Birth Matters Virginia recently sponsored a video contest in the style of The Business of Being Born to get Americans thinking about natural childbirth and the misconceptions surrounding it. With the U.S. ranking 41st in maternal mortality and our Cesarean rate surpassing 30 percent, it is more important than ever for women to be educated about their options. The organizers asked contestants to submit short videos about evidence-based maternity and delivery. Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (from The Business of Being Born) joined other moms from various backgrounds in the judging.  

The entries ranged from personal birth journeys, the role a doula plays, midwifery care, Cesarean sections, birthing in the Amish culture, birth in Ireland, and more. Each video carried a message of the understanding that change needs to occur in our culture related to pregnancy and birth for the well-being of both mothers and babies. Here are the three videos that took top nods:

FIRST PRIZE, $1000, Prevent Cesarean Surgery, Ragan Cohen (California)

  • “Such great myth-busting and important information for all women, I loved your use of natural scenes. I'd love to see this video getting lots of airplay in the public arena.” –Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD
  • “The directness and statistics worked well together…” –Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
SECOND PRIZE, $500: The Nature of Natural Birth, Laura Alvarez (Wisconsin)

  • “Very sweet birth video - and of course we love the song and used it in the Business of Being Born!”—Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
  • “Gorgeous photos of homebirth, nicely balanced with information. Well done!”—Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD
  • “Amazing editing. Very professional. This film isn’t afraid to show birth as it really is.” “Lovely. Powerful. Very sweet.” “I think the whole room was tearing up by the end of this one!” “So sweet and beautifully done.” --from the BMV Judging Panel
HONORABLE MENTION, $100: Misconception, Becky Carey (Virginia)

  • “Incorporated an excellent variety of people, lovely to have original music and real women's distilled wisdom, Great work!”—Dr. Sarah Buckley, MD
  • “Very well done, nice mix between informative and emotional.” — Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
  • “Great editing. Good, casual, conversational tone. Catches a particular angle on the conversation surrounding the normalcy of birth.” “I just loved this one!” --from the BMV Judging Panel
The nature of natural birth
3 YouTube videos win top honors in contest to promote natural childbirth education.