The Big Stretch Reviews

Birth Education…and Preparation

I have found the booklet from the ‘The Big Stretch’ an incredible tool and have recommended it to a large number of women. Celine Conrad


I first saw a glimpse of ‘The Big Stretch’ when Sarah Buckley, M.D. showed a brief clip at the first Trust Birth Conference in California in March of 2008. I then started my quest to get a N. American formatted copy. I guess that Jody McLaughlin from Compleat Mother was just as impressed because she started selling the DVD through her website and I ordered one right away. I have shown it to hundreds of pregnant women here in Canada. Everyone loves it. We think you Australian women have a great attitude towards nudity and your lovely bodies. It’s very nice to see one naked man riding a bicycle in the film, too.

What really touches and inspires me about it is that it is all about the birthing women and not about the helpers. Birth is the mother’s great journey and this film is a frank and open exploration of all the hills and valleys. Thanks so much for making it. Gloria Lemay


‘The Big Stretch’ is not your usual birth film. Rather than focusing just on images of women giving birth, women share their distilled wisdom about this major transformation: their hopes and fears, their joys and disappointments; the changes that they experienced in themselves and their bodies, and their advice for other women. The result is a unique and powerful collection of birthing wisdom and insights into the journey of birth and motherhood.

‘The Big Stretch’ is beautiful to watch, not only because of its lovely images and photography, but also because the women interviewed are so comfortable in their bodies. Watching this film, we can feel our own bodies and to absorb some of their ease: another great gift in preparing for birth.

This Australia-made DVD has received wide acclaim around the world and has been shown in hospitals as well as homes. Dr. Sarah Buckley


I watched your ‘Big Stretch’ DVD last Friday and was so filled with love and emotion at the end of it. It is truly a wonderful piece of art, comprising not only thoroughly honest interviews, but truly beautiful births. There are many parts I would like to show in my Hypnobirthing classes as the language we use is exactly what these beautiful women were saying in your DVD. I will certainly promote the DVD for our expectant Mums, as I am sure they will get a great deal out of seeing other women ‘go first’. Karen


I love your DVD by the way and it’s being shown in Antenatal classes to prospective new mums. I think it gives a real insight into the emotional tools needed to be ready to work through Labour. Yolande, Midwife QLD Hospital


Just watched ‘The Big Stretch’ and I cannot tell you how much it has helped me. I have been recently working through my traumatic first birth and trying to conceive a new bub, which has brought a lot of issues to the surface. Your amazing film was so helpful in thinking about these things. So refreshing to see family births and partner’s thoughts, It had me in tears. ‘The Big Stretch’ should be seen by every woman. Fantastic & thank you so much. Ellie


‘The Big Stretch’ in an insightful documentary about natural birth. It demonstrates how each woman’s birth is unique and shows the specialness of family involvement. I recommend ‘The Big Stretch’ to birth educators wishing to show their students how empowering and different each birth can be. I really like how it addresses issues like breathing, fear and pain, unexpected outcomes, parenting twins and learning about how the birthing body works. Birth stories are a big part of empowering women as they become aware of what’s possible for their own births. Suzanne Swan, Yoga Teacher & Birth Educator, Yogababy


I liked the pace. The film raised issues for me about my own birth (grief about interventions), and fears for my next one, but the pace stopped me from dwelling too much at the time. I was just able to go ‘oh yes’, I will deal with that later. I like that we followed several stories and had them all resolved. Melissa


‘The Big Stretch’ – a film so whole and honest. I enjoyed the stories & the birth & labour footage. Really good to see the woman who birthed twins- her belly all stretched afterwards. Great for women and partners to see, as it helps us accept our bodies and love them for their wonderful stretchabilities! Danielle, Doula


What I liked about ‘The Big Stretch’ was the insight into the different and varied issues and feelings that having a baby can bring out in some women and how important it is for them to feel they have worked through them before their baby is born. Cheryl, Doula


I have just finished watching ‘The Big Stretch’ DVD by Alieta Belle & Jenny Blyth. It was so good! An Australian made pregnancy & birth video. I loved hearing all the women speak and see the wonderful Australian background. What a rich production. Mary, Midwife


