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Catching Babies: Celebrating the Power of Birth, Mothers and Midwives
Producer: Jennifer Lucero
60 minutes
English subtitles
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Catching Babies: Celebrating the Power of Birth, Mothers and Midwives

What if we could change the world by changing the way babies are born? Shot in El Paso, Texas, CATCHING BABIES tells the stories of mothers and midwives on the journey to bring life into the world.

Kennasha, Jessica, Diana and Sandra are struggling through one of the most demanding schools of midwifery in the country, Maternidad La Luz Birth Center and School, a school designed to be challenging in order to push women to understand their own strength. As the women juggle their rigorous academic struggles, they must also provide quality health care to mothers and babies.

Founded in 1987, Maternidad La Luz provides natural birth options at a low cost to Mexican and Mexican American women and their families. This birth center offers services in Spanish and English and welcomes families from El Paso, but also from Juárez, Mexico.

In the U.S. the use of midwives and home births has doubled since 2000. In this birthing experience, the mother's body leads the process while the midwife supports the mother. Families can create the loving, non-clinical environment that is right for them and enjoy a birth option that is statistically safer than hospital births.

CATCHING BABIES takes viewers into intimate spaces by using close-up shots and the ambient sounds of bustling households. The midwives narrate the happenings of the clinic on-camera as they perform the meaningful work of supporting women through the most important moments of their lives. Watch the sister-midwives as they live and learn in this transformative place which gives birth to babies, mothers and midwives.
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"CATCHING BABIES documents birth justice in action... Viewers are invited to witness a birth model that runs counter to the dominant medicalized system..." - Caroline Picker, Make/Shift Magazine
"Barni Qaasim created a film that speaks to women wanting to reconnect to their roots as well as their bodies. It is artistic and real, both at the same time." - Marinah Valenzuela Farrell, LM CPM, Midwives Alliance of North America
"CATCHING BABIES uplifts the voices of Xicana women and it's an inspiration for building and strengthening community-based health." - Diana Perez-Ramirez, Puente a la Salud
"CATCHING BABIES is a beautiful and important film. It serves not only to educate and inspire an audience about midwifery and natural childbirth but also to encourage a discussion about questions of inequality and privilege relevant to childbearing practices today." - Heather Sinclair, Licensed Midwife
"I was ready for a film about midwives and mothers, but CATCHING BABIES surprised me in its utter beauty and thoughtfulness." - Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist, SQUAT Birth Journal
"CATCHING BABIES is a positive celebration of women and community… Appropriate for Mexican American studies, anthropology courses, and any school that offers midwifery courses." - Sara Parme, Educational Media Reviews Online
"CATCHING BABIES takes a look at childbirth from the perspectives of four midwives-in-training who are enrolled in a midwifery program that offers in one year the equivalent of a three-year course schedule elsewhere. Serving low-income Mexican and Mexican-American women, La Luz has a reputation for empowering mothers and families—building relationships with patients while also providing care that goes beyond the merely clinical. This is in contrast to conventional obstetric care, where physicians may spend little time getting to know a patient, be indifferent to her emotional state, wind up making decisions for her, and/or focus on what might go wrong during pregnancy and birth. An inspiring documentary about an individual-centered, community-based birthing clinic, this is recommended." - M Puffer-Rothenberg, Video Librarian Magazine
"A sweet film follows students of midwifery in a training facility in El Paso, Texas, where they must learn medical skills and the Spanish language to provide services to their substantially Hispanic clientele—services that go far beyond standard medical care to constituting a community of caring." - Anthropology Review Database, ARD

• Excellence in Documenting Women's Health Award, Puente a la Salud
• World Premiere, University of Texas at El Paso
• White Sands International Film Festival
• Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival
• Women in Media Film Festival, Rutger's University
• Midwives Alliance of North America Western Regional Conference
• Black Midwives Conference
• African American Cultural Center, Chicago

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