'birth shows' on tlc

Merry - posted on 03/24/2011 ( 37 moms have responded )

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I can't stand watching these shows anymore! I see the patterns of birth complications so clearly now and I am so sad for these moms who go through these 'traumatic' births that seem to be obviously caused by hospital proceedures.
I just saw one, mom is admitted to hospital at like 3 cm, she sits in bed for hours and hours, is in immense pain, isnt dilating, so she is advised to get an epidural even though she wanted a natural labor. She gets the epidural for fear of a c section. Then more labor in bed. She dilated finally, but the baby is not tolerating labor very well with all the pitocin being pumped into mom. So they say you can try pushing but the baby isn't handling it well. So the mom pushes on her back, the dr seems surprised she isn't coming down the canal too well, I mean going uphill is such a good way right! And of course the baby's heart rate is still dipping down so they are yelling at this mom 'Push! push harder! harder!' and mom is pushing for the count of ten seconds and every push the baby's heart drops, and mom needs oxygen from holding her breath so much. Finally baby comes out and they all say thank god we had a dr here to make sure baby is ok! Oh and baby is only 7lbs! Not the 9 lbs they thought it was since it obviously barely fit out.. And then the dr is holding the baby, baby is limp and a bit purple so what does the dr do? She clamps the cord right away, you know so the baby has no oxygen supply anymore. Baby still doesn't breathe so they jam this bulb syringe in her throat, so roughly it made me cringe! Over and over they suck out her lungs and nose and dang they don't even try to be gentle! But of course since the cord is clamped it is a time sensitive thing. Finally she cries, she cries this awful loud and intense cry. They all say oh good! A kiss from mom and baby is off to be 'cleaned'etc

I just can't watch it anymore! It makes me sad and mad to see how it's going on everyday here.

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Dana - posted on 03/24/2011

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Eh, I watched those shows when I was pregnant with my son. They're all different, just like every birth is different, just like every hospital is different and just like every doctor is different. You're only going to see what you want to see if you're in the mind set to rant about birthing procedures.

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@Laura- How many times have you attended a bris? It's cultural, whether you are for or against a circumcision. Yeah, I know that now the rabbis can offer an alternative. But again, it goes back to culture. It's not normal for you if you were not raised in a Jewish home and it's far easier to pass judgement. I was raised in a Jewish home, and a bris is very much of a big deal, whether you agree with it or not.

Mary - posted on 03/24/2011

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Those shows are reality TV. They are nothing more than entertainment. They are as accurate and factual as the episode of Friends when Phoebe has her brother's triplets, or Rachel labors in a room with Chandler's annoying ex, Janice. If you think they are a good representation of how births really happen on a daily basis in this country, my guess is that you also believe that The Jersey Shore is an accurate portrayal of all the residents of New Jersey, and all brides are just like those lunatics on that Bridezilla show. Oh, and don't forget, Cesar can go in and fix any dog's problem behavior in less than 30 minutes, with nary a growl or snap.



I'll restate...it's reality TV, and is edited for the sole purpose of being dramatic and entertaining.

Mrs. - posted on 03/24/2011

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"The worst one I saw was a jewish family where they video taped the sons bris, it was awful, I mean give the poor child some pain medicine before you start cutting off skin! And the mom went into the other room and cried. As all the good jewish men stand around and watch this baby get cut up. I mean seriously...."

Really? That's the worst thing you've seen of t.v. lately? Guess you haven't been watching the news much.

My advice, don't watch it. While I don't agree with most of your assertions about birthing in a hospital, how horrible an age old religious ceremony is or the idea that TLC shows are the true reflection of what happens with all hospital births BUT if it bothers you that much (or causes you stress) don't watch. Not worth it.

I stopped watching Dr. Oz because I always felt like I had some horrible disease after watching it.

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Alexis - posted on 03/25/2011

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I have watched a few documentaries that align with the hospital birth and complications...one is called pregnant in America if you want to watch it. There are others on Netflix too.

Laura - posted on 03/25/2011

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I think if they would have filmed any of my births people would think that being doped up on your back is a good thing. Especially my last one. After that one I could be the poster child for induced and epidurals. But mine wasn't dramatic at all so it wouldn't be good tv. Not all hospital births are bad experiences and like Sarah said some women want to be on their back.

