One born every minute

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
One born every minute
22
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 12:00pm

http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/one-born-every-minute

Has anyone seen this show? I found it on Hulu, it's a lifetime reality series set in the labor and delivery ward of a hospital. I used to love show's like this, so I don't know if I've changed or what, but this show really bothers me. I've had such good hospital experiences, I thought all the stuff you read about hospitals not supporting natural births and pushing women towards c-sections was exaggeration, but this hospital reallys seems to fit all those sterotypes. Out of 12 births I watched there was 1 natural birth. The nurse assisting the woman having the natural birth was super rude to her the whole time, after saying she was supportive of natural birth. She was constantly having run-in's with the doula. She kept implying that if the mother didn't stay in bed with the monitors on all the time, something terrible was going to happen to the baby. She also suggested an internal monitor, even though there was nothing wrong, I didn't really believe those were used except in emergencies. They kepts showing the nurses rolling their eyes and looking annoyed at her vocalizing during contractions. Each episode had a c-section, and to be honest I didn't really think any of them seemed particularly medically neccessary. So out of 12 births there were 4 c-sections, 1 vaccuum delivery and 1 natural birth, and even that birth was an induction. I know these numbers probably follow the national averages, but that seems really depressing to me somehow. Also, all the c-sections were on African American women, I'm really not sure what that's about.

Anyway, I guess I'm not really sure what my point is. I'm very supportive of women having whatever birth experience they want, but I guess I just really didn't like the way this show portrayed birth, and everyone seemed so uneducated, and honestly watching all these women coming in in no pain at all, and getting all hooked up to their epidurals and then sitting their chatting for their whole labor seemed so strange. They made also made all the births so dramatic, and medical, you got the impression if the dr.'s and nurses, and interventions weren't there, all the mothers and babies would have died.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2007
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 2:38pm

I hadn't thought of the show in that way. I see it as entertainment, rather than as educational. They probably chose the women/families they chose because they were interesting for entertainment value. I do think the numbers you quoted are pretty close to national average. I know in the DC area, the rate of c-sections is terribly high, maybe even up to 1 in 3. I also know very few women who didn't have an epidural during a vaginal birth, so I imagine those numbers are pretty high too. As for the drama, you have to remember it's a tv show and even if there isn't real drama, they're going to make some drama out of it to make it interesting to viewers.

As far as my birth experience, I had to have a c-section with the twins cause one of them was breech. That one c-section where the doctor was on top of the table pushing the baby out of the incision is NOT typical. My c-section surgery itself was no where near that dramatic, although Liam wasn't breathing when he came out so there was about 30 seconds of panic until he cried for the first time. I was actually jealous of the last c-section mom who got to hold her baby on the way out of the operating room to go to recovery. I wasn't able to hold my twins until 14 hours (yup, 14 hours!) after they were born cause they had to go to special care right away.

I would be interested in seeing some VBAC births on the show. I know the NIH statement didn't come out until just last year, so maybe these were taped before this hospital was VBAC friendly (or maybe they still aren't). I really have hardly any BTDT moms around me who have had VBAC, except for my MIL and hers were all over 25 years ago.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 4:05pm
They must have exported the show to the US, as it's been running here for a while. So obviously I've not watched the American version, but I love watching the show here! Like Kate, I see it more as entertainment.
In regards to what they show though: they film in just one hospital, and though they do edit to make it more dramatic, it portrays things pretty much the way they are. So over here that means you see mainly midwives as Drs are only called in emergencies; the midwives encourage women to try an active labour and better positions ( though lots of them still just lie on their backs like pancakes) and try to avoid epidurals.
The women/ couples shown are mostly chavs though, I guess this is because they get paid to get filmed giving birth ( because quite frankly, who in their right mind would want a camera team in the delivery suite??). So that would distort the statistics slightly. A lot of them are very uneducated when it comes to giving birth and basically just jump straight onto the bed and expect baby to just pop out. So the midwives are the actual stars of the show IMHO as it can be observed how hard they work and how important their influence is.
I'd be very curious to watch the US version - do you think it does not reflect reality at all?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 4:20pm
I guess I don't know if it reflects reality or not. It is definitely nothing like my hospital experiences, but maybe that just has to do with the region of the country I live in, or the hospital's I've delivered at, I'm not sure. I think you would be able to watch the US version on hulu if you're interested. I'd be interested to know how it compares to the British version. I'm kind of curious about other people's experiences though, because I certainly never felt like people were irritated with me for trying to have natural birth, and no one threatened c-section when my labor was long, or when I had been pushing a long time, but that's definitely how things were portrayed on the show.

