Microbirth is a feature-length documentary made by a British film-making couple, Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, and was made possible after a crowd-funding campaign raised more than £50,000.
It investigates the natural process through which babies inherit a protective microbiome from their mothers during and even after birth. This good bacteria kick-starts the immune system and protects infants from diseases during those vulnerable first few months and throughout their lifetimes.
Research has shown that interventions such as caesarean section, synthetic oxytocin, antibiotics, lack of skin-to-skin contact and formula feeding all interfere with the bacterial transfer process from mother to baby, potentially damaging a baby’s immune system for life.
“Microbirth is a film that will explain the microscopic processes that take place in and around child birth, and the alarming consequences of mode of birth on the life-long health of our children,” says Wakeford.
“This film is not based on our opinion, it’s based on research coming out of the world’s leading medical schools and universities. But research can only go so far. For real change to happen, governments first need to take notice, and the film uses scientific and economic arguments to show them exactly why the world needs to change now.”
The film is having no less than 700 premieres around the world, a result of the crowd-funding campaign in which individuals could donate in return for the right to host a screening. A full list of screenings can be found here.
It is still possible to host your own screening at a later date, or stream the film privately by donating to the campaign here.
“We’ve been spurred on by messages of support, sentiments that demonstrate that there’s a collective determination all around the world to get birth right,” says Harman.
“But films don’t change the world, people do, and that’s why we’re having so many world premier screenings all around the world, all on the same day. What if we had midwives, doulas, doctors, administrators, politicians and parents all coming together in one place to discuss these issues? That’s how change begins.”
Microbirth is released on 20th September.