Skip to Content
Making Mothers cover image

Making Mothers 2009


Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Producer n/a
Directed by Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran
DVD, color, 20 min.

Sr. High - Adult
African American Studies, Health Sciences, Nursing, Parenting

Date Entered: 07/08/2010

Reviewed by Wendy Highby, University of Northern Colorado

Making Mothers features the Family Health and Birth Center located in Washington, D.C. The Center serves Northeast D.C.’s predominantly African American community. The first half of the film introduces viewers to the Center—a health fair is underway-- and profiles two workers. Lisa Uncles is a nurse-midwife whose goal is to create a peaceful and wonderful childbirth experience for her clients. Her colleague Joan Brickhouse is a peer counselor who provides health education about breastfeeding to expectant and new mothers. Both Lisa and Joan describe their career paths. They explain how their life experiences contribute to the empathy they develop with their patients.

The latter half of film documents the childbirth experience of expectant mother Anike Oliver and expectant father Moses Ukaoma. Anike goes through protracted labor in the home-like environment of the Center with nurse-midwife Lisa Uncles and family and friends by her side. The filmmakers of this finely-crafted film effectively capture the nurturing atmosphere of the Center and document the non-judgmental and empathetic nature of its staff. Particularly notable is the original music by Preston Hart.

Making Mothers would be ideally complementary to curriculum about African American, maternal, and/or community health services. It also addresses career choice, health education, and cultural competence in health care. While it focuses upon the health care profession, the film contains lessons transferable to any helping or social service profession.