Five Women, Five Births: A Film about Choices


Suzanne Arms shot black and white photographs of women giving birth. In this film, made in the USA in 1979, her intimate photographs and personal conversation with five women allows us to share their experiences of giving birth, and decision they made. Some births took place at home, some in hospital, and there were complications in some cases but each was a unique experience.


In this moving slide presentation, Susanne Arms looks at the childbirth experiences of five women who tell in their own words what they felt and how they came to choose the birth style they did. Ms Arms states the purpose:”What makes a good birth experience seems to have very little to do with how easy our births are, or how short the labour, or even where we give birth – but mostly how fully we participate in the experiences; how we make our own decisions,” The images are of real and powerful births; at home, in an alternative birthing room in a hospital, or a hospital operating room. They are happening to whole families (‘I felt so good for my mom because she wasn’t able to see me being born” ), and always with the clear voices of the women expressing their elation, their puzzlings, their disappointment and resolution, and their persistence in their own decisions.


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