The 15 Best Pregnancy Documentaries (Ranked 2024)

From the business of being born to the power of breastfeeding.

The 12 docs on pregnancy below are the best I can find. They explore the full cycle of pregnancy, mid-wives, childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum and more.

Here ya go:

1) Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives

Welcome to the wild world of “The queen of modern midwifery,” Ina May Gaskin.

This 2013 flick, helmed by Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore (the brains behind “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox”), is a 95-minute rollercoaster through the birth revolution.

Picture this:

A hippie farm commune in the 1970s. Gaskin and her crew, armed with nothing but determination, teach themselves midwifery.

Fast forward, and she’s flipping the script on childbirth, teaching tricks that make ob-gyns scratch their heads.

Gaskin’s secret sauce? Pain relief without the pharmacy.

Her Midwifery Model of Care is all about women trusting their bodies. Crazy concept, right? She’s even got a move named after her – the Gaskin Maneuver.

It’s like a WWE finishing move, but for shoulder dystocia.

The doc is a greatest hits of births, cries, and women being absolute bosses.

You’ll hear Ina yell “PUSH!” and mothers fire back “I AM!”

It’s raw, it’s real, and yes, it might make you squirm. But hey, that’s childbirth for you.

Now, let’s talk Gaskin’s greatest hits:

  • “Blowing raspberries” – Not just for babies anymore!
  • Massage – Because who doesn’t want a spa day during labor?
  • Mood lighting – Labor room or romantic dinner? You decide.
  • Dance like nobody’s watching – Because they’re all focused on the impending birth anyway.
  • Laughter is the best medicine – Even when you’re pushing out a human.
  • Kiss your partner – Love is in the air, and so is oxytocin.
  • Snacks on snacks on snacks – Labor is not the time for intermittent fasting.
  • Bring in the doula – Your personal cheerleader through the miracle of life.
  • Good vibes only – Because positive energy is nature’s epidural.

Gaskin’s approach is like a birth playlist – mix and match to find your rhythm.

It’s all about empowering women, creating chill vibes, and reminding everyone that giving birth is just another day at the office for the female body.

So sit back, relax (unlike those laboring moms), and prepare to be amazed by the power of women and the revolution of birth.

Watch it for free on YouTube at It’s also on Tubi (with ads) at

2) The Face of Birth

Deep breaths. Contractions. Power. “The Face of Birth” decodes the mysteries of childbirth. Directed by Kate Gorman and Gavin Banks, this 2012 doc offers an unfiltered 90-minute deep dive.

We’re invited into intimate spaces, from a serene home birth to bustling maternity wards.

The synergy between moms—like Gail, Melissa, and Jane—and midwives is palpable.

One scene shows Gail’s water birth, juxtaposed against the clanging sterility of a hospital.

Watch it for free on YouTube at

3) When the Bough Breaks: A Documentary About Postpartum Depression

“When the Bough Breaks” tackles the often-muted subject of postpartum depression. Directed by Jamielyn Lippman (of “3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Aude Story”), this doc spans 93 minutes.

Actress Brook Shields narrates and executive produced this doc. She captures mothers sharing their intimate struggles.

The doc is anchored by mother Lindsay Gerszt, who has been suffering from PPD for six years.

Insight gained? Maternal mental health matters. It’s not just “new mom stress.” It’s deeper, darker.

Watch it for free on Kanopy (with library card or student ID) at http://Lindsay Gerszt, a mother who has been suffering from PPD for six years. or Amazon’s Freevee at

4) A Walk to Beautiful

Forget about cute baby bumps and gender reveal parties.

The documentary “A Walk to Beautiful” is the unfiltered, unsponsored version of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”.

Set in Ethiopia, we follow women on a trek that makes your partner’s midnight ice cream run look like a casual stroll.

These mamas aren’t walking for prenatal yoga or to induce labor; they’re on a quest to fix fistulas – a pregnancy complication.

