[Giving Birth: Margaret Mead 1]

Raw footage of an interview with anthropologist Margaret Mead for the documentary Giving Birth: Four Portraits.

00:19Copy video clip URL Equipment set-up. A young woman asks about the camera. 

00:53Copy video clip URL Margaret Mead listens to videomakers Julie Gustafson and John Reilly (offscreen) as they give her instructions for shooting.

01:49Copy video clip URL Mead is asked about the factors shaping the way a culture  approaches birth. She discusses the ways that different cultures emphasize the importance of different members of the family – the mother alone, the whole family, the mother and father, and where the baby fits into that. 

03:18Copy video clip URL Mead discusses the familial emphasis within America’s approach to birth, with the father slowly replacing a role that used to be played by the mother’s mother. She discusses isolation that often characterizes the everyday life of the pregnant person and the separation between parents and infant in the hospital.

04:41Copy video clip URL The evolution in America from home birth being the norm to near universal hospital birth. At most, the isolating and inhospitable medical apparatus around hospital birth is 75 years old.

06:07Copy video clip URL The global development of hospital birth through the growth of the medical profession and the marginalization of midwives, a drastic change from thousands of years of tradition in which women oversaw births. 

08:13Copy video clip URL The global history of birth “[belonging] to women” and the large number of societies in which men are excluded from the birthing process. 

09:19Copy video clip URL The male-dominated medical profession taking away the birthing process from women. 

12:07Copy video clip URL The high infant mortality rate, caused by the very poor medical care given to minority groups in America, and the disastrous effects of discouraging breast feeding in areas of the world where families cannot afford sufficient milk for babies. 

15:51Copy video clip URL A discussion of countries that balance breast-feeding and bottle-feeding.

17:05Copy video clip URL The uses and dangers of anesthetics during birth. The insistence of male obstetricians that women want anesthesia, which renders women unconscious or only partially conscious during birth. 




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