Birth As We Know It: A Groundbreaking Documentary on Conscious Birth

Birth As We Know It (2006 film, 73 minutes), directed and produced by Elena Tonetti-Vladimirovais a stunningly beautiful film about natural births.  It delivers a powerful transmission of what it really takes to give birth consciously and gracefully.  Since its release in 2006, Birth As We Know It has spread to 58 countries without any advertising or marketing, and has received global recognition as the most comprehensive guide to Conscious birth.  It is already on its 6th edition, and has been translated into 12 languages. 

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Birth As We Know It has been featured in countless international magazine editorials, such as ‘Mothering’, ‘Byron Child’ and ‘Midwifery Today’.  Its importance has also been recognized by educational institutions.  In 2010 the film was added to a course at the UN University for Peace and its affiliate, the International University of Monaco.  In 2008 it became part of the mandatory curriculum of every medical school and University in Iran. The Educational Committee of Iran allowed only 5 foreign titles in their schools, Birth As We Know It being one of them.  In 2009 Iran issued a bill about reducing C-section rates down to 12% (from the existing 40%) by the year 2012. The Chair of the Educational Committee said: 'This film helps my students to be more at peace with Americans.'  It was shown at the 2012 Human Rights Congress in Seattle, WA and received a lengthy standing ovation.  It was also shown at the 2006 Congressional hearing in Washington D.C. and at the 2008 Hawaii State Senate hearing, both dedicated to the prevention of domestic violence.  It won the “Most Impactful Film” award at the 'Raw Lifestyle' Film Festival in Hollywood (2007), and the Accolade Award (2007).  


The film features 11 exquisite natural births: at home, in the sea, breech delivery, and home waterbirth of twins.  Also included are interviews on topics rarely discussed: Limbic Imprint, Sexuality of childbirth, Cesarean-section, Circumcision, Lotus Birth, and Conscious Birth preparation.  Viewers are given a rare opportunity to witness the true nature of birth, and the potential to give birth gracefully and fearlessly.  With rich cinematography, invoking narrative and a breathtaking soundtrack, the film runs 73 minutes plus 3 hours of bonus material, including 'Director's Commentary' by Elena.  There are also two short edits of the film (25 minutes and 40 minutes long), called the 'Educational Version', for time-limited classes and conference presentations. 

Film creator and producer Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova was one of the pioneers of the Conscious Birth Movement in Russia since 1982, where she first recognized the need for a transformation in our birthing practices.  “The quality of our formative period defines the quality of our life,” says Elena, “The birth process affects our ability to love, experience happiness and intimacy, as well as whether living in a body is experienced as safe and joyful or as painful and lonesome”.  Elena has brought her wisdom about how to avoid complications at birth through an effective preparation program shown in her film.  “The birth itself is the last accord in this fascinating journey of self discovery,” Elena says, “After all the preparation is accomplished, the delivery of the baby unfolds naturally in all its magnificence.”  

Through her years of experience, Elena developed the Birth into Being Method, and has led hundreds of workshops sharing it with people.  It is a powerful technique that helps participants release their own birth trauma and self-limiting beliefs and experience a profound power of the Birthing Field.  She has also certified numerous practitioners, who continue to share the Birth Into Being Method with the world while she focuses on new creations.  Dr. Christiane Northrup wholeheartedly endorses Elena’s work.  After attending Elena’s workshop with both of her daughters, she dedicated most of her March 2008 newsletter to praising the Method and explaining its main focus, and also included Elena’s Limbic Imprint article.


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Standing, right to left: Igor Charkovsky, Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, Tatiana Sargunas

Testimonials - Read All

 Joshua Morrill

"The film is Divine, literally, gift to humanity from earth mother goddess herself."


Dr. Michel Odent

"We must pay tribute to Elena for prompting us to re-examine basic features of human nature. Her film explains why millions of women, all over the world, dream of giving birth in the sea, among dolphins."


Tatiana Sargunas, Russian Spiritual Midwife, Mother of 4

"This film delivers a powerful transmission of what it really takes to give birth consciously."


George C. Denniston MD, MPH, Retired Professor of Family Medicine, University of Washington President, Population Dynamics, Seattle WA President, Doctors Opposing Circumcision Former Associate Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

"Every young woman in the world, before she even thinks of having a child, should see "Birth As We Know It", Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova's film. Every woman needs to know that she has a choice between fear and joy. This film is about the happiest day in a woman's life,­ the day she gives birth. It will help her to prepare for a joyous birth, instead of a possibly wretched one and avoid the pitfalls of 'modern' medicine, which fails to recognize that birth is a normal, natural process that women have been carrying out successfully for five million years. This film will lead her toward experiencing the empowerment that a natural birth will give her, which is her birthright. It is unlikely that she will ever see as important a film again during her lifetime."


Vicki Abrams, CCE, IBCLC, Director of the Childbirth Education Program at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing

"Rich with some of the most stunning images of birth that I have seen, "Birth As We Know It" captures the peace and connection of the birth experience and beautifully demonstrates that pregnancy offers a profound opportunity for increased awareness, opening, and transformation. Imparting an important and powerful message through its bold statements and imagery, Birth As We Know It will infuse women with the inner knowing that they can create a natural and loving journey into birth. I highly recommend this film to health care providers and prospective parents alike."


Dr. David Chamberlain, Psychologist, Author,

"Dear One, I spent a morning on your film and other treasures- your bonus features, going back and forth, and taking notes. I have already begun to spread the good news of your priceless work, and will certainly write a review for all APPPAH publications. My congratulations and best wishes."


Dr. Michael Trout, APPPAH Vice-President

"I appreciate the modesty, the lack of stridency, and the gentleness of the message. In other words, you accomlished the important (but often overlooked) task of making your delivery of the message match the content of your message. The viewer feels treated as gently as do the parents who are bringing their babies into the outside world. I often find birth films either overly romantic or overly political. "Birth As We Know It" is neither, but manages to deliver an unmistakeable and unforgettable message, all the same."


Dr Sarah J Buckley, GP/Family Physician, Author, 

"Beautifully crafted and visually stunning, Birth as we know it not only inspires us to birth consciously; it also gives us the information we need to prepare our minds and bodies for this pivotal event. Birth as we know it will be invaluable for mothers, fathers, midwives and everyone involved with birth and babies, awakening us all to the central role of birth in life-long health and wellbeing."


Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes, Raw Food Authors/Speakers,

“Elena will show you that birth is not only something not to fear - but that it can, in fact, have the potential to be the most ecstatic, ORGASMIC experience of your life! I highly recommend her LIFE-CHANGING, world-shifting work! I also recommend purchasing her DVD NOW! I feel it's the BEST DVD on Natural Birthing out there - absolutely phenomenal!”



Green Apple Award for "Most Impactful Auxillary Film", Raw Lifestyle Film Festival (2007)

The Accolade Award (2007)