Be Inspired


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Throughout the semester I have focused on writing about maternal mortality within the United States. I have gained a better sense of understanding of the factors that contribute to maternal deaths within the U.S. For my last post on maternal mortality, I’ve decided to analyze the film “Sister” (picture) by Brenda Davis. The film raises awareness of the global issue of maternal mortality, as it provides stories of “health experts” within Ethiopic, Haiti, and Cambodia that fight to reduce maternal deaths. After watching the film “Sister” I believe it’s a very inspiring film that reveals the harsh reality within maternal mortality.


The film motivates us to help make a change as it shows how uneducated midwives are leaders within their communities helping prevent maternal deaths. The film presents, “Madam Bwa, a 65 year old TBA (Traditional Birth Attendant), living in Haiti, (who) started delivering babies when she was 12 years old.” Although Bwa contains no formal medical training through her years of experience and great devoted to helping prevent maternal deaths, she has become a great leader within her community. She provides her patients with birth control shots and vaccines. Bwa promotes change within the community by educating women about hygiene and nutrition, while also providing maternal and prenatal health care. She believes God called her to serve the people of that community by blessing her to help “prevent (women) from dying during delivery.” Just like Bwa, Hirity Belay from Ethiopia also serves her community by providing care for pregnant women. Not only does she provide care for mothers, but she also educates her patients on how to care for themselves through nutrition lessons and hygiene information. She is fully devoted to making a change within her community as she “travels from home to home, sometimes up to eight hours on foot to reach her patients.”  The film inspires us to make a difference within our communities, through the stories if Madam Bwa and Hirity Belay as it shows us that these women are able to make “difference between a life and death during delivery,” through their great determination and devotion. “Sister” ultimately inspires us to become a leader within our own communities.





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Madam Bwa 



The film inspires us to become more open minded towards the meaning of pregnancy, as it shows the profound experiences women encounter during pregnancy in rural areas. The film begins by showing the experience of a woman in Ethiopia suffering from tremendous pain, yelling “I’m dying, I’m dying,” in order to highlight the idea that pregnancy for many women in rural areas includes tremendous pain. This woman suffers from laboring for more than twenty-four hours at home and, now lies there with dead fetus inside of her. Her pregnancy experience included having a long dreadful labor to a successful emergency Caesarean operation. Another profound experience shown within the film is about a woman from Ethiopia who never delivered the placenta during labor. “The nearby center had tried to manage it, but they couldn’t,” (Goitom Berhane) and as a result of not receiving the proper attention needed her uterus became gangrenous. This woman’s pregnancy experience resulted in her uterus being damaged,  her abdominal being distended, and her abdominal wound being infected. These women’s profound experiences during pregnancy shown with the film allow us to realize that the term pregnancy is often misunderstood. Many like myself automatically think “baby” when hearing the word pregnancy, but this film has inspired me to have a greater understanding of the term. After watching the film, I now understand that during pregnancy the mothers counts as much as the baby because both are at risk of encountering complications.



The filmmaker Brenda Davis created an effective movie through honest filming, as she reveals the brutal reality within maternal mortality. Davis “gives a breathtaking and often heartbreaking (look) into the complications of pregnancy and childbirth,” by showing the pain, loss, and challenges women encounter during pregnancy. For example, she includes the stories of women in her film that face numerous challenges, such as  the lack of appropriate care during delivery, the lack of nutrition, and the lack of transportation. Through showing real life experiences women face throughout pregnancy Davis is able to capture society’s attention as she reveals that some mothers struggle for survival. As she reveals that these women suffer from tremendous poverty conditions, she creates an emotional effect on society. Beautifully shot, Sister captures both agonizing and ecstatic moments in birth and delivery,” as Davis presents life threatening moments these women encounter as well as successful operations and deliveries that occur due to devoted health experts who fight to end maternal mortality. For example, in the film she shows the story of a woman who suffers from labor for more the twenty-four hours never losing hope that her baby is dead, and has a successful emergency caesarian operation. This woman’s story emphasizes the idea that these women fight till the end for their lives. Her honest filming allows us to understand the harsh reality behind statistics that represent maternal deaths. Her filming highlights the idea that maternal mortality is a serious global issue.



I believe that everyone should take the time to watch the film “Sister” because it’s very inspiring. The film allows one to explore the true reality within the global issue of maternal mortality. It allows us to truly appreciate what we have as it shows us that women struggle for survival while carrying a child, because they lack the basic necessities of life. The film motivates us to make a change as it teaches us that through true determination and devotion one can help make a difference. After watching the film, I felt inspired to pay closer attention to the global issues occurring and it motivated me to have a greater determination to become a  nurse. Becoming a nurse will allow me to contribute towards making a difference in one’s health. “Sister” is an important film that helps raise awareness of the harsh reality within the maternal deaths. I believe others should watch this film to have a greater understanding of the challenges women encounter during pregnancy.



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