With Woman: the high stakes for a home-birth midwife in the US

[From the Guardian UK]:

Star is a Black midwife who helps Black women given birth in the comfort of their homes, in the state of Illinois. She is part of a long-established African-American tradition of home-birth midwifery, which is currently in a legal grey area across multiple US states, with mid-wives unable to obtain a license to practice. Despite this legal peril, and motivated by the high maternal mortality rate for Black women, Star continues in her role.​

Here we see Star guide Raven, who is expecting her first child, through her last month of pregnancy, from prenatal visits to the intimate experience of giving birth on her kitchen floor. Through observational black and white footage, the film documents an act of defiance and radical self-empowerment by Black women – mothers and midwives.​

As a result of legislation advocated by Star, since October 2022, after this documentary was filmed, home-birth midwives have been allowed to apply for a license to operate in Illinois. Star is now the first Black certified professional midwife in the state.​

Trigger warning: this film includes some nudity and scenes of childbirth.

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