Director Mary Olive Smith doesn’t sugar-coat this labor of love.

She delivers a reality check that’ll have you rethinking those “pregnancy glow” Instagram posts. These women aren’t just pushing through contractions; they’re pushing past social stigma/.

The real MVP’s?

The medical dream team at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

They’re not catching babies; they’re catching dreams and stitching together futures.

They’re changing lives faster than a newborn goes through diapers, and with a lot more lasting impact.

Fair warning: This isn’t your feel-good babymoon flick.

You can watch “A Walk to Beautiful” for free on YouTube here:

Check here for other latest streaming options: (though it showed nothing last I checked (on June 26, 2024).

5) Life and Birth

This 2020 British doc is set in a handful of hospitals in Birmingham, UK, and captures the intricate dance of childbirth.

Hospitals profiled are Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital, and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. Viewers witness real stories of expectant families and the medical teams guiding them.

You see the stages from prenatal check-ups to the delivery room. Some moments tug at the heart, while others can be intense, given the medical realities on display.

Watch Life and Birth on UKTV at

6) SpermWorld

Buckle up your biological seatbelts.

We’re about to take a wild ride into “Spermworld,” the 2024 documentary that’s making waves faster than a swimmer in Ari Nagel’s gene pool.

Lance Oppenheim, the Spielberg of sperm, has crafted an 84-minute show that feels like Tinder meets “The Miracle of Life,” with a dash of “The Fast and the Furious”.

The cast includes Ari “The Sperminator” Nagel, a man who’s fathered more kids than a rabbit on espresso.

Then there’s Tyree Kelly, turning abandoned malls into love nests quicker than you can say “food court.”

And let’s not forget Stefan, the divorcé who decided the best way to get back in the game was to, well, give away his game.

This series tackles more ethical dilemmas than a philosophy major on Red Bull. It’s got legal issues, health risks, and enough emotional baggage to fill a maternity ward.

So, whether you’re Team Test Tube or Squad Natural Conception, “Spermworld” is a potential binge-watch.

Watch SpermWorld on:

7) In Utero

Birth. Trauma. Legacy.

“In Utero” (2015) tackles pregnancy’s unseen realm. This doc, directed by Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal (sister to actor Jake Gyllenhaal), unravels fetal development mysteries. Nominated for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, it made its Dutch debut in Tielse Agnietenhof, 2016.

It digs into maternal stress effects, cultural influences, and epigenetics. Interviews with experts—psychologists, biologists, and doctors—offer insights.

Three burning questions guide it:

  • How are we formed?
  • Who are we?
  • Why are we who we are?

This doc stitches together expert interviews—scientists, psychologists, doctors. Toss in epigenetics, myths, and pop culture—think “The Matrix” and “Alice in Wonderland”—and you grasp prenatal importance.

It unveils why some face life’s storms while others sail smooth waters.

For those seeking life’s origin puzzle… This is your watch

Right now, you can rent In Utero on YouTube and Google Play. See all options at

8) In the Womb

This 2005 doc (120 minutes) Captures the 9-month adventure from conception to birth through womb visuals. Fresh camera methods reveal never-seen moments from our shared beginnings.

Inception meets Babies. Toby McDonald, director of notable hits, leads us through an immersive dive… In the Womb (2005). This 100-minute doc is a visual treat.

“TOBY: We’re going where few have ventured.”
DR. SMITH: “It’s the pinnacle of human journey.”

Just one cell. That’s where it begins… The journey is surreal—4D ultrasound images show us this world. The fetus moves, and you feel it. You’re inside the narrative, witnessing what was once concealed. Technology and art collide…

Facts you’ll absorb:

  • It starts with a single cell.
  • The final fetus stages…all faculties in place.
  • Sperm’s mission? Deliver genetic code for conception.
  • Lifestyle? It impacts sperm health—coffee stimulates, drugs damage.

However… skeptics might frown upon the emphasis on visual tech. Some crave raw stories over glossy images.

