2013 has seen the start of the fourth series of One Born Every Minute on Channel 4. For those that haven’t seen it, the series records the highs, the lows and new lives beginning on two busy labour wards in Leeds: Leeds General Infirmary and St. James’s Hospital.
There is no doubt that it is compelling television but I suspect that a lot of the birth stories selected are chosen based on the background story, rather than the actual birth. So when did giving birth become more about gratuitous viewing than a gorgeous gift?
One Born Every Minute looks at the drama and emotion of a maternity unit, from the perspective of the parents-to-be and the maternity ward staff. There is absolutely no question that the staff are excellent (and at times, highly amusing) but demonstrating medical intervention and simply quite graphic imagery isn’t always the best way to relax and prepare mums to be.
I know a lot of parents who choose not to watch the programme for that very reason.
Having had both a hospital and home birth, I can honestly see the benefits of both choices but ultimately that is what it is. Modern medicine is amazing and we are truly grateful for the advances made but women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. The Rose Diaries are definitely not suggesting that people who choose or indeed need medical intervention are in anyway wrong, we are merely stating that prime time television choose to demonstrate the more dramatic side of birth.
We are here to even the balance. Its all about choice isn’t it?