Giving Birth

GIVING BIRTH is the renowned 1/2 hour film by Suzanne Arms (plus 1-hour Bonus material) that lowers fear and builds trust in birth. Shows differences between medical model and biological/midwife model for birth. Follows one woman through a joyful, empowering natural birth with father actively involved.




    • What women – and fathers – need to know to make informed choices and be empowered in the birth of their child.
    • 3 Obstetricians (including Dr. Christiane Northrup), Labor & Delivery nurse, Midwife, Doula, and Suzanne Arms on what is normal birth, why it is important, and the risks of interventions.
    • What a Doula does.
    • Seeing an “active” labor and upright birth on a birthing stool. Midwife care. Images of water birth. Cesarean mother about her experience of “planned” scheduled cesarean.
    • Myth vs. fact about labor pain, epidurals, cesarean, and routine hospital procedures.
    • No full-front nudity. No blood. Suitable for people of all ages, including children.
    • Skin-to-Skin contact. Birth of the placenta. Cutting umbilical cord. Breastfeeding. Sibling bonding.

Read More: What others say about GIVING BIRTH

“I’ve been a birth educator and woman’s advocate since 1964. This film comes as close as possible to putting forth the depth, breadth and heights of labor and birth. It is a timeless film.”
—Harriet Palmer, CNM Midwife, and past Board Member of ICEA and Lamaze International

“I have been a registered nurse in obstetrics for 14 years, including several years at a hospital that does more than 7,000 birth a year. I have to say, I agree with every single word in this film. I think that every woman and family of childbearing age should see it, preferably before they get pregnant.”
—Janet Grabe, RNC, ASN, BSN, twice nominated for state maternal/child nurse of the year

“This film shows what is possible for 95% of mothers and babies, who can—and should—birth normally. It is a most impressive and significant film for medical and nursing students, residents, faculty and hospital staff—as well as for young people, pregnant women and fathers-to-be. It will help them all fathom the exquisite, built-in and behavioral processes that are meant to occur naturally between a mother and her baby during birth. These processes evolved four hundred thousand years ago. They are still relevant and should dictate our perinatal care practices today.”
—Marshall Klaus, MD, American Academy of Pediatrics award-winning Neonatologist, Researcher, Author of Care of the High Risk Newborn, Mothering the Mother and Co-author of Your Amazing Newborn

“I feel as if someone has just changed the direction of my life forever.”
—A young pregnant woman, after seeing Giving Birth in a childbirth education class

“Spectacular photography, top-notch editing, riveting information. This is one elegant package that will open the eyes of expectant couples everywhere.”
—Henci Goer, Lamaze instructor, author of Obstetrical Myths versus Research Realities and The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth

“Giving Birth is a compelling video that allows us to enter into the mystery and miracle of birth.”
—Angeles Arrien, PhD, Cultural Anthropologist, Author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of Life

“In this video we can experience birth in all its power and meaning. This film will change hearts and minds. It is a powerful portrayal of so many complicated and delicate issues, weaving together the emotional, the international and the political, and addressing a much-neglected issue in a way that people can grasp it. Birth in the Western world today has been stripped of its full meaning and stolen from women and women have learned to take what they are given.”
—David Chamberlain, PhD, Psychologist, President of the Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH), and Author

“This is an amazing film. It made me feel I was right there, living the experience. I can already think of so many men that I know who need to see this.”
—Thomas Metcalf, Father-to-be

“This brilliant film clearly shows us both what is wrong with American birth and how to make it right.”
—Robbie Davis Floyd, PhD Research Anthropologist, and Author of Birth As An American Rite of Passage

“Health planners, public health workers, health care workers—anyone concerned about the ways our babies are being birthed—should view this video. The very human side of the birth experience and the factual information that Suzanne Arms presents should inform our policies.”
—Jane Corinne, LMSW MPH Maternal & Child Health Council, Taos County, New Mexico

“An inspiration to mothers and fathers and a powerful tool for sensitizing health care professionals to the opportunities for improving the most important event in the lives of most families: birthing. I use it in teaching faculty and residents for its ability to move people to a new way of envisioning birth and infancy.”
—Robert J. Massad, MD, Professor and Chairman

“Department of Family Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York
The earlier a woman can see this in her pregnancy, the better. For that will give her an opportunity to make the changes she is likely to want to make once she has seen it.”
—Risa Lynn Klein, CBE, Birth Educator and Prenatal Counselor

“Once again Suzanne Arms challenges the myths of hospital safety and the routine use of technology, this time in a powerful new film that presents home birth as the standard of care. This film can be a forum for enlightening the public regarding what we lose when we hand over responsibility for this most sacred of human experiences.”
—Anne Frye, CPM Midwife and Author of Holistic Midwifery

