BBC three, last night, just by chance I started watching this programme and was entranced. It is advertised as ………
‘Journalist Dawn Porter goes in search of the truth about childbirth. Like many young women, Dawn terrified by the prospect of childbirth. As well as from the pain, she worries that her body will be damaged beyond repair and the prospect that sex will never be the same again. Finding her friends unwilling to spill the beans about what it’s really like to give birth, she seeks out a first-time mum who will let her witness a birth firsthand.’
I am so frustrated at not being at work because I can’t recommend this to the pregnant women. Dawn went right to the ‘nitty gritty’, it was all those questions you don’t know the answer to, all those things that you haven’t even thought about in down-to-earth, humourous at times, but a very honest 60minutes of gems for 1st time Mums. From scooping poo out of a birth-pool, gas and air, a pool birth, ventouse, forceps, to what a placenta looks like. Yes, it is gory but not gratuiously so. Basically it’s educationally entertaining.
I also think it would be good for many women who have given birth before and are tremulous about a repeat of their first experience. One of daughter’s friends, expecting her second baby in three weeks, was chatting to me today and mentioned that she had watched it and it had made her think about using ‘Active Birth’ rather than having an epidural the minute she was in hospital. What had made her think this way was not that the women ‘enjoyed’ labour, it was quite obvious that the women found some of it painful (understatement), but how they were immediately afterwards, mobile and catheter free. Obviously not 100% fine but equally not surrounded by, and wired up to, all sorts of medical tubes and gadgetry. Daughters had encouraged her, telling her that I used to facilitate the Active Birth classes so had lots of info. End result is that she and her partner will be coming round next week for a one-to-one on things to do to encourage normal progress in labour and different coping strategies. I’m really looking forward to being midwife me again, even if it is only for a couple of hours!