From New York City apartments to rural farm houses, I offer you a selection of births that speak to me for one reason or another, and all of them show the power, magnificence and beauty of birth. There are all kinds of women here from diverse communities. Most are in the US, with a few foreign births. There are unassisted freebirths, midwife-attended, breech, HBAC, and a couple of hospital births. Some are busy, bright and loud, and some are nearly silent.
Of the births attended by midwives, you will notice that most of the midwives listen to the baby with doppler ultrasound. This isn’t always the case, some midwives use a fetoscope in labor, but I’ve yet to find a video showing this. If you know of one, please tell me!
Two changes I’ve noticed in the past decade of birth videos, particularly among US women: 1) women are increasingly wearing bras and tops at births. Unfortunately when the baby is then born, they have a fabric layer between them that is awkward to remove soaking wet. Removing the wet clothes for skin-to-skin becomes an awkward, unnecessary hiccup in the moments after birth. Skin to skin is physiologically vital– I strongly encourage you to be wild and free and ready to receive your baby without the interruption of having to remove clothes! 2) women are shaving off all their pubic hair, which is really unfortunate because this hair is a natural protector of the woman’s skin and yoni microbiota which is essential for optimal microbiome transfer and successfully priming the babies new immune system for lifelong health. It is best to keep all your hair and I encourage you to resist the pressure to alter your body for birth!
If you have never given birth before, keep in mind that most birth videos fast-forward through the labor and you are only seeing a very condensed version of events. Hours, even days of labor may have preceded some of these births!
ps: Birth videos are often age-restricted by YouTube. It may work best to first log-in to YouTube for age verification or to turn off restriction mode.
(1) German Standing birth.
(2) Waterbirth, first baby.
(3) Waterbirth, birh pause.
(4) Hands and knees, dad catches (freebirth)
(5) Social waterbirth in NYC, first baby
(6) Birth stool (freebirth)
(7) Waterbirth in caul
(8) Finnish waterbirth
(9) HBAC homebirth after cesarean
(10) Portuguese waterbirth, first baby
(11) Social/family waterbirth
(12) Outside waterbirth
(14) Meconium (freebirth)
(15) Social waterbirth
(16) Waterbirth – healing after sexual abuse
(17) Uunplanned freebirth with funny family
(18) VBAC / HBAC lotus birth
(19) Portuguese waterbirth, first baby
(20) Waterbirth with sacrum pain (freebirth)
(21) Waterbirth with mother doing some resusition
(22) Waterbirth, dad catching
(23) Squatting breech
(24) Hospital breech in Brasil, mother picks up baby.
(25) Mother-directed hospital waterbirth in US
(26) Upright hospital birth US
(27) Hospital waterbirth in Denmark
(28) “Birth in the Squatting Position”
(1) (German) I love this standing birth. Such incredible footage of an undisturbed birth. You can see the mother unwrap the cord and suck mucous from the baby’s mouth.
(2) Waterbirth, first baby. Sweet footage of the first minutes postpartum.
(3) A stunning, emotional birth pause as the mother witnesses her first baby – something you don’t often see in waterbirths.
(4) This one starts off with a splash! Father catches, attempts to unwrap the cord but baby pushes through.
(5) This first-time mama births her very cute and vernixy baby at home in New York City, then celebrates with a birthday cake! Mom is laughing and eating yogurt in early labor, then moves through many common scenes of a labor at home.
(6) Birth stool with a blanket over it.
(7) A second-time mom births her baby in the caul. You can see the midwife unwrap the sac from the baby’s head.
(8) A Finnish birth in the sacred sauna, surrounded by women and kiddos. Can’t stop the oxytocin with this one!
(9) VBAC Homebirth after cesarean (HBAC), low light but totally worth the watch for the unadulteraetd joy of the mother and father. This one makes me tear up.
(10) (Portuguese) First time mother has a beautiful undisturbed waterbirth. You can see the baby emerge and received by the mother. Don’t be alarmed by the mini scalpel, it’s what they use to cut the cord.
(11) Not a video but you feel like you are right there with this gorgeous photo story. Second baby, home waterbirth with ecstatic grandma and big sister.
(13) Beautiful daylight waterbirth with big sister in the tub and some after-birth footage.
(14) Freebirth with meconium, slow to start baby, and spontanous placenta birth shortly thereafter.
(15) Festive California homebirth, beautiful footage, attended by my friend Shiela and shows what the postpartum scene at home is like. Creative integration of siblings here.
(16) A powerful woman reclaiming her body in birth after abuse and trauma. Love her affirmations.
(17) This mother is a nurse. Funny conversation on the bed. Dad has her laughing- they offer her aspirin for pain. It starts heating up around the 20:00 minute mark. This very relaxed labor footage shows how fast things can progress. Love the mother’s reaction to her baby coming before the midwife, and cheers all around.
(18) VBAC home waterbirth (HBAC), lots of post-birth footage and lotus birth.
(19) (Portuguese) A dramatic and active labor labor, lovely embodied woman and couple. Super sweet post-birth time here. Like many waterbirth babies, this one had some mucous to clear and took a few minutes to complete the transition.
(20) Freebirth in water, mom wanted sacral counter pressure throughout.
(21) Breech birth expert Rixa Freeze provides mout to mouth to her slow to start baby.
(21) Breech birth expert Rixa Freeze provides mouth-to-mouth to her slow to start baby before the midwife team arrives.
(23) Midwife-attended squatting breech birth at home in Seattle.
(24) Hospital breech in Brasil where the mother, on hands and knees, receives her baby (rather than being passed up to her).
(25) A rare, hands-off hospital birth. During waterbirths, the tub water can appear quite red from blood loss. This mama seems to be tolerating it well, she’s mobile and cheerful.
(26) For comparison, upright hospital birth with dad catching. Lots of unnecessary fussing with the baby right after the birth and the cord is cut prematurely.
(27) Minimally interventive Danish hospital waterbirth. Midiwfe assists baby’s head to stay above water.
(28) The classic “Birth in a Squatting Position” collection of birth moments, mostly physician attended, demonstrating “the birth pause” where mother rests and comes back into her body before picking up her baby.