MotherTouch: Nurturing Touch for Birth
Produced and directed by Leslie Piper and Leslie Stager

[2009, Portland, Oregon: MotherTouch Films; $39.95, 26 minutes, DVD.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 92, Winter 2009/2010, © 2009, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Teri Myers.]

“In nearly every culture, attentive nurturing touch has been used to support, encourage and guide a woman through the natural rhythms of bringing a child into this world.”

Calling on the birth practices of women throughout human history, this beautiful half-hour film documents the use of touch and massage in four different births. Featuring reflections on their experiences with touch during labor from the birthing mamas, their birth partners and birth attendants, and comments from well-known midwives (including Traditional Mexican Midwife Doña Irene Sotelo Alvarez), the film makes the assertion that we, as humans, are sensual beings—and as such, touch is “one of the most powerful forms of support we can give a birthing woman…”

The interviews and narration are interspersed with footage from the two in-hospital and two at-home labors and births, showing birth partners and attendants supporting each woman with touch techniques ranging from simple hand-holding and stroking to specific massage strokes and holds.

This video makes an excellent teaching tool for midwives, doulas and childbirth educators, and a wonderful birth preparation tool for moms-to-be to share with their birth partners.

This is a companion film to MotherTouch: Touch Techniques for Birth.

Reviewer Teri Myers is a budding farmer, holistic health counselor and licensed massage therapist, as well as the acting managing editor for Midwifery Today magazine.