I've learned never watch those shows when you are pregnant watch them afterwords and then you can laugh. Same with the bride shows, watch them after you are married and they are funny as hell. :)

[deleted account]

@Rebecca- After watching Dr. Oz I was sure I had prostate cancer. ; ) Those shows make me paranoid lol.

I watched all the TLC and Discovery Health shows when I was preg with my first and just cried and cried. 2nd time around I passed on that bit! Those shows are terrifying! Some are nice and happy but it's the scary sad ones that stick in your mind.

[deleted account]

I had a fantasic man by my side who was my rock and through the pushing stage gave me the strength to keep going.Dispite how great he was i did not want to be in pain anymore after 8hours even though i wanted all natural, i took an epi and half an hour later out she came.It was the epi that relaxed me enough that i was marked off the c-section list i was booked in her if i had not of gone anymore than 6cm the next time doc came in.Even they said that to me, i got stook at 4 and 6cm for a long time.

I am so happy i got to give birth and bond with my first daughter naturally compared to my rushed c-section next time around after her placenta came away.Every thing was my choice and i never felt pressure from the doc's or midwife.They only thing i had no choice over which i am very thankful for was my seconds c-section.It saved her life.I wanted to be on my back to push from the start(first time around).All mothers have there own birth story, all mothers do and take what the feel will help them.

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2011

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Maybe some of the women actually wanted to be on their back, the first hospital I was at tried me in all sorts of weird positions........until they realised I was happier on my back.
They tried to get me on birthing balls, and give me stupid aromatheraphy things.....until they realised that what actually wanted was drugs!
They tried to get me to do things as naturally as possible......until they realised that what I wanted (and needed by that point IMO) was to go to a hospital where I could get an epidural.

Not ALL women want the same thing from their birth, not all programmes are going to show what you personally think constitutes as a "good birth". :)

Vegemite - posted on 03/24/2011

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this why i love the hopsital i used, even when i had private cover i used this public hospital. They tell you not to come in until one of two things has happened, your water has been broken for 12 hours or your contractions are strong, 1minute long and 3-5 min apart. They don't interfere unless medically necessary and when i got on the bed on my back the midwife said "how do expect to have a baby while you lie on your back? Go have a shower and let the warm water run on your back." They were great.

April - posted on 03/24/2011

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I used to watch those shows all the time when I was younger and before I got pregnant. It made me think all of that was normal! I couldn't picture anything else but birthing in a hospital on my back with my legs in stirrups. Of course, I know way better now. I cannot watch those shows anymore...they make me sick to my stomach.

Bondlets - posted on 03/24/2011

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Caitlin - Actually, screaming at someone when I was in transition helped me a lot (of course I went from 7-10 in one contraction so I had every right to express my displeasure). My husband...not so much. He is now just the camera guy and stays out my reach and doesn't say one.single.word. :)

I hate those shows, too. I'm glad I never saw one until I was expecting #5 because I would have been freaked out if I'd seen one before having my first. Although maybe if I had seen a show I would not have gone in to have #1 thinking labor would be "mildly uncomfortable" as my mom told me it would be; I would have expected mind-numbing, insanity-causing PAIN!

I must confess that I have only watched 3 but after the third one I swore them off forever. I'd just pushed out my tiny 6lb baby (with much...um...vocalization, lol) and here this woman pushes out a baby that weighed over 10lb without so much as a whimper! That damaged my self-esteem so badly I haven't wanted to watch another show since. :)

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2011

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I also think that birth is different for each mother/baby...whether in a hospital or at home or where ever you decide to birth, it's still painful, it's still dramatic (in a good AND bad way)...every woman's experience is always different, so there's reall no real conclusion b/c we all have different views. All I have to say is that if a tv show upsets you, then don't watch it...piece of cake! lol

Amy - posted on 03/24/2011

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Makes me glad my tv is rarely on and I don't have anything but that box thingy for regular tv shows. Things like this would get me so worked up. I often think of the past when people feared giving birth in a foreign country, now I think we have hte WORST training/policies/whatever in america for births. They turn something that should be natural into a dramatic, drug filled event filled with fear. Just..yeah, sad.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2011

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Laura, I don't think that's what Mary meant....She meant that it's all television and that they will air the most dramatic and upsetting episodes because that's what racks in the most viewings...which means they make more money. Yes they are REAL births....but they aren't ALL births...like I said in my earlier post...some are dramatic, some are calm. but, when it comes to tv, the more dramatic, the better. The media makes it's money by stirring up certain emotions in us that make us want to watch more...or less depending on the person...but usually television is directed towards certain age groups and certain cultures...don't believe me? Just watch tv...the answer is right there!

Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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Mary I don't know how they can stage a birth, I mean when you liter rally see the baby emerging from the vagina or from a c section it's pretty hard to stage it!
These are real births happening, no they might not be the average woman in America, but they are women in America nonetheless.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2011

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I totally agree w/Mary! It is purely for our entertainment...of course it's gonna be dramatic and upsetting, that's what viewers want (believe it or not!)...so just watch something else. All births are different...some are dramatic and upsetting, like what you see on tv...and others are calm and seem to go off without a hitch. I just don't get why people have to complain about a particular tv show...if you don't like it, DON'T watch it!!! And to whoever said that when they watched Dr. Oz they always thought they had a horrible disease...that was soooo funny!!! And yeah, it's true, that's what they want us to feel...they want us to panic, to worry...stupid media!!! lol.

Bonnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Sharon, you are right! A bris is one big party; celebration of a baby boy.

Jenn - posted on 03/24/2011

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You know more women need? Is a great birthing partner and coach who can tell them, when they are in pain and in a weakened state of mind, that they CAN do this and that they are strong and keep them thinking straight so that they are more able to stick to their birth plan.

Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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No Rebecca that was the worst birth show I saw.
I don't watch it, it came on today after another show I was watching and I was cooking and didn't turn it off soon enough.

Vicki - posted on 03/24/2011

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oh and my daughter when was yanked out by her feet pooed so she was whisked off for what seemed forever to clear her airways i wasnt even sure she'd made it as she wasnt moving or crying took them a good 5mins to even come and tell us she was ok...worst feeling in the world not being able to move or get to my little girl, thankfully she was fine and now owns a set of very large, loud lungs lol :)

Vicki - posted on 03/24/2011

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sounds exactly like the birth of my daughter except when id been pushing for 1hour 30mins my daughter was struggling so they rushed me in for the dredded emergency c-section, reading that just brought it all back.....

[deleted account]

Women are still encouraged to labour on their backs? In my hospital they had this super-cool birthing chair. Any position possible on that one. In the end I had the epidural, and still gave birth upright. Pushing for two hours, forceps and all, and still, baby was only whisked away for a few minutes to get checked, but she was still only about 2 metres away from me. And all of a sudden all the doctors and midwives (there had been a lot of them) were gone bar one, lights dimmed (actually I think that might have happened earlier) and our little family was left in peace. Midwife helped me latch her on, got me some food and then she left too. And that hospital didn't even have a Baby-friendly initiative status. The only thing they pushed for was the induction, but I could see their reasoning for that, waters had broken well over 24 hours before and nothing was happening - and trust me I tried (yoga, walking, walking, walking...). The hospital seemed to have really clear guidelines though.

[deleted account]

People think I'm weird for not watching these shows anymore. With my first I wanted to prepare myself and watched them all the time after my birth experience though I realised those shows are pretty dumb in my opinion all drama and cheesyness its like watching birth turned into a soap opera. This time around I tried to watch one and I just didn't have the patience for it.

[deleted account]

I saw a show about a english midwife who went to liberia.To a free hospital were she would assist midwife's there.Now i could say watching that had me in tears.For many it was a horrific experience.There thought to just rush through it and it looked like to me they were being killed not giving birth.It was very upsetting to watch it was very bad for the english midwife to be there at times and wittness it..So i feel for all i went through with my second child, ending in a e/c-section.It was nothing compaired to what many of those women in Liberia go through.It made me so thankfull for all we have at our hospitals and how very well we are treated compared to what many experience.

