Trial Of Labor

More than ninety percent of American women who give birth by Cesarean section will have all future babies surgically. Most will never even be told there is an alternative. Trial of Labor gives a voice to four California women fighting those odds: planning vaginal births after Cesarean (VBAC).

Despite overwhelming support from mainstream medical literature, the option to birth naturally after a Cesarean remains extremely restricted in the U.S, with many hospitals maintaining mandatory surgery policies (“VBAC bans”) for women who have had Cesareans previously. These policies, based primarily on non-medical factors, leave tens of thousands of women every year with no choice in how they give birth.

Directed by Rob Humphreys and executive produced by Elliot Berlin, the film delivers a punch and begs the question of why the demand for cesarean delivery is on the rise. The suspense driven story is crafted from vérité footage and a series of interviews both before and after delivery, that explores the emotional roller coaster of trying to navigate the current system and it’s alternatives. The narrative fast shatters any notion that cesarean might be the easy option.

The women featured in Trial of Labor are determined to birth naturally, but face a gauntlet of self doubt, unresolved feelings about previous births, limited support, and even ultimatums from their care providers. Pacing through a minefield of misinformation the film hints at the epic journey as our heroines face obstacles, overcome doubts, muster courage, gather conviction and prepare to face the future irrespective of the outcome. For them, giving birth is more than just the means to an end: it’s a profound reclaiming of the right to use their own bodies to get there. The film presents the poignant, sometimes messy, reality of their journeys: in their own words, from their own perspectives.

  • Robert Humphreys
    Charlotte Sometimes, Design E2, The Invisibles
  • Robert Humphreys
  • Elliot Berlin (Executive Producer)
  • Tali Klapach, Kasi Peters, Allie Pettitt, Jessica Roberts
    Key Cast
  • Robert Humphreys
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 6 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 15, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    75,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 1080P
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Online Premiere (12,000 attendees)
    Internet Streaming
    March 20, 2016
    Los Angeles Premiere
Director Biography - Robert Humphreys

Robert Humphreys, Director/Producer

Rob began his filmmaking career freelancing in the development media world of his hometown of Harare, Zimbabwe, where he worked on films focused on social and political issues. These covered a variety of subjects including the drought of the early 1990’s, worker’s rights and the end of apartheid.

After moving to the United States, Rob focused his attention on broader issues challenging systemized belief and behavior. Most notably, he lensed the environmentally conscious Design:e2 series for PBS during which time he traveled the world extensively for four years, meeting many of the great innovators of the modern environmental movement. .

His passions and interests cover everything from drawing and sculpture to science and myth. He is currently researching a documentary project on the perils of boom and bust economics.

Add Director Biography