Documentary following the Collaborative Care model in the hospital system.

We are thrilled to announce that we received a $2,000 grant from  Lintilhac Foundation in the name of the Claire M. Lintilhac Birthing Center.  The Lintilhac Foundation is a family foundation in Vermont and founded and funded the nurse midwifery program, the Claire M. Lintilhac Birthing Center at the Fletcher Allen Health Care hospital in Burlington Vermont.  The Claire M. Lintilhac Birthing Center, which opened in May 2004, includes many features to ensure a family-centered and individualized birthing experience.  They serve women with a variety of interests and needs  – from uncomplicated deliveries to the most high-risk cases.

The Mama Sherpas is a feature-length documentary, which follows nurse midwives, the doctors they work with, and their patients, over the course of two years. The documentary will provide an intimate glimpse into what midwives can bring into the birthing process in the hospital system.

Why is this film important?

About one in three babies are born by C-section today, though the World Health Organization recommends that the best outcomes for mothers and babies are achieved when that rate remains below 15%.  Additionally, according to the Center for Disease Control, the U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates among industrialized countries.

How can these disturbing trends be reversed?

In recent years, the idea of a “collaborative care” practice where doctors and midwives manage women’s care together has begun to gain traction in the U.S.  So far, research has demonstrated that collaborative care models produce better outcomes for mother and baby, including fewer C-sections.

Why make this film now?

For Producer/Director Brigid Maher, the documentary idea comes from a personal experience.  Maher had a C-section with her first son.  But, when pregnant with her daughter, she couldn’t imagine recovering from another C-section while caring for a newborn and a 4 year old.  Maher chose to deliver with a midwifery practice in a Washington, D.C. hospital and had a successful vaginal birth of a 9 pound 10 ounce, healthy, baby girl.  In the process, she discovered that many people did not know that the majority of midwives work within the hospital system. Maher realized that this was an unheard story ready to be told.



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