Yet, it’s enthralling. The visuals, the tech, the life unfolding… You learn. You marvel. Toby’s storytelling prowess ensures it’s more than just a visual journey.

Watch In the Womb for free on YouTube at

9) 40 Weeks

Life meets Love. 40 Weeks (2014), directed by Christopher Henze (known for “Planet of the Humans”), captures a journey… every mother knows.

Growth. Pain. Joy.

You see bellies expand… Lives change. Emotions? Everywhere. Expecting moms, ranging in ages (21-40), share their highs and lows. Real, raw, touching.

“SARAH (32): I’m scared…
JANE (27): We all are. But it’s worth it.”

City streets to quiet homes, their tales echo. Some might say, “Not for me.” Maybe you don’t like close-ups of swelling bellies or birthing stories.

Yet, 40 Weeks enlightens. It helps celebrate a universal journey.

Watch it for free on YouTube at See other options to rent (at AppleTV and Amazon) at

10) The Business of Being Born

Hospital rooms vs. home bathtubs. The Business of Being Born (2008), a revelation from director Abby Epstein (collaborator on Weed the People), asks… are we birthing right?

Celebrity Ricki Lake executive produces it and shares her personal childbirth experience (Lake wants to raise awareness about the choices women have during childbirth and to promote informed decision-making).

A lot of dollars are on the line. Epstein digs in on:

  • Medical Industry Profit: Hospitals often prioritize profitable procedures over natural births. C-sections, for example, generate more revenue than natural births. The film stresses that the U.S. has an exceptionally high C-section rate.
  • Cost Comparisons: The film juxtaposes the costs of hospital births versus home births. Midwife-assisted births at home typically cost significantly less than hospital births, yet are often just as safe for low-risk pregnancies.
  • Insurance Policies: The doc dives into how insurance companies influence birthing choices. It’s often easier and cheaper (from an insurance standpoint) to opt for a hospital birth.
  • Hidden Charges: Many women are unaware of the various charges associated with hospital births. Everything from epidurals to room stays can quickly escalate the total bill.
  • Influence of Drug Companies: There’s an exploration of how pharmaceutical companies profit from the childbirth industry. Epidurals, labor-inducing drugs, and pain medications all contribute to the business side of childbirth.

Big Pharma, hospital bills, unnecessary interventions… why? It might ruffle feathers. If you trust the system wholeheartedly, brace yourself.

Beyond the biz side, the doc shows midwives and doulas share wisdom amd contrast stark hospital procedures. Mothers (ages 24-38) voice fears and triumphs.

Watch it for free on Amazon Prime Video (with a 7-day trial for Gaia) at; or rent it for $14.99 on Amazon at Check here for more options:

11)The Milky Way

Babies. Bonds. Bottles. Jon Fitzgerald directs this 93 minute doc on the world of breastfeeding.

Jennifer and Chantal are our guides. As lactation consultants, they expose the unseen. U.S. C-section rates? High. Formula ads? Everywhere. Moms are squeezed between tradition and modern pressures.

Minnie Driver and other celebs weigh in. They share their battles, their stories. In Sweden? Breastfeeding is embraced. U.S.? It’s a challenge.

Medical pros have hesitations. Formula? It’s measurable. Predictable. Consistent. For some, it’s about control… and profit.

Formula fans might resist this doc. But remember, this film is about choice. And awareness.

Breastfeeding? It’s more than food. It’s love. It’s bonding. See why so many champion this natural act.

Watch it for free on Kanopy (with library card or student ID) at ; or see options like Amazon’s Freevee, Tubi and Roku at

12) The Beginning of Life

“The Beginning of Life” journeys into a child’s first steps in life. Directed by Estela Renner (Way Beyond Weight), you’ll see toddlers from Tokyo, slums in Nairobi, and the vast landscapes of Mongolia.

