About the Film

The Video Project:
The current US Health Care System is failing babies and families before, during and after birth. At this critical moment when the US government is re-envisioning our health care system, we are seizing the opportunity to make a 10-12 minute video not only to point out the flaws in the way we care for babies and families, but also to identify the keys to improved care. Our infant mortality ranking is 42nd on the world stage which means 41 countries have better statistics. This places us right in the middle of the following countries: Guam, Cuba, Croatia and Belarus, with over double the infant deaths compared to the top 10 countries of the world. (CIA World Factbook).

Our astronomically high African American infant mortality rate at 16 deaths per 1,000 is similar to countries such as Malaysia and the West Bank. Not only are babies dying needlessly, but the ones who survive this failing system are also often adversely affected by unnecessary procedures and separation from mother and family. Our intent with this video is to encourage policy makers to consider a health care system that holds prevention of these calamities as a high priority.  The midwifery model of care for healthy low-risk women is a simple solution which addresses many of these issues simultaneously.

We are advocating for a health care system in which it will be standard procedure for mothers and babies to thrive and not merely survive through birth and early life. The midwifery model of care will save our health care system millions of dollars each year.Photo Credits:
Creative Commons Photos
    Palestinian woman from the Gaza Strip is giving birth to quadruplets in a cesarean surgery in an Israel Hospital Edi Isreal
    Cesarean team Bob J Galindo
    Cesarean Eduardo Marquetti
    Epidural Rave Dave
    Fetus Lunar Caustic
    DSCN 6000 Vesna Roganovic
    First bottle feeding Jason Morrison
    Esto Somos Nosotros Quique
    Takahata HS 10 F a r e w e l l

Photo by Alejandra Sarmiento from the book Beautiful! Images of Health, Joy and Vitality in Pregnancy and Birth by Jennie Joseph (2007) reprinted with kind permission of Jennie Joseph.

Premature babies Photos by Raylene Phillips MD

Film footage:

What Babies Want

Vintage Film footage:

Labor and Childbirth 1950 Prelinger Archives Produced by Medical Arts Productions Public Domain


Statistics charts and graphs courtesy of the March of Dimes PeriStats  www.marchofdimes.com/peristats

Reducing Infant Mortality has a creative commons copyright for sharing and attribution

The Experts in the film:

Marti Glenn, PhD, Founder and President, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute.

Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, Family Physician, Maternal Child Health, Prenatal Yoga Instructor, Magnolia Family Medical Clinic, Ventura County Medical Center.

Bruce Smith, MD, MPH, Medical Officer, County of San Bernadino Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Section.

Sarah Buckley, MD, Dip Obst, Author: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctors Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices.

Chauntelle Williams-Parker, Mother, Lactation Specialist, WIC Program (Federally Funded, Women, Infants and Children Program).

Jennie Joseph, LM, CPM, Executive Director: Commonsense Childbirth, Inc., Founder of “The JJ Way’ Maternal Child Healthcare System.

Monica Matos, Founder Ten Moons Rising Holistic Family Education, Birth Educator and Activist, Doula:  Author: articles include,  Reclaiming the Wisdom and Power of Birth, Women Disregarded in Maternity Care, The Amazing Motherbaby Connection, The Power of Healing Early Trauma.

Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LMSW, Author: books include, The Doula Book, Bonding, Your Amazing Newborn, a video, The Amazing Talents of the Newborn,and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women.

Marsden Wagner, MD, Perinatologist, 15 years Director, Women’s and Children’s Health, World Health Organization (responsible for Women’s and Children’s Health in 45 industrialized countries),131 scientific papers, 20 book chapters, 14 scientific books published in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Swedish, Hebrew and Danish.

Paula Ingalls, BA, Lecturer, Author: In Search of My Mind and Soul: Birth Traumas and Beyond.

Bryan Oshiro, MD, Medical Director, Perinatal Institute, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

Stuart Fischbein, MD, FACOG, Internship and Residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Expertise includes high-risk OB, ultrasound and infertility. Advisory Board: The Baby Center.  Co-Author: Fearless Pregnancy, Wisdom & Reassurance from a Doctor, a Midwife and a Mom.

Raylene Phillips, MD, MA, IBCLC, Preterm Infant Developmental Specialist and Neonatology Fellow. Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

Due to the length and pointed focus of this short film not everyone interviewed could make it
into the final version.  Our gratitude to all the distinguished experts who lent their wisdom,
suggestions and words to our understanding of the issues of Infant Mortality
and creating Healthy Babies.

Michel Odent, MD, Obstetrician and researcher. Medical studies at Paris University. Author of more than 50 scientific papers.  Author of 12 books published in 22 languages including: The Farmer and the Obstetrician,The Cesarean, The Scientification of Love, The Functions of the Orgasms: The Highways to Transcendence.

