Pat O'Brien takes a critical look at the portrayal of birth
I noted with interest the Channel 4 programme advertised 'One Born Every Minute' [first shown on February 9th 2010].
Knowing myself, I thought I should probably NOT watch it for fear of getting wound up about all the issues I care so much about surrounding childbirth. However, against my better judgement, I decided to watch the programme in its entirety in the hope that I would be pleasantly surprised by the advances made in midwifery over recent years. After all, it is now 16 years since I had my first baby. Things had bound to be a lot better - hadn't they?
I had been right in the first place - I definitely should not have watched this programme as now I am not only thoroughly depressed, but also seething with anger.
HAS NOTHING CHANGED IN 16 YEARS?
'One Born Every Minute' is filmed at The Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, described as 'a specialist unit looking after women and newborn babies'. Almost 6,000 babies are born each year under the hospital's care, and over 300 staff coordinate the care as women choose to give birth at home, at the hospital or at the nearby stand alone birth centre.
Channel 4 says that 'One Born Every Minute' aims to observe the dramatic, emotional and often funny moments that go hand in hand with bringing a new life into the world, from the perspective of the soon-to be parents and family, as well as the hospital staff.
'One Born Every Minute' celebrates what it really feels like to become a parent, by taking a bustling maternity hospital and filling it with forty cameras. Did that make a difference to care? If you have a comment, please do let us know.
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