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Making Mothers

Making Mothers

Today the United States ranks 29th in the world for infant mortality rates, a shocking statistic given that we spend more on health care than any other nation. African American mothers in the Washington, D.C. area experience a disproportionate number of infant deaths, for example, since they live in medically underserved communities with a shortage of primary-care givers.

Making Mothers profiles the Family Health and Birth Center (FHBC) in northeast D.C., which serves the area's primarily African American community and which is likewise staffed by African American health-care professionals. The FHBC provides prenatal, birth, postpartum, gynecological and other pediatric care in a community-friendly environment. It educates women to participate in their own prenatal care so as to reduce the risk of preterm delivery, the leading cause of neonatal deaths or developmental disabilities.

The film focuses on the efforts of Lisa, a midwife, who offers expectant mothers the option of a peaceful and sensitive home-birth experience, and Joan, a breastfeeding peer counselor, who passes on to others her experience as a teenage mother. In interviews, both women explain how and why they got involved in maternal health care and offer their views on the need for greater diversity in the field.

In showing Lisa and Joan at work, in both personal and group counseling sessions, Making Mothers reveals how the passion and sensitivity they bring to their work empowers the women they serve, the community in which they work, as well as themselves.

*** 'This engaging snapshot of how one agency serves its community delivers a quiet message about reaching out to women, offering assistance without preachment or judgment. Recommended.' -Video Librarian

'...a useful portrait of a worthwhile cog in the healthcare system and of the well-meaning women who try to bring some quality to the birthing and mothering experience for underprivileged members of our privileged society.' -Anthropology Review Database


Main credits

Crosbie, Ben (Director)
Moran, Tessa (Director)

Other credits

Original music by Preston Hart.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

African-American Studies
Family Relations
Fanlight Collection
Health Care Issues
Women's Health
Women's Studies


infant morality; Washington, D.C.; Family Health and Birth Center; FHBC; community-friendly; documentary; film; video; DVD; "Making Mothers"; The Fanlight Collection

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