As we begin week 41 (still no baby in sight), I took a look at a documentary film about childbirth by director Brian Hill. This was not for the squeamish and I might have timed the viewing a bit better post my own pending labour experience, however it made me feel very lucky to live where I do. In a world where 130 million babies are born each year, this is a purposely hard-hitting film set in Sierra Leone, Cambodia and America.
In Sierra Leone, women and babies die during childbirth at some of the highest rates in the world from issues that could have been resolved with a relatively simple procedure. The doctor in the film repeats a few times that Sierra Leone is a rich country. Its wealth stems from natural resources such as diamonds and iron but this wealth is poorly distributed.
In America, 1 in 3 children will grow up to be obese, infant mortality is high for some sectors of society and this film looks in particular at a homeless family welcoming a new addition to their fold. In Cambodia, the spirit of an abused mother and her son is touching as their story is told. Here it is sheer poverty that impacts the ability of the mother to feed and educate her children.
Warning – once again, this is not for the squeamish but is intended to stoke your anger – just a little! As Brian Hill says: “There is enough money to go around and there are enough resources to ensure that every women should be able to give birth in a safe and clean environment, attended by skilled health professionals.”