Opening Doors

On May 5, 2016, International Day of the Midwife, communities across the US and Canada came together and watched Why Not Home? I was at the Seattle Premiere that night.  

Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle, WA

Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle, WA

It was great to reconnect with some of the film's early supporters and meet many more. The organizers brought together a panel of local experts and worked hard to bring in not only the midwifery and doula community, but the medical community as well.

Post-Screening Panel Discussion

Post-Screening Panel Discussion

The result was a packed auditorium and a rich discussion about maternity care and improving birth for women and families across settings.

Our panel discussion afterwards was effective because we had hospital-based providers, including an OB and a CNM who themselves had had home births, as well as a neonatologist and a public health expert, all of whom spoke to various points in the film and stimulated a very balanced discourse.
— Suzy Myers LM, CPM ret, MPH, Chair Bastyr University, Department of Midwifery

Suzy posed different questions to each member of the panel and moderated the discussion. Here's what some of the panelists had to say:

I was so impressed with how the film eloquently explained the complex issues surrounding the safety and epidemiology of different birth settings, while also showing why a woman would choose to have a home birth. The film accomplishes exactly what it set out to do - to stop the judgment and promote better collaboration and communication so that we can improve birth experiences and birth outcomes in the U.S.
— Dr. Elizabeth Micks, OB/GYN
Dr. Elizabeth Micks and Dr. Ali Lewis 

Dr. Elizabeth Micks and Dr. Ali Lewis 

The film addresses some of the medical literature surrounding home birth and tries to place this data in perspective and context. The film offers a mature consideration of collaboration between all professionals engaged in ensuring that pregnancy, labor & delivery and early infancy are a period of health and safety.
— Dr. David Loren, Neonatologist
The film is gentle and logical in its approach, and advocates the midwifery model of care for all women, regardless of where they give birth. I hope that many more people get the chance to see Why Not Home? and that the film launches their own reconsideration of the possibility that babies can be born, and born healthy, at home.
— Dr. Nancy Anderson, Pediatrician
I think this film opens the door to allow all kinds of providers to respectfully examine themselves and be part of the solution. Ultimately, we all have the same goal and that is to provide quality care that is safe, sustainable and accessible to all. This movie has such potential to help further this goal.
— Dr. Ali Lewis, OB/GYN

I realize not all communities are as open to home birth as the Pacific Northwest, but what happened in Seattle brought the vision I have had for so long to life.

Here was a thoughtful audience of doctors, doulas, midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, expectant parents, and students in conversation and community. Each of them examining what is possible when we ask questions, listen to each other, and work together to make sure that every family has access to quality maternity care and that families are respected and supported in all settings. 

The event raised awareness and funds for the Midwives Alliance of Washington State and Bastyr University--and was a whole lot of fun too.

Pre-Screening Reception

Pre-Screening Reception

Thanks to everyone who attended and helped organize the event. Special thanks to Bonnie Hussey for the beautiful photography!

We're looking forward to watching more communities use this film as a tool to open the door to respectful communication and collaboration. Thank you Seattle!