“This film calls on us to treat every pregnancy and childbirth experience as unique, to support women and babies with low-tech midwives, rather than high tech medical interventions, and to recapture this fundamental human experience of childbirth in a context of family and friends—where it belongs. I hope this film will be widely viewed by every couple contemplating a pregnancy, and in high schools and colleges around the country, so it becomes a catalyst for much needed change”
—George J. Annas, JD MPH Utley Professor and Chair of Health Law Department, Boston University School of Public Health

“This is a beautiful, moving, truthful—and hopeful— depiction of birth that shows how it can be, how it should be, how it must be. This film shows us how giving birth back to the woman, and supporting her to value her own ability to birth normally, will empower her to trust her body, her competence, and her baby.”
—Phyllis Klaus, MFCC LCSW Psychotherapist, Teacher and Co-author of Your Amazing Newborn

“Giving Birth…uncovers the powerful and shaping experience that giving birth is to women’s development. In Arms’ model of normal birth, women are empowered to embrace the full range of life experience without precipitous and life-changing “rescue.” Appropriate use of modern technology is honored, while invasive use is exposed. The truth about “typical” versus “normal” is revealed.”
—Gayle Peterson, PhD psychologist, Author of Birthing Normally and An Easier Childbirth, and columnist on

“Doctors and nurses need to see this important and inspiring film, as well as the general public, in order to establish new practices at life’s beginnings. It shows the striking difference between what is normal, and what we have come to accept as typical. Here is what birth can be and what we all must strive for.”
—Ellen Tattleman, MD Family Physician and teacher, Director, Health in Medicine Project, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City

“The more I watch this film the more impressed I am with it. It’s always a powerful experience for people in my classes. Most are so deeply affected by it they cannot speak about it until the following class. For many, just seeing it once causes them to change. One woman, a lawyer who had asked for a cesarean after being in labor many hours, said that this video changed her life and made her own her experience.”
—Danielle Lambert, Certified Childbirth Educator

“This is a clarion call to everyone who cares about the future health of babies, which is the future health of the world. It is a call to humanize birth, to empower women to follow their own feelings and intuition about what is right.”
—Thomas Verny, MD Psychiatrist, Author, and Founder of the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Health and Psychology (APPPAH)

“Extremely moving, utterly powerful, this film cuts to the core of the most crucial issues in childbearing.”
—Elizabeth Davis, CPM Midwife and Author of Heart and Hands

“This is a well-considered, balanced soft-edged piece for gently awakening a sleeping generation. As a research anthropologist and university professor I know that birth trauma exists for many women in this culture—as well as babies—and that it continues until it is healed because women’s rage, desperation and pain spill forth every time I speak about it. Yet my students, who can offer serious critiques of our culture’s various social systems, seldom show any curiosity about either our system of birth or the story of their own birth until they see this video.”
—Betty E. Cook, Lecturer in Anthropology, Sociology and Women’s Studies

“Many women who came of age in the 1960s and 70s understood the value of normal birth and overcame enormous obstacles to experience it. Normal birth was in the air. Women inhaled it, and many sought the care of midwives. But we failed to pass our knowledge, experience and valuing of normal birth to the next generation of young women. In this video Suzanne Arms uses still photos and live footage to show the power and sacredness of birth—impossible to explain with mere words—letting women and men know what they are losing when they accept the substitute of a medicalized (and often surgicalized) delivery.”
—Judith P. Rooks, CNM, MPH, MS, Author of Midwifery and Childbirth in America

“This video should be shown in high school sex education programs everywhere. It promotes a healthy respect for sexuality, family-centered approach to childbearing, father involvement in birth and nurturing, and a “Say No to Drugs” attitude toward birth that is important to newborns and which young women should start to think about. In short, it provides very positive role models for our young people.”
—Tracy Romm, EdD Principal, Roeper High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

“My son and German daughter-in-law watched this video 10 times before they returned to Germany, where they are going to have a baby. Now they’ve decided to have a birth at home with a midwife.”
—Suzanna Alexander, Certified Doula

“One of my favorite moments was when the video was over, the absolute silence in the room, followed by the collective sounds of sniffles and tissues being brought out to dry the eyes.”
—From an evaluation at a national nurse-midwifery conference

“A powerful, beautiful and moving film, well-researched and firmly rooted in scientific evidence. It will enable women to make positive choices and find the strength to achieve their aims in birth.”
—Sheila Kitzinger, Anthropologist and Author

“I am 42. Three days ago I found out I am pregnant with my first baby. I would have been delighted, but I’ve been consumed with fear as a result of being bombarded with other peoples fears and what ifs about giving birth at my age. As I watched this video my whole being softened. I now feel powerful, knowing I can birth this baby naturally.”
—Debra Bryant, Sex Educator

