USC to screen home birth documentary

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USC to screen home birth documentary


Published on 1 March 2012

A moving documentary which advocates the right for women to give birth at home will be screened at the University of the Sunshine Coast this month.

USC will show “The Face of Birth” at its Sippy Downs campus on Thursday 15 March, and again on Saturday 24 March, in conjunction with the documentary’s national debut.

USC Master of Midwifery Program Leader Michelle Gray said the film could help the community sort out fact from fiction on the topic of home birth, which has become a controversial issue in recent years due to political moves that favour hospital births.

“Women have been made to feel that they are risking their infant’s life if they opt for care which is not mainstream, when really there is a lot of propaganda around that,” she said.

“USC offers a Master of Midwifery, and the midwives teaching the course are very focused on women, and their right to be supported in the choices they make about their pregnancy and birth.”

Ms Gray said actress and film-maker Kate Gorman instigated the production of the documentary in 2009 after the Federal Government proposed new laws to change the insurance and registration requirements of midwives who assist home births.

“Kate Gorman hopes the film helps women empower birth with great outcomes and without fear,” she said.

The “Face of Birth” follows the diverse heart-warming and sometimes heart-wrenching stories of a handful of home birth mothers, including AFI award-winning actress Noni Hazlehurst, young Aboriginal mum Tanya Kunoth and actress Amanda Douge.

It also features Australian pro-home birth obstetricians Euan Wallace and Andrew Bisits.

A panel of local midwives will be available to answer questions following the film’s screenings at USC.

The screenings will be held on 15 March at 6.30pm in Lecture Theatre 7 and on 24 March at 2.30pm in Lecture Theatre 3.

For further information or to reserve seats contact Michelle Gray on 5456 5031 or or Leonie Williams on 5459 4549 or

— Michelle Widdicombe

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