Negative Stereotypes/Portrayals of Natural Childbirth on TV

Hello All,

Just wanted to share my thoughts with all of you on something I find increasingly disturbing. Before deciding to have a natural childbirth (I'm 27 weeks due in June), I never noticed how negatively mothers who choose natural childbirth are portrayed on these "reality childbirth shows". I was watching a program yesterday on a well known women's network . The show chronicles the birthing stories of women as they happen. They featured 3 women in particular, one that begged for drugs as soon as she came through the door, another that attempted natural birth but ended up with a C-Section, and another that did it completely natural, her way. The thing I didn't like was how they made the mother that chose natural birth seem nutty for wanting to have her baby that way. They ridiculed her birth plan, her pain relief methods, and her vocalization. The nurse who was attending her said she felt victimized, like she was "the devil" for wanting to make sure her baby was safe. And I believe this was because the birthing mother had her husband and her doula advocating for her. They wanted their baby to be born THEIR WAY. The REALLY irritating part to me was the fact that the woman who begged for drugs, her labor was portrayed as being so easy, quick, and painless. I just wish that natural childbirth would be portrayed more accurately and positively. It would be much more encouraging to women like myself who are 1st time natural birthers (first 2 babies were medicated, #3 will be drug free). Now don't get me wrong, I'm very much determined to have my baby my way. But I just believe that this type of portrayal is demeaning to the women that choose to have a say in how their baby is born. Just my thoughts, thanks for listening (or reading)!

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I totally agree- the other day while watching a re-run of Greys Anatomy there was an episode in which a woman had a birth plan and wanted a natural birth. However her baby wasn't dropping and there was a possibility of the baby going into distress. The husband of the laboring woman suggested that his wife try squatting and walking around to encourage the baby to drop and one of the doctors just scoffed at his suggestion. So the woman just laid in bed until the baby went into distress and had an emergency c-section. She appeared to be irresponsible and stupid instead of empowered and courageous for wanting a natural birth. Not at anytime in the episode was the woman walking around or doing what most natural birthing women would do... no Douala was present. It was a very inaccurate picture of how most women who choose natural birth actually look like! On every hospital sitcom whenever there's a character giving birth they're always yelling for the epidural... it's a shame!

I totally understand your rant and have internally had the same rants while watching T.V. and movies involving birthing women.

agreed!  I saw this on "One Born Every Minute".  It sickens me that this is on a "WOMEN'S" network.  And the "reactions" and faces the nurses give when they hear women moaning and breathing through NATURAL birth.  UGH.  


And just about ALL of the nurses say, "you wouldn't have tooth surgery without medication, why would you give birth without drugs?"  Like we're stupid for birthing NATURALLY.  




YEP!! I think we're talking about the same episode. Glad I'm not the only one irritated by this!! :)



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