“When I wanted o show my women’s studies students a video on childbirth and midwifery I previewed dozens of videos. And this is the one I chose, because it presents a well-rounded sense of the issues. Most women’s studies students have never considered childbirth to be a significant feminist issue until they viewed this video.”
—Pam Vetro, PhD, Professor of Women’s Studies

“I showed Suzanne’s video to my partner’s extended family, all of whom are from Ecuador; his mother and father, his brothers, brother’s wife, cousins, friends. Initially, the younger women didn’t want to watch it with the men, but all the men came in and we all ended up watching it together.”
—Pamela Kane, Student Nurse-Midwife

“Thank you, Suzanne Arms, from the bottom of my heart. I had to fight so many policies, so many people, in order to have two natural births in the hospital. So many times I felt overwhelmed—even abnormal—for wanting a normal birth. This video let me know that I was not alone and not wrong in following my instincts. I plan to make it a gift to every newly pregnant person I know.”
—Tammy Appel, Mother

“This video is so artistically pleasing, the words so packed with feeling, it pulled me right in. (And I watched it in a crowded, noisy hall full of distractions.) Nothing could pull me away from gazing at it and entering the mystery.”
—Sister Angela Murdaugh, FACNM, Midwife, Past President ACNM and Director Holy Family BirthCenter

“Suzanne Arms has given us a powerful film of glorious photography and important messages that captures the strength, essence and beauty of women giving birth, and the work of those of us who are privileged to be with them.”
—Helen Varney Burst, CNM, MSN, DHL (Hon.), FACNM, Author of Varney’s Midwifery and Professor, Yale University School of Nursing

“Gently and firmly, like the best of midwives, this video shakes students’ unquestioned faith in the medical model of birth and emboldens them to consider alternatives. Unlike many birth films, this one places both mothers’ and babies’ interests at the center and through eloquent words and arresting images makes students aware of how important are the events of our coming into the world for our capacity to hope, trust and love. I recommend this film highly for use in college classrooms.”
—Robbie Pfeufer Kahn, PdD, sociology professor

“I showed this video to my entire family—my father, a retired police officer; my mother, a secretary; my brother, a fire fighter; his girlfriend, a high school teacher; my brother-in-law, an EMT; and my 24 week pregnant sister. I was nervous of their reaction. My sister said this was the first positive thing she’d heard about birth except from me. They all loved it, even my father, who thanked me the next day for showing it.”
—Jana Borino, Director, Florida School of Traditional Midwifery

“If I had only 30 minutes to convey the essence of normal obstetrics for training incoming labor and delivery nurses, I would use the time to show them this film..”
—Fredda DeMast, RN, in-service nursing coordinator

“This video conveys a simple, powerful message: women know how to birth their babies. Factual, controversial, inspiring, disturbing—this video will spark lively discussion and self-examination of their values in all who see it. At this time when the cost-effectiveness of maternity care is being questioned, it reminds us to restore birth to the true experts: women and their midwives.”
—Penny Simkin, author of The Birth Partner, co-author of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

“What exactly is a typical birth in the U.S.? I know first hand. The birth in this film is everything my births were not. Tears flowed freely as I watched in wonderment the first time and cried even more the second time—tears of grief for what could have been. There is a better way and now I’ve seen it with my own eyes. This film should be required viewing for all medical professionals, and it does not bash hospitals or doctors.”
—Betsy Gartrell-Judd, Managing Editor, Myria: The OnLine Magazine for Mothers

“I’ve been in practice for 25 years and delivered 2500 babies. This is the best tool I’ve ever had as a midwife to reach into people’s hearts and transform their lives. It wakes up an awareness in them that giving birth is sacred and our babies are precious and how important the process of giving birth is. It touches everyone at a very deep level. I never get tired of watching it.”
—Diane Smith, CPM, LM midwife, San Diego, CA

“As a father and a concerned human being, I applaud the gift of this video—showing us how to bring children into the world in a tender, respectful and non-violent way.”
—Jack Kornfield, mediation teacher and author of “A Path With Heart”

“Your video, “Giving Birth”, is nothing less than OUTSTANDING, a breath of fresh air. I have told many friends about. I’m a 50-year old man who has recently married for the first time. My wife is much younger and we plan to have children soon. Your film is the guiding light for us. You are changing the world by adding to the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of newborns. Thank you.”
—Scott Kingsbury, prospective father, Massachusetts

suzanneGiving Birth

Comments 1

  1. Walter Coz

    Aloha Suzanne,

    I would like to discuss with you “if you agree” some of the complexities of child development in the Mothers ocean during universal anomalies and shifts which may affect the physical outcome of the child,,,, also the consequences of naming the child before being air-born,,, versus waiting till after the birth.,,,,,, sincere gratitude.

    Hugs Blessings
    Walter Coz
    Voice/Text: 760-580-2107 facebook, Google, wordpress,

    Author/Publisher extensive fields in various disciplines,,, founder Moonwater Dreamcatchers

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