Documentary Film Maker and VBAC Mom Pushes for Increased Awareness About Midwife/Doctor Collaboration
Bridgid Maher is a tenured, associate professor of Film and Media Arts Division in the School of Communication at American University. She gave birth to her first son by cesarean and wanted to have a VBAC when she was pregnant again. Maher chose a midwifery practice with privileges at a Washington D.C. hospital and gave birth naturally to a 9 pound 10 ounce daughter.
As Maher shared her VBAC story, she realized that many women did not know about the benefits of midwifery care or that certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs) can attend their clients’ births in a hospital.
Maher wanted to let women with a prior cesarean know about the benefits of midwife/physician collaborative care and decided to direct and produce The Mama Sherpas. Evidence shows that collaborative care reduces interventions, lowers cesarean rates and improves health outcomes. A Sherpa refers to a member of a Tibetan people living on the high southern slopes of the Himalayas in Eastern Nepal known for providing support for foreign trekkers and mountain climbers.
This last year Maher has been filming three collaborative practices: in Alexandria, Virginia; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Davis, California. The documentary film-maker is looking for financial support to cover production expenses for an additional year to complete the project. Maher hopes to raise $30,000 by July 8th through an indiegogo campaign. Maher and the production team can keep any funds that have been raised by the deadline.
Birth advocates and mothers who want to increase awareness about birth options after a cesarean can support the film-maker by making a donation to the campaign.