Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives
Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives began delivering each other’s babies in 1970, on a caravan of hippie school buses, headed to a patch of rural Tennessee land. Gaskin and the other women taught themselves midwifery from the ground up, and, with their families, founded an entirely communal, agricultural society called The Farm. There, they grew their own food, built their own houses, published their own books, and, as word of their social experiment spread, created a model of care for women and babies that changed the genertations approach to childbirth. 40 years ago, Ina May led the charge away from isolatd hospital birthing rooms, where husbands were not allowed and mandatory forceps deliveries were the norm. Today, as nearly 1/3 of all US babies are born via C-section, Gaskin fights to preserve her community’s hard-won knowledge. With incredible access to the midwives’ archival video collection, the film “Birth Story,” which was presented at The Sanctuary, not only captures the unique sisterhood at The Farm Clinic – from its heyday into the present – but shows childbirth the way most people have never seen it – unadorned, unabashed, and awe-inspiring.