Thomas Verny, MD, Psychiatrist, internationally recognized author who has written 7 books and published 44 scientific papers on topics relating to prenatal and early postnatal environment on personality development. His book, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, has become an international bestseller published in 27 countries. Founder, the Association of Pre and Peri-natal Psychology and Health.

Marshall Klaus, MD, Neonatologist , Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, Author: books include,  Care of the High-Risk Neonate, The Doula Book, Bonding, Your Amazing Newborn,and co–editor for 10 years ofThe Neonatal/Perinatal Yearbook.

David Chamberlain, PhD, Author: The Mind of Your Newborn Baby.

Karen Strange, Midwife and Clinical Director, Maternidad La Luz Midwifery School on the US/Mexico border in Texas, Neonatal Resuscitation Instructor: newbornbreath.

Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD, Senior Researcher Fellow, Dept of Anthropology, U of Texas, Austin, Author- books include: Birth in Four CulturesBirth an American Rite of Passage, mainstreaming Midwives, From Doctor to Healer – The Transformative Journey.

Yeshi NeumannCNM, MA, MPH,practiced midwifery in diverse settings, from high-risk obstetrics in an urban hospital to working with traditional midwives in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Tibet. She created Homestyle Midwifery at St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco, CA in 2000.

Arisika Razak, BSW, RN, MPH (Masters in Public Health), CNM, Director of the Women’s Spirituality M.A. and PhD. Programs in Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of
Integral Studies. She was worked for over thirty years in women’s health, spiritual dance and nurse-midwifery.

Paul Fleiss, MD, Masters in Public Health.  Pediatrician in private practice, Hollywood, California.

Maria Iorillo, LM, CPM, Wisewoman Childbirth Traditions, Vice President, Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), Board of Directors California Association of Midwives (CAM).

Rupert Linder,MD, President of JSPPM, OB-GYN, Psychotherapist.

Wendy Anne McCartyPhD, RN,  Founding Chair & Faculty, Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology Program, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Author, Welcoming Consciousness: Supporting Babies’ Wholeness from the Beginning of Life–An Integrated Model of Early Development (2009). Co-founder, BEBA, a non-profit clinic for babies and families to early trauma. International presenter, educator, consultant and practitioner specializing in optimizing human potential from the beginning of life. Guest editor, Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health.

Tara Blasco, PhD, RCST, Therapist BEBA Family Clinic.

Micheline CharpieMD, PhD, MA, MT, LCAT, Newborn Intensive Care, Roosevelt Hospital, New York City.

Brent Babcock,DC, Author:My Twin Vanished: Did Yours?

Sally ClarkMFT, Psychotherapist, Adoption Specialist

Barbara FindeisenMFT, PhD, President of the Association of Pre and Peri-natal Psychology and Health.

Charlotte PetersonPhD, Director Oregon Network of Infant Mental Health, Infant Mortality Task Force of Lane County Oregon.

Corey Colwel-LipsonMA, LMFT, ATR-BC.

William EmersonPhD, Author: Healing Birth Trauma in Children.

Debra Bonaro-PascaliLCCE, CD (DONA), Director-Producer of the film: Orgasmic Birth.

Carrie ConteyPhD, Co-Author: CALMS, A Guide to Soothing Your Baby.

Julie Gerland, Chief Administrative Officer UN Representative for OMAEP, (The World Association for Prenatal Education Associations) an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Simon House, MA, Parish Priest, Author: The Unborn ChildandGenerating Healthy Brains.

Mia Kalef, DC, Director of Emerging Families Clinic, Author: The Secret Life of Babies.

Guiditta Tornetta, Doula, Founder: Joy in Birthing.

Dave Paxton, RCST, MBA, Clinical Social Worker.

Dorothy Mandall, MA, PhD, Consultant for autistic and developmentally delayed children.

Wendy McCord, PhD, Psychotherapist.

Myrna Martin, MN, RCC, RCST, President of Kutenai Institute of Integral Therapies, Director of Nelson and Area Mental Health Services. Author: Birth and Attachment: how to totally support your baby from here on.

Michael Trout, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor specializing in Infant and Maternal Health.

Laura Uplinger

Giselle Whitwell, BA, MA, Board Certified Music Therapist, MT-BC.

Marilyn Milos, RN, Executive Director National Organization of Circumcision Information.

Judith Prager, PhD, Consultant, Verbal First Aid, AuthorTHE WORST IS OVER: What to Say When Every Moment Counts and Journey to Alternity, Transformational Healing through Stories and Metaphors.