While there is no shortage of absolutely breathtaking birth videos online, here are some that I particularly love and/or think are noteworthy for various reasons; Some are beautiful, some show the unparalleled power of birth, some show less common variations that occur. Most birth videos fast-forward through the labor part (the longest and hardest part!) and do not give you a true sense of the whole experience from start to finish. I have included a handful of less polished, more realistic labor scenes, but keep in mind that *hours or days* of labor may have preceded some these births! I have tried to demonstrate the diversity in homebirth settings — from small urban apartments to large suburban estates. Some are unassisted, some midwife-attended, and a couple are in the hospital
Note: Because viewing most birth videos is age-restricted by YouTube, it may work best to FIRST open YouTube in another tab and log-in for age verification before you play these.
(1) Such gorgeous imagery here. Pay close attention, this one starts right off with the father catching while the midwife sits next to the tub, easily slipping a loop of cord off the baby’s shoulder.
(2) Homebirth after 2 cesareans. Mama instinctively pushes her baby out following her body’s lead– aka ‘spontaneous pushing.’ She is not being coached, cheered or yelled at to “PUSH!!” because her body is already doing it. Notice how the intensity of the mother’s gutteral pushing moans quickly change to deep sighs of joy immediately after her baby emerges. (Note: The camera starts wonky but flips right side up after just a few moments!).
(3) I love this standing homebirth in Sweden. Don’t worry, mom catches the baby! Beautiful daytime lighting.
(4) The unstopable baby JJ smoothly arrives before the midwife, giving his mother quite a surprise!
(5) This first-time mother births her very cute and very vernixy baby at home in New York City, then celebrates with a birthday cake! Mom is laughing and eating yogurt in early labor, then moves through many common scenes during a labor at home: rockin’ the birth ball, being massaged, taking the edge off in the tub. Very sweet!
(6) A second-time mom births her baby in the caul.
(7) A very funny mother of two older girls chooses to birth her third baby at home in the hot tub.
(8) What more hospital births in the US should look like. This is a Danish hospital waterbirth with a midwife, showing us how how a calm and peaceful environment and staff can help support a physiologic and gentle birth in a hospital setting. (Also, cute demonstration of newborn stepping reflex toward the end).
(9) A Long early labor in Baltimore mom ends in a lovely birth center birth (with the same kind of birth tub I use). You can clearly see the midwife looping the cord over baby’s head.
(10) Posterior baby slowly stretches mom’s perineum in the water before emerging direct OP, or sunny side up.
(11) Outside waterbirth using a rebozo to assist.
(12) Home waterbirth. Beautiful footage of labor and the minutes postpartum.
(13) A standing birth where the mother uses a hanging sling for support. I love the kids’ response to the baby being born — especially the sweet look on the teenage son’s face.
(14) Frank breech home waterbirth for a first-time mom. (Disclaimer: Breech birth at home for first time mothers carries greater risk).
(15) For my fellow sauna lovers out there, a Finnish birth in the sacred sauna.