28/10/2015 13:48 GMT | Updated 28/10/2015 13:59 GMT

One Born Every Minute 'Needs To Stop' Because It's 'Terrifying Women About Birth', Claims Pregnancy Coach

A pregnancy coach believes One Born Every Minute needs to portray a more balanced view of childbirth, because the current show is "scaring the crap" out of mums-to-be.

Alexia Leachman, 41, from Nottingham, is a mum-of-two and host of the Fear Free Childbirth podcast. She claims the problem with the Channel 4 show is that it focuses on births that are highly dramatic and emotional.

"It’s creating fear among women when it comes to childbirth,"she wrote on her blog.

"My problem with fear, is that it’s directly responsible for crappy childbirth experiences that are bad for mum and bad for baby.

"Childbirth is best for mum and baby when it’s without the drama and in a calm environment."


Leachman also wrote an article for the Daily Mail to explain her position: "A quick jaunt on to Twitter while Channel 4's series following women in labour is on will tell you all you need to know how it makes women feel about giving birth; it scares the crap out of them."

Leachman said watching "awful and dramatic" childbirth footage in school as a child made her completely terrified of birth, too.

"That early fear was reinforced by years of childbirth portrayals on TV and in films that are always so dramatic; hoards of medical staff, machines beeping, midwives shouting 'PUSH!' and mothers screaming in pain," she wrote in her column for Daily Mail.

"Sure many women have those experiences, but many don't. Normal birth is quite a calm low-key affair."

The mum-of-two, who used hypnobirthing and therapeutic techniques to calm her fears, said she had a "euphoric natural home birth in under three hours".

But she said, speaking to her listeners of her podcast, their experiences were very different. They often "curse" the Channel 4 show and say it's what has made them scared of giving birth.

"It's a sorry state of affairs that we aren't educated adequately about childbirth - it means that shows like One Born Every Minute become our main source of education," she wrote.

"For TV companies, their agenda is entertainment not education, and entertainment shows need a big dose of drama and action."


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Leachman has started a petition for Channel 4 to portray childbirth in a more balanced way.

The petition was started six months ago and is nearing 1,000 supporters.

"I completely agree that this programme puts the fear of God into you," one person wrote on the petition page.

Leachman added: "I believe that families and future generations deserve a better chance at having amazing births and for me this starts with asking One Born Every Minute to just stop."

Unassisted Birth Photos