labors, and births of about 10 families, and does an awesome job of depicting the diversity of an empowering experience: homebirths, birth center births, hospital births, water births, and families of different races, religions, and customs. Additionally the film includes the story of a mother who was sexually abused as a child and a young adult, and she shares that "My birth became the most powerful thing that's happened to my body...and I was transformed." The women's stories also depict that birth can be spiritually orgasmic, emotionally orgasmic, or even physically orgasmic -- but the point being that regardless of the orgasmic element itself, it can be orgasmic period! What a crucial message for the young women of our society! We've been raised to believe that childbirth is the most painful thing a woman will ever endure -- how much healthier and how much more hopeful is it to instead believe that birth is something to be treasured and ENJOYED?!

I recently hosted a screening of "Orgasmic Birth" at my school, the University of Missouri. It was WILDLY successful, with over 100 people in attendance -- everyone from the local midwives, to professors to feminists, to mothers, to college women, to freshmen boys! Following the film, I hosted a panel of mothers and professional midwives to answer audience questions -- the questions poured in for 45 minutes! I've been hearing rumoring about a new campus organization: Med Students for Home Birth!
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