The film that turned me into a birth activist

I often get asked how I got into doula work. This is the answer:

Screen shot of film, Born in the USA

It’s kind of cliche. I was always interested in women’s health. Had aspirations of being an ob/gyn. Then I went to college and took organic chemistry. It was a bad scene, and I promptly said goodbye to the idea of medical school.

Then I took a class called The Anthropology of Reproduction at a nearby women’s college. We watched this video, and I walked out of class knowing my life had just changed forever.

I was so fired up by the film, Born in the USA, and the screwed-up culture of birth it documented. It became my big issue. I was only a sophomore in college, but I talked to everyone I could about how wrong we were about birth, and how badly we were treating mothers and babies in hospitals. Within a year I had become a doula. I wrote my thesis on my time spent in as a volunteer doula in a public maternity ward in North Carolina.

I was obsessed. Seriously.

Ask my college roommate.

The rest is history, as they say.

I think Ricki Lake’s film The Business of Being Born serves a similar role to the film I saw and it’s much more widely available.


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