The first successful Mother and Baby Film Festival was held in Cape Town from the 15th to the 18th February 2011, organised and presented by Ruth Ehrhart and held at the LABIA CINEMA in Cape Town (appropriately!). The films covered a range of topics such as the media and birth, doula’s and birth, service in the world as midwives, and breastfeeding and babies of the world.
Thank you Ruth for hosting such a marvelous celebration of birth, for putting birth on the media map in Cape Town. It was a well attended and much appreciated event gathering by the numbers present. What follows is a poem devised from Ruth’s presentation at the Mother and Baby Film Festival. May it inspire you.
15-18 February 2011
What is birth?
Birth is the emergence of a new individual
From the body of it’s parent
The emergence of that new individual
Is the emergence of a new life
It is completely normal yet unbelievably profound
As that baby emerges, everyone holds their breath…..
Where do we give birth?
We choose to have our babies in various settings:
In a theatre
And sometimes these are not choices but necessities
Sometimes we plan to give birth in one way
But something completely different may happen
Sometimes babies are born in trees
Or on trains or by the roadside
Where and how we give birth affects who we are
Affects how we are as parents
We need to feel safe
We need to feel confident
and we need to feel in control so that later we can lose control
If a woman feels cared for and nurtured
She is more likely to love and care for her baby
When we feel safe where we give birth
We give birth more easily
If we feel frightened or vulnerable,
We may feel traumatised and incapable
Of loving our babies
If we are made to believe that we are incapable
We may hand over the power to someone else
There is a hidden secret in our culture:
‘It is not that birth is painful
It is that women are strong’.