It’s not just about the babies. Parents, scientists, and thinkers share insights. How does society shape our earliest experiences?

The doc compares a kiddo from Brazil’s favelas and another from Tokyo’s posh neighborhoods. The favela kid? He’s out playing on the streets, no helicopter parenting there. It’s tough, but there’s a tight-knit community vibe. They learn to be creative and resilient.

The Tokyo kid? Different story. There’s tech everywhere, and they’re thrown into this intense school scene super early. Sure, it’s safer, but imagine the pressure!

Two worlds, unique challenges.

Watch it on Netflix at for free on Kanopy (with library card or student ID) at

13) One Born Every Minute

Raw. Real. Unfiltered. “One Born Every Minute” – it’s “Grey’s Anatomy” but in a real maternity ward in the U.K..

The 11 season docuseries (44 minutes each episode) take place at Southampton’s Princess Anne Hospital: where stories unfold.

The show, set in a busy maternity ward, is distinctive for its fixed-rig camera system, which films everything 24/7. These cameras capture every moment, from the highs of joyful births to the complications and emergencies, and even the lows and heartbreaks.

Typical scenarios/episodes from “One Born Every Minute” include:

  • First-Time Parents: Nervous first-timers attempting to cope with the unexpected twists of childbirth, relying heavily on the experienced midwives.
  • Seasoned Parents: Those who have been through childbirth before and come with their own set of expectations and concerns.
  • Midwives’ Stories: The series doesn’t just focus on the parents. The midwives, with their vast experience, share their own insights, challenges, and the emotional rollercoaster they ride daily.
  • Complex Births: Real-life complications arise, from breech births to emergency c-sections, showing the unpredictability of childbirth and the expertise of the medical staff.
  • Diverse Families: The show has documented births from families of various backgrounds, cultures, and dynamics, showcasing the universal experience of childbirth.
  • Emotional Reactions: From tears of joy to moments of sheer panic, the series doesn’t shy away from showing genuine reactions.
  • Family Tensions: It’s not just about the birthing room. The waiting area often sees its fair share of drama, with family tensions, disagreements, and reconciliations.
  • Post-Birth Moments: From first feedings to weighing and early bonding, the hours after birth are as crucial as the birth itself.

Caution: some scenes are invasive — it’s uncomfortably intimate at times.

But that’s life, birth, emotion.

Watch it at Tubi at or Amazon’s Freevee at

14) The Mama Sherpas

Directed by Brigid Maher, “The Mama Sherpas” (2015) explores midwife-led care in U.S. hospital settings. This doc delves deep, showing how medical professionals and midwives collaborate to offer women more choices during childbirth. VBACs? That’s “Vaginal Birth After Cesarean”, and it’s a significant topic here.

A pivotal moment? Witnessing a tense VBAC attempt, shifting our views on the birthing process. The collaboration between Northridge Hospital and their midwives epitomizes this doc’s heart.

Critics? Some may feel it pushes a specific agenda.

Yet, it enlightens, challenges perceptions, and advocates for more patient-centered care.

Watch it on Roku at

15) Human: The World Within (“Birth” Episode)

I always try to include at least one Netflix documentary.

I couldn’t find an entire Netflix doc on pregnancy, but I did find the “Human: The World Within” series whose first episode is on Birth.

Jad Abumrad, the voice behind Radiolab, guides us through this scientific journey of childbirth.

We’re not just talking about the birds and the bees here – we’re diving deep into hormones, infertility, and epigenetics.

It’s a crash course in the intricate dance of human reproduction that’ll leave you in awe of what our bodies can do.

The show follows expectant parents as they navigate the challenges and wonders of pregnancy.

It’s a unique blend of personal stories and hard science.

It’s not just about nine months and a delivery. It’s about the complex interplay of genetics, environment, and biology that starts long before conception and continues well after birth.

It first aired on Netflix on May 5, 2021 (Season 1, Episode 1).

Watch the “Birth Episode” on Netflix at