Birth in the 21st century

02 April 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 4


A documentary explains what childbirth is through the experiences of five women at a public hospital in Spain

‘There are hospital management models for labour and birth that are based on the respect of women in childbirth.’ For many women and healthcare professionals, this is not always the case. This quote acts as a backdrop for the interactive documentary ‘Birth in the 21st century,’ produced by the Valencian cooperative Barret. The web documentary, directed by Claudia Reig Valera and nominated for the World Press Photo Interactive of the Year Award, conveys the stories of five women through the six key moments in their pregnancy: the expectation, the peripartum period, dilation, delivery, postpartum and their return home. Each one has her own experiences and preferences but are all patients at the public hospital in La Plana, Vilarreal, Spain.

Àlex Badia, who is responsible for the interactive format of this documentary, explains that the choice in hospital is critical, that ‘it is important that it was a public hospital’. Moreover, the one in La Plana is known for respectful attention. As Badia points out, the hospital has facilities, such as the bathtubs, and ‘the delivery room is managed by the midwives, who have implemented an assistance protocol that promotes physiologic birth, the autonomy of the women, minimal intervention and informed consent whenever intervention is necessary.’

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