THE BLOG

Watching 'One Born Every Minute' Doesn't Put Me Off Having Kids

26/04/2016 17:37

One Born Every Minute is high up there with one of the programmes I religiously watch (and genuinely look forward to) at 9pm on a Tuesday night.

I'm 25, I don't have kids and although I do plan on having them one day, it's not going to happen any time soon.

But in every day conversation when I express any positivity towards the programme, I'm usually met with the same reaction: "You like it? Doesn't it put you off having kids?"

For the record no, it doesn't put me off having kids. Not in the slightest. And yes I can watch the baby's head crowning and a woman have a c-section without diving behind a cushion on the sofa and screaming.

I would never go as far as saying I look forward to the time I'm laying on a hospital bed screaming and being told to push - the thought of doing it myself terrifies me - but watching it doesn't make me wince or cringe like it does to many others.

Near the end of last year, a petition was started calling for an end to the show saying it was "scaring the crap" out of mums-to-be.

Mum Alexia Leachman, said it's creating "unnecessary fear" among women that is contributing to even more "crappy childbirth experiences".

But I couldn't disagree more.

One Born aims to show how different every birth can be. It's showing one of the most natural yet incredible things a woman's body can do. With every dramatic labour you may watch on the show that involves screaming or an emergency c-section, there's another one that is calm, short and as pain-free as it could be.

My argument is that the show has given me an oddly unique education into what really happens when you're giving birth, the kind of education that school or stories from mums can't tell me.

The more clued up I am about pregnancy, labour and birth, the less it worries me about doing it myself because that "fear of the unknown" is slowly reduced.

I'm not stupid, I do know much of what happens in labour isn't always televised but in a way to make it as real as possible, I've seen emergency c-sections, water births, instrumental deliveries, planned caesareans and births that look so easy you wonder how they got so lucky.

I might not know everything about them, but I know a hell of a lot more than I would if I hadn't have watched the programme.

Learning about birth at school gives you the bare bones of information about what happens when a baby is born, because what 11-year-old or teenager really wants to know that after pushing that baby out your vagina, you then have to "give birth" to the placenta or sometimes the baby gets stuck so they'll cut the woman to allow the baby's head to come out?

The next conversation about birth will usually come from your parents where maybe you'll learn about contractions and labour, or that if the baby is the wrong way round you may have to have an operation.

And as you get older, it's speaking to mums and hearing stories about birth that teach you what you probably know now.

But when a woman is laying in a bed in excruciating pain, usually unaware of what is going on around her, there are some things she won't be able to tell you about what happens in the delivery room.

And that's where One Born comes in.

It's taught me how every birth is unpredictable, how in so many cases things can and will go wrong, how the baby often comes out blue or with a cord round his or her neck.

But it's also taught me exactly what happens when things do go wrong and how every scenario is dealt with differently.

A baby born with his or her cord round its neck may take a few minutes to cry but that's completely normal.

A baby might get distressed and their heart rate may slow down if there is a long labour, but going in for an emergency c-section shouldn't be feared as much as you may think.

A baby may be whisked away within seconds of being born, but it's the best thing for them at that time.

So no, it doesn't put me off having kids. In fact, One Born gives me this odd sense of comfort that the majority of the time, no matter how unpredictable the labour is, things will be alright.

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