(Make sure you see the video at the bottom of the post!)
If you’ve signed up to receive our newsletter you’ll already know that we are about to bring some big changes to One World Birth which means we will have to shut down most of the site for a few weeks.
However, while we are busying ourselves with this, I thought I’d cut together some of the footage we shot while we were in North America and upload the results as a series of short films that will be more of a “behind-the-scenes” look at the first steps in our journey into the world of birth. Hopefully it will be enough to whet your appetite for what is to come!
Here are some stats from this journey: (sorry, I just can’t help it – I’m male!)
• 21 filming days
• 4000 road miles
• 10,000 air miles
• 8 states
• 12 towns
• 55 interviews
• 70+ hours of footage
First up is a snapshot of some of the time we spent in Canada.
North American Midwifery Conference
And what a place to start – Niagara Falls. You can just imagine how long it took Toni and I to debate the value in spending three days and nights in a world class hotel overlooking the falls themselves!
We had been invited to film at the inaugural North American Midwifery Conference that was being hosted jointly by CAM, MANA and ACNM. Interviews included the presidents of all the major midwifery organizations as well as individual midwives from all over the continent. We must have filmed interviews with over 30 people each of whom had interesting things to say.
One World Birth is about bringing together the wealth of knowledge and expertise from all around the globe, but it is also about highlighting where things are going seriously wrong and the efforts that are being made to right these wrongs. We were intrigued and sometimes shocked by many of the stories that were coming out of the more isolated communities of Canada.
I was particularly moved by Sacheen who told us about the forced relocation of expectant young mothers from her First Nation community on Vancouver Island to the big city where they are without their friends and families at what must be the most sensitive and terrifying time of their lives. We also heard from midwives working in Inuit communities where mothers-to-be suffered similar treatment.
Our insight into this practice was only brief, but it is something that we are determined to revisit and feature in a very big way.
Local Action for Global Change
Here at One World Birth we believe in the power of what we are calling Local Action for Global Change.
The initial idea behind setting up the web site was to help communities and individuals inspire one another into action and to learn from one another’s campaigns to see how to bring about change
Where’s My Midwife? has its routes in Wilmington, North Carolina, but when Maria Radonicich, one of its founding members, relocated to a town just north of Toronto, Where’s My Midwife? Ontario (WMMO) was born and it is now fully operational and busy flexing its campaigning muscles to bring about necessary changes in the province with plans to spread throughout the whole of Canada.
We witnessed the power of concerted effort and dogged determination when we were invited by our super-doula host, Charity Pigeau, to film a WMMO march through the streets of Orangeville that ended up at the local hospital where only two midwives had privileges to practice. WMMO have been campaigning for 18 months to get privileges for more midwives, but their efforts had so far been met by stony silence from the hospital.
We were bowled over by a community’s spirit and relentless drive to bring about change and their story is to be the first featured in our Local Action for Global Change reports, a taster of which you can see in the video below. We’re sure their story is going to inspire other communities all around the world and provide much needed encouragement to those who feel like they’re battling an insurmountable force.
So, here’s the video, the first in a series that I shall be uploading over the next few weeks in anticipation of the re-launch. I hope you enjoy it!