I can truly say i had two perfect births, i was treated very well and my babies were treated very well.I couldn't have asked for more.Theres many so worse off than us, who don't have near as much as we do in our hospitals or the well educated staff to help them.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/24/2011

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I don't know. I watch them A LOT because I just like seeing baby borns. Even when the whole thing sucked, I get all sappy when the kid comes out. And I have to say that while I've definitely seen some questionable things, I've also seen tons of water births, home births and everything in between that and horrid. My own labour and delivery was nothing like I ever saw on TV. Certainly there are OBs at hospitals doing bad stuff. There are also midwives doing bad stuff somewhere I'm sure. We're all human and some humans just suck. Hospitals aren't evil. My local hospital is an absolutely wonderful place to have a baby. It's home-y, the staff is kind, they love midwives so you have options, you keep your baby after birth. I don't think my daughter was cleaned up until about 3 hours after, and we did the cleaning with the help of a nurse.

I think the main problem right now is that a lot of women aren't educated on their options and they don't have someone to stand up for them when they are in labour. Even without a midwife, I know my husband would be able to serve that purpose for me. Some women would be better off with a doula or additional birthing partner for this purpose. And always keep in my mind - some women want to get the epidural and lie there. For some women that is the ideal birth. It might look awful to you, but I have a few friends who went that way and wouldn't have changed a thing. To each their own!

Ez - posted on 03/24/2011

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Those birth shows are bad news for any type of birth advocate. I learnt my lesson lol.

Caitlin - posted on 03/24/2011

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Drunk babies sound like a bad. thing..

I watched the shows when pregantn with #1.. I wanted to prepare myself, and all I got out of the shows was:
-It hurts like hell
-It almost never goes as planned, so don't bother glorifying it in your mind
-Screaming at people when you're in pain doesn't help anyone

I don't know, I never really go thtat much out of it.. My only expectations of my birth the first time around was that I wanted it to be as natural as possible (induced with pitocin because I was quite overdue and they were worried about the baby, and then obviously epidural), and I wanted - if medically possible - to hold my baby right after the birth, which I got to do, I got to hold her right away desptie the fact it was a forceps delivery (dropping heart rate - compressed cord) and they suctioned her once or twice as she layed on my chest and I breastfed her within 1 hour (not sooner because I was bleeding a lot, needed a ton of stitches and they took her for 2-3 minutes to weigh and measure her after we'd snuggled enough).

Not all hospital births are horrible. Mine haven't been ideal sadly, but i'm trying again the third time for something a bit more predictable! Hopefully labour naturally and not need an epidural (The second time i needed to be induced as well, because my water broke but labour was NOT starting on it's own, and they were worried about infection at that point...)

Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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This baby must not have been drunk enough cuz he was screaming so loudly!

Bonnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Laura, just in response to your comment on the episode you saw of a Jewish family having a bris, for those who don't know, the mother is not suppose to be in the room during the procedure (actually no women are) and the rabbi puts alcohol on the baby's lips to knock him out.

Merry - posted on 03/24/2011

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It's sad cuz I used to love them, before I had Eric I watched them alot and I'm mad that I thought this was normal. So I wasn't too surprised with all the crap they did to me and to him in the hospital. But now knowing more about how babies are born etc, it just sickens me that this is portrayed as normal births! And the few shows they do on home births or birth centers or natural labors are set up to appear so risky and taboo and hippy. And I just love all the images of moms in their hospital beds still already bottle feeding. I totally agree bottles have their time and place but first off, showing it on tv just adds to the general idea that bottles are normal, and secondly I'd hope that most moms would try to breastfeed at least a while before deciding it's not going to work, and if they know straight away they aren't going to bf then maybe just in the hospital they would consider feeding the colostrum. Yet time and time again every birth show is showing so much bottles! I know there's more bf moms out there, why aren't they getting shown on tv?
The worst one I saw was a jewish family where they video taped the sons bris, it was awful, I mean give the poor child some pain medicine before you start cutting off skin! And the mom went into the other room and cried. As all the good jewish men stand around and watch this baby get cut up. I mean seriously....

[deleted account]

I dislike all of those shows, the baby ones, the birth ones, the multiples, the adoption stories.

Marylea - posted on 03/24/2011

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I totally hear you. Its sickening what birth has become in so many hospitals. "The Business of Being Born" is a really great documentary. It made me pretty sad though.

Minnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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If I don't have anything in particular to yell about I watch one of those shows. :)

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