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As seen on PBS' Independent Lens

The best film on birth in America.
——Marsden Wagner, Former Director, Maternal and Child Health, W.H.O.

Born in the U.S.A.
    Viewer's guide
    Community Action Guide
    Legislative Action Guide
    Birth Stories

Meet three birth caregivers—a obstetrician, a nurse-midwife, and a licensed homebirth midwife—each with a dramatically different idea about what constitutes best care for birthing women. Learn how they see their work and what factors—medical, legal, and cultural—influence women's choices in the birthing room.


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Featured on the Oxygen Network, and in Self and Fit Pregnancy.

For more information about the film, the issues, and resources for pregnant women, visit the following: ITVS website from the film's PBS broadcast; Resources for Pregnant Women: websites, organizations, research; Guide to Safe and Effective Care During Labor and Birth; How to Have a Better Birth: Questions to Ask Care Providers


Every man, woman, and child in this country should see this film.
             —Christiane Northrup, MD, Author, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

Lively, honest,… addresses all the issues that women, and couples looking forward to birth, too, want to consider: not only safety, but also power and powerlessness in childbirth, women’s right to control the territory in which they give birth.
             —Sheila Kitzinger, Author, The Politics of Birth

Beautifully produced, well balanced, and comprehensive in its portrayal of contemporary childbirth in America. The film correctly observes that too many women have neither access to services for, nor even knowledge about, the full range of these choices.
             —Richard Feinbloom, MD, author of Pregnancy, Birth and the Newborn: The Thinking Women's Guide

It is heartening to see that a production of this caliber, which has received a wide public showing, depicts a variety of birthing options. It captures the complexity of birth and clearly points out the involvement of today's women in the process.
            —Library Journal

A valuable addition… Suited for community and organization programmeetings and for high school and university classes.
           —Susan Hodges, President, Citizens for Midwifery

The best part of this video is the even-handed presentation of existing maternity care models. The pictures tell the story elegantly and eloquently. Recommended for community outreach programs and for those promoting, protecting or supporting evidence-based maternity care.
             —Linda J. Smith FACCE, IBCLC, Journal of Human Lactation

This excellent documentary covers key topics essential to an understanding of why maternity care in this country is now in crisis. Offering the perspectives of obstetricians, midwives, and women who have chosen to give birth in different settings – the home, free-standing birth center, and hospital – the film presents a nuanced view of the obstacles we now face. The viewer is left far better educated about what approaches and solutions might best improve birth outcomes as well as the overall well-being of mothers and childbearing families.
             —Judy Norsigian, Our Bodies Ourselves Executive Director


Birthing the Future

Citizens for Midwifery

The Online Birth Center

The Business of Being Born

Dar a Luz Network

Midwife Info


The New York Times Online

BNET Health Publications

Home Viewing: Watch It Now!

Personal, non-professional, non-institutional viewing only. Others please click on Buy DVD button at top of page or click here. PatchWorks films are also available for institutional streaming via Kanopy and Alexander Street Press.

Produced In association with the Independent Television Service, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.