Check out this interview by video documentarian Bill Anderson where I speak about all things homebirthy. Not being one to not have anything to say…grab a cup of tea and settle in ’cause it runs about 45 minutes!
BELFAST, MAINE. “At Home in Maine,” an online documentary film series about homebirth and midwifery care is currently the featured media on Mothering.com, a popular web publication about Natural Parenting and Living.
The film series presents eleven authentic, artistic and intimate portraits of the homebirth experience, representing the diversity of families who are choosing homebirth, the midwives who serve them, the different locations in Maine where homebirths are happening and a variety of homebirth experiences.
Mothering.com has a “large and passionate” readership both in the United States and internationally, as described on the website.
“At Home in Maine” is the creation of Nicolle Littrell, a Belfast-based filmmaker, educator and activist. The film series was inspired by Littrell’s own homebirth experience in 2004 where she gave birth to her son in a farmhouse in rural Montville, Maine, assisted by two Certified Professional Midwives.
“Given the publication’s focus on natural parenting and lifestyle choices, I’d say ‘At Home in Maine’ is right at home on Mothering.com,” says Littrell. “When I was pregnant, I looked to Mothering magazine to learn about my choices in childbirth. It’s really exciting to now share a film series I created–that was inspired by my own positive homebirth experience–with Mothering.com’s vibrant online community.”
Homebirth is on the increase in the United States, up by 20% between 2004-2008, states a recent report from the National Centers for Disease Control. Littrell credits the vibrant Natural/Normal Birth Movement on the Internet as to why this increase is occurring. “The Internet has become the prime venue for women to learn about their choices in childbirth. Access to information is key. Through the Internet, women are learning about birth, sharing their wisdom and resources–and creating their own web-based communities. It’s pretty amazing. To me, it feels like a revolution.”
The film series can be viewed through Video on Demand (VOD) for rental or digital download.
“‘At Home in Maine’ is a great resource for women and their partners to learn about homebirth, as well as seeing what normal, natural childbirth looks like, which unfortunately, most people in America do not have a picture of. The films are also an excellent educational tool for birth professionals and schools,” says Littrell.
On Tuesday, October 11th, Littrell will screen “At Home in Waldo, Maine,” one of the recent releases from the series, at the Camden Public Library, 6:30-8pm. Refreshments and a discussion with Littrell and the film participants will follow the film.
For more info about “At Home in Maine” visit: mainehomebirth.wordpress.com or contact Nicolle Littrell at Woman in the Moon Films.
this past saturday, i witnessed another miracle: i filmed the birth of a baby born at home to two loving parents, assisted by a team of midwives and friends. two of his brothers met him moments after he emerged from his mother’s womb (the third, a toddler, slept on). it was an intense and challenging labor, but with loving and professional support and care–and a lot of hard work–this mother brought her baby into the world outside the womb.
this summer i had the honor of stepping into this family’s world and filming other facets of their life. our first endeavor: a family excursion where we went on a whale watch. other intimate and joyful events and moments were documented. i did this entirely with out-of-pocket resources. i hope to be able to transform this story into a film. a film that will be a part of the “at home in maine” series. a new film that will help educate women and their families about the choice to have a homebirth and receive midwifery care.
to do that, i need additional resources. funds that will support the time and materials it takes to transform footage into a film. i intend for this one to be the first of four more films that will be produced over this next year.
i’ve got two weeks to go with this kickstarter campaign–and a long way to reach my funding goal. i will not receive any funds unless the entire funding goal is reached. i need some angels here! won’t you please be a part of my miracle and pledge to this project today? miracles do happen. i filmed one early saturday morning…
thanks to all who supported this project in week 4!
Click here to read a great article about a machias woman’s choice to have a homebirth–and to be a single parent.
kudos to the bangor daily news for covering both! the underlying issue of support for women’s choices in each of these areas are completely interrelated.
it is so wonderful that homebirth is getting so much positive press these days. women are learning about their choices, getting educated and empowered to have the kind of birth they want for themselves and their babies–and to parent in the way they choose. as more women do this, they will be less subject to the obvious posturing of some medical groups who do not support homebirth–and therefore do not support women’s choices.
as more women exercise their rights around birth and receive more support for their choices, it is my hope that outcomes for mama, baby and families will improve.
congrats anna! welcome eamon!
At Home in Waldo, Maine will have it’s Waldo County premiere tonight at the Belfast Free Library, 6:30-8pm. Discussion with the filmmaker, film participants (including Morningstar Midwifery) and snacks will follow the screening. DVDs of the film, Odlaw CDs and books about homebirth will be available for purchase.
The film is one of the latest releases from, “At Home in Maine”, a documentary film series and web resource about the choice to have a homebirth and receive midwifery care in Maine. This film series is for anyone who interested in learning more about this choice. But this film is not just for people exploring their Choices in Childbirth. It’s for anyone who would like a picture of normal, natural family-centered childbirth–unfortunately, an experience that most people in the US do not have. For many women, birthing at home is where this is most possible.
Hope to see you tonight!
Waldo Boy to Celebrate First Birthday
Friday April 8, 2011
WALDO — Gideon Jay Weaver will celebrate his first birthday on Friday, April 8. He was born April 8, 2010, at home to Melinda, Jerry and big brother Ravi.
