Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trusting Tuesday: A Baby Story

Do you trust these shows? Do you watch these shows?

I tend to encourage my patients to NOT watch these shows. I feel that they fill expecting mothers with fear and anxiety for their upcoming births. They are shows that are made to entertain. They need a story, drama, and some way to continue to have people watch the show. Have you ever watched a perfectly normal healthy birth on A Baby Story? I have... BUT... it was full of the narrator pausing for dramatic effects, flashing LARGE words on the screen like UNMEDICATED or RISK OF CESAREAN, and constant pictures of the large clock on the wall ticking. All of these things are put on the show because it can increase ratings because of the suspense but it also teaches mothers that these are things they should be afraid of. Time passes in labor, but in most healthy women there should not be a deadline.

Every women will labor differently.

Some women labor for 24 hours and everyone is perfectly healthy and happy. Some women labor for 3 hours and everyone is perfectly healthy and happy. Was the 24 hour labor more dangerous than the 3 hour labor? Not necessarily. If a mother stays hydrated, gets rest, the baby is moving well, and everyone is in good spirits then a 24 hour labor can be a wonderful thing. A woman who has a three hour labor might have a baby with a lot of bruising or with stress but just because it was 3 hours doesn't make it better or more safe. I have seen my share of women having 3 hour labors because they were high on meth and having an abruption... that turns the tide a little bit. Shorter labors do not mean safer! So why does A Baby Story focus on the clock??

Another flaw in the Baby Story idea is that it encourages women to share their birth with the world. There is no more of the parents quietly going to the hospital and the next morning calling their families and letting them know that the baby was born. We tweet our first contraction, we facebook status update when we leave for the hospital, our doula gives a play by play to the world, and then if you don't update your status every 10 minutes you start getting text messages and phone calls. Families want webcams, skype updates, and pictures instantly.
I am not saying all of this social media is bad when it comes to pregnancy, labor and birth; I am just saying find out what is right for YOUR birth. Don't feel like you have to share one of the most intimate moments of your life with the world unless you want to.

My first birth had about 20 people in the room. It was wonderful and memorable, but a little chaotic. My second birth was my parents (did I mention my dad is an OBGYN? Totally not weird in my situation), my husband, midwife, and doula. Much more intimate than my first birth. I did post on facebook that I "hoped" these contractions were real. My husband made some updates, but I was not focusing on updating my status, I was focused on birthing my baby. This is what was right for me and my birth. A Baby Story would not have been right for my birth.

a baby story
New Episodes Premiere Weekdays at 2/1c
send to a friend
a baby story
About the Show
small text

A Baby Story takes viewers on an intimate and emotional journey by profiling couples' experiences from the final weeks of pregnancy through the first weeks of a new life.

Go inside the delivery room for a voyeuristic peek at the drama of labor and the sheer joy and relief of the unforgettable birth moment. Share in the experience and all the emotions parents feel when they first greet their newborn.

A Baby Story would not have been right for my birth.Enough of my ranting about the show- I don't trust it. You may if you wish., just please keep your eyes open and educate yourself- Watching A Baby Story should not replace childbirth classes!!

No comments: