At Home in Waldo, Maine Screens Tonight at Belfast Free Library

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!

 

Happy Birthday Gideon!!

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.

At Home in Maine in Today’s Bangor Daily News!

Friday, April 8, 2011

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.”

“At Home in Waldo” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at the Belfast Free Library.

For more information, visit www.mainehomebirth.wordpress.com

At Home in Waldo, Maine Screening at Belfast Free Library Tuesday, April 12

BELFAST, MAINE  “At Home in Waldo, Maine” will screen on filmmaker Nicolle Littrell’s home turf, at the Belfast Free Library, Tuesday, April 12th, 6:30-8pm.  The film is one of the recent releases from the “At Home in Maine” film series, which focuses on homebirth and professional midwifery care in Maine.

“At Home in Waldo, Maine” features the Weavers, a family from Waldo who are semi-homesteaders, homeschoolers, entrepreneurs and rock’n’rollers!  Integrating footage from the Weaver’s day-to-day life with their home birth, “At Home in Waldo, Maine” explores the relationship between how we live and how we birth.  The film includes a single performed by Jerry Weaver’s band, Odlaw.

The film also features Morningstar Midwifery (morningstarmidwifery.com/) a professional midwifery practice located in Belfast. Discussion with the filmmaker, film participants and refreshments will follow the screening.

For more information about “At Home in Maine” visit: www.mainehomebirth.wordpress.com.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information call 338-3884 ext 10.

Outrageous New Study by Maine OBs about “Higher Risk of Infant Mortality” in Planned Homebirths

See the Kennebec Journal’s coverage of this:

http://www.kjonline.com/news/study-home-births-more-dangerous_2010-07-04.html

My two cents:

Like “Dr. Klein”, cited at the end of the article, I would have to agree that this research is “crap” and completely transparent in it’s political motivations.  First off, it’s written by American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) OBs, who, as an organization staunchly oppose homebirth.  The data collection itself seems quite flawed, as well.  The authors looked at different countries, with different systems of care and often going off of birth certificates, which can be misleading.  They also used data dating back to the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Their main finding, that infants are 3% more likely to die from a planned homebirth is actually .03% when you look at the fine print.

I haven’t been able to locate a link to the actual study yet (it was published recently in ACOG’s journal) but there has been quite a response.

See this Mothering Magazine Online Discussion thread:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1239494

The forum authors raise great points and they cite links to articles in other publications that characterize the findings as “flawed.”

This new “research” reminds me of ACOG’s “Resolution 205”, issued in 2008, around pursuing legislation in US States to ensure that women give birth in hospitals.

What is your response to the ACOG article?