A natural birth coach from Nottingham has called for Channel 4 series One Born Every Minute to be banned because, she says, it is “terrifying women” about childbirth and what to expect in labour.
Alexia Leachman, 41, who has two kids herself, believes One Born and shows like it make childbirth look more traumatic than it actually is. She’s now started a petition to make producers aware that the show is making some women scared of childbirth.
Alexia told Mail Online: “When I was pregnant, I was completely terrified of giving birth. It started at school with that awful childbirth video they show in biology class that did more to prevent teenage pregnancies than educate about the wonders and possibilities of childbirth.
“”That early fear was reinforced by years of childbirth portrayals on TV and in films that are always so dramatic; hoards of medical staff, machines beeping, midwives shouting ‘PUSH!’ and mothers screaming in pain.
“It’s a sorry state of affairs that we aren’t educated adequately about childbirth – it means that shows like One Born Every Minute become our main source of education.”
Alexia produces a positive birthing podcast and says many of her listeners have complained that the show has had made them anxious about childbirth.
Her comments have received mixed reviews online from mums. One commented on the Daily Mirror website: “As a mum to 6 I think One Born Every Minute is great. OK it doesn’t show a true picture of everything that can happen but still even when heavily pregnant I love it. I am not one to take everything on face value. If you’re going to ban these programmes ban movies and TV series birth scenes too which are less realistic.”
Another added: “This show actually helped me prepare for labour when I was pregnant with my babies, to feel like I wasn’t alone and how different people’s experiences were. If there are people who don’t like to watch it, it’s as simple as turning over the channel. There are loads of things shown on TV that are scary or upsetting, LIFE is scary and upsetting sometimes, FACT! Hiding it from being on TV won’t change anything.”
And one of our MFM team has admitted she actually chose to have – and indeed went through with – a water birth after watching an episode of One Born Every Minute as she thought it seemed like a great way to do it.
What do you think?
Do you watch the show? Did it make you scared of childbirth? Tell us in the comments below.