Another girlfriend due in a few weeks borrowed ‘The Big Stretch’ and thought it was so inspirational and motivating. There really seems to be a lack of quality, original material for women going through the conventional hospital system and it has been lovely to have something so creative to lend to girlfriends and they have been so impressed! Chrissy


I really wish I’d seen it during any of my pregnancies. It would have been very empowering. Despite my different experience, I felt that the movie really captured the amazing intensity that comes with pregnancy and birth in all its forms. It should be shown in every antenatal class in the country. Anna



All of a sudden I feel so well understood. That my experience is shared over and over again fills me with the sense that I’m a link in this chain of birth wisdom, woman wisdom. Thanks for helping me love the role I play as mum. Mandy


Congratulations! What an awesome, inspiring, enriching experience! Newly pregnant with #5 and feeling ‘stretched’! So stretch I will. Thanks. Michelle


I’m amazed at how much emotion I still hold in me from the birth of my child. Some more moved and softened in me through your film. It’s beautiful and valuable for women before and after birth. Jaime


The film I find has touched me on a deep level. The sanctity of that emotional-spiritual space is so important. The protection for the mother and baby to just be and connect. I so wish that I could have my children all over again. Midwife.


I enjoyed it even more the second time. For me it actually got me thinking about my beliefs and what it is that I truly want for myself and my family. I expect each time I watch it I’ll gain a new prospective. ‘The Big Stretch’ certainly is a valuable ‘tool’ to have on hand because of the insight to the reality as to how different we all are. Sharon


Even though it’s 15 years since experiencing ‘birth’ I realised the feelings and memories are still so present. You captured it all. Beautiful sharings, beautiful music, beautiful moments. Heartfelt. Rhonda


Thankyou so much for ‘The Big Stretch’. It melded deep within my soul. The opportunity for women to have a soulful birth and meet their inner strength and power always moves me. In being a midwife now I wish that so much for the women I care for but many are scared and don’t trust themselves. Your video showed the journey of women who dare to go that road. I find it refreshing. It is birthing the way I wanted but never did and the way I wish to go as a midwife. Anna-Maryke Wood


I wanted to write to express my thanks and huge appreciation for your very beautiful and inspiring film. The film arrived speedily to me in France and is everything I’ve been searching for and more. I am 35wks pregnant and trying to immerse myself in positivity for my upcoming labour. I have two children (Uma aged 6 born in hospital ‘naturally’, Obi aged 3 born at home). Anyway…with the majority of mothers around me electing/being scared into having caesarians it’s been difficult nurturing a very different vibe. Thank you for creating a safe and encouraging space for women to reveal themselves. I keep watching the film as a true source of community. Suzanne


I have watched ‘The Big Stretch’ and thought it was fantastic. I also really loved the inclusion of the section about baby massage. I have been giving Priya one nearly every day. Errol loved that part too and I often hear him saying “these are your hands, they’re for holding things, touching things, exploring things…” it’s very cute. Georgia


I saw a copy of your DVD before the birth of my 2nd daughter in May this year. My 1st birth was emergency caesar and I was determined to have a different experience this time. Your DVD was instrumental in us having the birth experience we wanted 2nd time around. A magical, wondrous journey through labour, I was led by my daughter the whole time; and birthed underwater. Amazing, fabulous and I just wanted to thank you both so much for making this amazing DVD. So many of my friends have benefited as well. Frankie Sharman


‘The Big Stretch’ DVD complements Birthwork very much. The philosophy and education in the book is shown as graphic and highly detailed footage in this outstanding birthing DVD. Dominique Finney


Me and Amit watched yesterday “The Big Stretch”.  It was a very special experience. The film is so exciting, filmed and edited so beautifully, and so many beautiful and aware women. And it’s amazing how comfortable they feel with their bodies. Amit said that everything in Australia looks so calm and beautiful, and I told him I wanna move there.  So delicate work you’ve done there, we could sit and watch more and more and more.  And I liked very much the way you challenged the meaning of “stretch”.  I also liked very much that when a woman was talking many times the visuals were of another woman. It makes it feel universal, like there is a connecting line between all pregnant and labouring women always and everywhere.  I also liked the additional chapter of the baby massage, I think it is a great idea. And the booklet is also great !!

 During the weekend we will probably watch “The Big Stretch Sequel”, can’t wait…  Miri and Amit


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