I know the show isn't necessarily meant to be educational, but still people are hugely effected by the media and what they see on TV, so I feel like portraying birth in such a dramatic scary way could be very detrimental to women's views of the process. I know TV likes to dramatize things, but I feel like birth stories are interesting enough on their own, you don't have exaggerate things and try to make it seem life threatening. I've watched other birth shows like a baby story etc, and I didn't get as negative a feeling from them, but maybe that's just because I hadn't had any kids yet, and so I didn't really know what to expect, IDK...
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2003
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 7:17pm
I turned it off after a few minutes- I found it very distasteful, and exactly how I hoped the birth experience -wasn't- in the U.S..

I'm glad that you can confirm that not all women deliver in hospitals like this Grace as I would find that so sad and depressing. I'm glad your experience was so different !!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2008
Fri, 02-25-2011 - 7:50pm
I've watched this show and thought a lot was not right. The nurses I would slap half of them! They were so not supportive of the natural birth. Also seem to push the epi births. Also some seemed like the women were comfortable and at a 9 and then talked them into a epi?!?!? UGH! Not cool. I know I will most likely be fighting during my labor hence one of the reasons I hired a doula! Need someone to back me up!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2002
Sat, 02-26-2011 - 12:02pm
I am not a BTDT yet and have not seen the show, but I had just set my DVR to record next week's episode. After reading this, I am not sure if I want to watch it anymore. I am extremely happy with my midwife team and I am sure that they will advocate for me and be patient and not push an epi. However, I really do think the general population is so, IMHO, out of whack. I can't tell you how many people recently that have asked if I'm getting an epidural and when I told them I would really like to not have one they just laugh at me. I find that just awful. I don't understand why women think it is so absurd to want a more natural experience. To each her own, of course, but please be supportive of me or keep your mouth shut when I tell you my wishes rather than just completely and openly doubting me! KWIM?
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001
Sun, 02-27-2011 - 3:34pm

I haven't seen the show, but unfortunately, the stereotypes do have their moments of truth. My first birth experience was a lot like the one you described from the show. Rude nurse, lots of threats about potentially "harming the baby," a seemingly pro-natural birth hospital and OB turned completely on

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Sun, 02-27-2011 - 11:11pm

I'm not sure how many episodes have aired in the US so far but I watched what I believe were the first two. I found it even more irritating than watching 'A Baby Story' on TLC. That nurse in the natural birth episode was so rude to that couple and their doula! And I agree that just like any other "reality" show, it's edited for entertainment factor.

As some of you may remember, I was planning for a waterbirth at home with Selin and ended up switching to a hospital MW at 31 weeks. Everyone in our family was against a homebirth,

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2007
Thu, 03-03-2011 - 3:30pm

I've never seen the show, and I haven't wanted to because friends have described to me how anti-natural labor it is, and since I'm planning a natural labor, I don't need that kind of negativity in my head at 29 weeks pregnant. What you described does mirror my hospital experience somewhat.

I had a scheduled "post-term" induction and they assured me they would keep my Pit as low as possible to let my body do most of the work, but the nurse came in to up it every hour without even checking how dilated I was first. They were all very kind and gentle and definitely not rude like the nurse you described, but I did feel pain meds being pushed upon me. I asked the OB not to perform an episiotomy unless it was absolutely necessary and to tell me first, and she didn't tell me when she did perform one and didn't try any measures to avoid one.

It really wasn't a horrific experience, other than Ry's NICU stay, but I don't think I realized how much power had been taken away from DH and me until much, much later.

wttg
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Thu, 03-03-2011 - 4:26pm
I definitely wouldn't recommend watching the show during pregnancy if your going for a natural birth in a hospital. Prior to having David I tried to surround myself with only positive birth stories and experiences, and really focused my mind on the natural, beautiful thing that birth is. I think that really helped me in my labor, the right mindset can make all the difference. I highly recommend the book "Adventures in Natural Childbirth." I read it twice while I was pregnant with David, and the range of positive birth storied was really encouraging.
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