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Icarus Film
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From the Fanlight Collection
Making Mothers
By Ben Crosbie & Tessa Moran
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Today the United States ranks 29th in the world for infant mortality rates, a shocking statistic given that we spend more on health care than any other nation. African American mothers in the Washington, D.C. area experience a disproportionate number of infant deaths, for example, since they live in medically underserved communities with a shortage of primary-care givers.

Making Mothers profiles the Family Health and Birth Center (FHBC) in northeast D.C., which serves the area’s primarily African American community and which is likewise staffed by African American health-care professionals. The FHBC provides prenatal, birth, postpartum, gynecological and other pediatric care in a community-friendly environment. It educates women to participate in their own prenatal care so as to reduce the risk of preterm delivery, the leading cause of neonatal deaths or developmental disabilities.

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The film focuses on the efforts of Lisa, a midwife, who offers expectant mothers the option of a peaceful and sensitive home-birth experience, and Joan, a breastfeeding peer counselor, who passes on to others her experience as a teenage mother. In interviews, both women explain how and why they got involved in maternal health care and offer their views on the need for greater diversity in the field.

In showing Lisa and Joan at work, in both personal and group counseling sessions, Making Mothers reveals how the passion and sensitivity they bring to their work empowers the women they serve, the community in which they work, as well as themselves.

★★★ "This engaging snapshot of how one agency serves its community delivers a quiet message about reaching out to women, offering assistance without preachment or judgment. Recommended." —Video Librarian

"...a useful portrait of a worthwhile cog in the healthcare system and of the well-meaning women who try to bring some quality to the birthing and mothering experience for underprivileged members of our privileged society." —Anthropology Review Database

2011 Western Psychological Association Conference
  

20 minutes / color
Release: 2010
Copyright: 2009
Sale: $195

Subject areas:
African-American Studies, Family Relations, Fanlight Collection, Health Care Issues, Medicine, Women's Health, Women's Studies

Related Titles:
The Secret Life of Babies: A two-part examination of the psychological development of babies, from intrauterine life to the first months after birth. How do fetuses and babies perceive their worlds, and ours?

A Sentence for Two: The film contrasts the stories of prison inmates who are forced to give their newborn baby up with a prison nursery where infants spend the first year of life alongside their mothers.

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