His birth was attended by Morningstar Midwifery of Belfast.
A documentary on Gideon’s home-birth,“At Home in Waldo,” by Nicolle Littrell, will be screened at Belfast Free Library Abbott Room on April 12, at 6:30 p.m.
by Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
BELFAST, Maine — When mom and filmmaker Nicolle Littrell was pregnant with her first child, a friend asked if she and her partner were considering having the baby at home.
Their reply was instantaneous — and negative, Littrell said Thursday.
“We said, ‘No!” she recalled, adding that part of the reason was their insurance did not cover home births.
But as she thought about it, she realized it wasn’t the whole story.
“My first reaction was financial, and then it was definitely more than that,” she said. “It was the not knowing, and the fear, that gets embedded in each of us at an early age.”
Littrell began researching midwifery and home births, ultimately deciding that delivering Leo, now 6, at home was the right choice.
He was born in a tub, in an experience that was empowering and comfortable, with the help of midwives who were respectful and knowledgeable. It was very unlike the standard Hollywood depictions of births, Littrell said.
And afterward, she found she still had more to learn, and teach, about the growing group of people choosing to have their babies at home.
“I feel like there’s a relationship between how we give birth and how we live,” she said.
Littrell has spent the past few years using her camera, her heart and her filmmaker’s eye to document and help educate about home birthing in Maine.
“It’s a gift. I’m definitely the luckiest person in the world, to be at these births,” the filmmaker said. “It’s absolutely sacred, to see women so powerful and beautiful. And there’s magic, too, when the baby is coming out. When that baby is born, I cry every time.”
Originally, she had envisioned making a conventional documentary film about the subject, but as she dug deeper, she realized that one film wouldn’t be enough. So far, Littrell has produced several short films about home birth as part of her “At Home in Maine” series and started a website as an educational and community-building resource.
The latest documentary, titled “At Home in Waldo,” will have its first Waldo County screening at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at the Belfast Free Library.
During the filming, Littrell spent 20 hours with Melinda and Jerry Weaver of Waldo as their son, Gideon, was born a year ago.
After the documentary is shown, the participants — including the Weavers and their midwives from Morningstar Midwifery in Belfast — will join Littrell for a discussion.
Melinda Weaver, who was 42 when Gideon was born, said she and her husband were glad to take part in the documentary project.
“When Nicolle stated her purpose, I said ‘Yeah, of course,’” Weaver said Thursday. “Anything to have more people be comfortable with the decision to have a home birth.”
Littrell met and interviewed the family often before her labor began, Weaver said, so that everyone was comfortable with having her present for the birth.
“The day of the birth, other than noticing that you had a friend there, you didn’t notice the camera,” Weaver said. “You watch the birth.”
More and more families like the Weavers have chosen to take births out of the hospital over the past few decades, beginning with the back-to-the-land movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, according to the filmmaker. “American homebirth midwifery was pretty much stamped out in the early 1900s,” Littrell said. “Home birth and midwives re-emerged in a grassroots, teach-each-other, positive way.”
That journey has been at times political and controversial. Over the decades, midwives nationally developed the certified professional midwife credential. But in 2008, a Maine proposal to license “lay” midwives was derailed by lawmakers, who instead voted to authorize them to purchase, possess and administer a short list of prescription drugs often needed during a home birth.
“To me, midwives are the most incredible heroines, and it’s a tremendous amount of responsibility,” Littrell said.
She said she hopes a lot of people will use her website as a resource, including — but not limited to — people who are exploring birth options.
“This is about birth. It’s not just for people who want to have babies,” Littrell said. “How we are born is important. Birth matters.”
For more information, visit www.mainehomebirth.wordpress.com
On this post from the Babble, women share their stories centered on the question:
“What if something goes wrong at a homebirth?”
Hint: nothing unmanageable, no bad outcomes. Click here to read.
Several short films from At Home in Maine will be screened as part of U Maine’s Women’s Health Fair this Wednesday, March 23rd in the Memorial Student Union. For a campus map, click here.
The event focuses on what’s new and happening in Women’s Health and is sponsored by U Maine’s President’s Council on Women.
Maternal Wellness and Choices in Childbirth will be nicely represented at this event. Filmmaker and U Maine graduate student Nicolle Littrell will be on hand to share info about At Home in Maine and screen several of the films from the series. Andrea Mietkiewicz, Old Town-based Certified Professional Midwife and RN will share info about homebirth midwifery care and homeopathy. Heather Bowman and Gina Forbes, both Certified Doulas (based in Orono and Belfast, respectively) will provide info about doula care, doula training and natural childbirth education.
Free samples, yummy treats, massages and oh yes, lots of information await those participating in this event!
Hope to see you there! Please spread the word…
Hey Friends and Subscribers of At Home in Maine! Please share this link with your friends/fans to help promote this event.
Looking to drum up some major interest in this event–and with this, attention on and support for Women’s Reproductive Health Choices and Choices in Childbirth.
With the recent (and ongoing) political onslaught on Women’s Reproductive Health Choices, we need more support than ever in this area–and for Women’s Studies Programs in Higher Education. Please share away!!! Thank you!! Hope to see you on the 16th!!