I recently came across the film Trial of Labor. The work of Zimbabwean-born director Robert Humphreys, it follows a group of mothers preparing for the birth of the babies who share a common bond: each is attempting a vaginal birth after previously delivering by C-section.
The film is not yet available for full download, but the lengthy trailer above gives a great sense of the women's struggles, and achievements, as they explore their previous births and plan for their next one. The issue of VBACs (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) has become a hotbed of conversation in recent years, and the film's title captures that. A "trial of labo(u)r" is the medical definition of the finite time a mother may labour for in a hospital before intervention is deemed necessary. Increasingly, we are hearing about women being allowed these hours as a way of appeasing their desire for a natural birth. In many cases, the "trial" turns into a repeat cesarean.
Of course, the key to improving VBAC rates is, as the trailer demonstrates, giving women the information and support they need to have a healthy and positive birth. If you are considering a VBAC, there are many great resources, including the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) , and the Ontario Midwives facts on VBACS.
Doulas, incidentally, can be a great support for you if you are considering a VBAC for your birth.
For more clips from Trial of Labor, check out the film's Facebook page. They are also providing periodic updates, so stay tuned for a release date!