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Is it a good idea to watch 'One Born Every Minute'?

(24 Posts)
Cattleprod Fri 12-Aug-11 08:28:28

When I was pregnant with DS I watched a load of mainly American birth programmes and found they were a pretty good way of preparing me for birth. They were mainly straightforward births and the few that weren't (babies taken to scbu etc) I was able to watch in a very matter-of-fact way because as a naive first timer I couldn't relate to the emotional aspects of it all.

Three years later I'm 6 months pregnant and would like to prepare myself for birth in a similar way. In those 3 years I've had a physically traumatic mc which has left me feeling more anxious and vulnerable about pregnancy in general, and reading too much mumsnet and the sad stories it contains has increased my awareness of things that can go wrong. I think watching some births would help me to 'normalise' the process again so when I go into labour I won't be so scared and anxious.

I have never seen One Born Every Minute. I've heard it makes people cry, but is that in a good or bad way? Before I start watching a few episodes, I'd really like someone who has seen it to tell me if it will help me or scare me even more! If it shows a variety of 'normal' births, including c-sections, forceps etc then that's fine, but if it contains really traumatic stuff such as stillbirths, pph, mothers being treated in intensive care, premature newborns fighting for life etc., then perhaps I would be better off sticking to re-runs of the American programmes.

Should I watch it or not?


StarlightMcKenzie Fri 12-Aug-11 08:31:47

It mostly made me want to throw things at the television tbh.

NLurkerispackingforholiday Fri 12-Aug-11 08:32:15

There was one episode about neonatal care that I think you could avoid but mostly it was very positive. I cried every episode but that was because birth is an amazing, amazing thing and when you see a woman labouring and you cheer her on and then suddenly there is a baby there - WOW! Tears all round.
I don't remember anything really bad happening although there were a few episodes with crash c-sections etc. There was one woman who had had a stillbirth previously and obviously that was a very emotional labour but otherwise ok I think.

dizzy77 Fri 12-Aug-11 08:48:55

I did find OBEM a good "preparation" for my first birth 12 weeks ago - particularly watching it with DH so we both saw broadly what we might expect. Watching it since I gave birth (well, you know, late nights/early morning etc) has been a slightly different experience: more points of reference and familiarity AND a bit more emotional as my empathy glands have been even more primed by my experience. I've always been a crier, I've usually started by the end of the opening credits!

That said, I had a very straightforward time of it in retrospect. Whilst they do have interesting cases on OBEM, most couples have some kind of special health/emotional angle so it might be worth checking the precis on 4OD in case you'd prefer not to watch something that chimes too closely with your experience. I can also only think of one episode (with some triplets) where there was some ambiguity around the positivity of the outcome (but I think I might just be reading too much into that).

icravecheese Fri 12-Aug-11 08:53:39

I would say i'm virtually obsessed with watching it!! Partly because one of our children was very poorly several yrs ago & spent alot of time in Southampton General (its filmed at the maternity hospital over the road) & so we recognise lots of the staff / consultants etc! But also because, like NLurker says, its SO uplifting watching someone have a baby. I blub at every single birth... even my husband wells up!

Having said that, I also watched an episode of One Born every minute USA the other night.... DON'T go near that one!! But the UK one is lovely. They have never shown a birth that doesn't end up with a 'happy ending', if you know what I mean...

Cattleprod Fri 12-Aug-11 09:07:45

It sounds like it should be ok then. smile

How is the USA version different Cheese? Do they show 'unhappy endings' too, or is it just more graphic in general?

anniroc Fri 12-Aug-11 09:23:51

The USA version of OBEM is dreadful! Epidurals are portrayed as pretty much the norm, no other method of pain relief is shown (not that I can remember ever seeing anyway) and people that say they want a 'natural' birth are portrayed as hippy nutjobs! Avoid!

slowshow Fri 12-Aug-11 09:27:12

I definitely think you should. It really gives you an idea of the sort of care you're likely to get from the NHS (good or bad). American births don't seem to be anything like the UK - most people have epidurals, everyone gives birth flat on their backs in stirrups, coached pushing, doctors delivering the baby in riot gear, etc etc grin

whizzyrocket Fri 12-Aug-11 09:29:19

It is only happy endings even if the babies need care afterwards (which they only show rarely)... they do seem to manage to find some highly unusual people to "star" in it though... or is that just my impression??

PussInConverse Fri 12-Aug-11 09:32:54

I watched it in the lead up to dd's birth and found it really helpful in terms of what happens and what to expect. Following her birth, I can no longer watch it - makes me feel sick and frightened. Not sure why, as I had a good birth experience.

Sargesaweyes Fri 12-Aug-11 09:56:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeeBopBunny Fri 12-Aug-11 09:56:38

I agree with those above - the UK ones are good, all happy endings and informative. The USA ones are awful - intervention seems to be the norm, and the programmes are overly dramatic, and the nurses and midwives seem to spend all their time whizzing down the corridors in wheelchairs and generally acting the fool.

icravecheese Fri 12-Aug-11 10:38:54

the US version makes me feel slightly sea sick - all over dramatic / flashing from the mothers concerned face to the fathers to the midwife and back again in about 5 seconds flat / terrible voice over saying things like 'is Brianne EVER going to give birth to her baby?' etc etc. VERY melodramatic!!

The UK version is just fab - even the lovely music makes me tearful!! God, my hormones must be wild! I believe the UK OBEM won a Bafta award last yr too.

Crosshair Fri 12-Aug-11 12:09:26

I've watched them while thinking about ttc. Found the UK version very interesting with a happy feel.

I think there all still available to watch on 4od.

BestNameEver Fri 12-Aug-11 12:22:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

figgygal Fri 12-Aug-11 13:30:57

ive been horrified by the idea of pregnancy and childbirth for as long as i can rememeber and forced myself to watch it once and then became hooked i have found it so interesting and educational i would definitely recommend it.

Has also helped DH get to terms with what he will have to do i.e not sit and eat chips while i am in labour and therefore want to kill him.

lolajane2009 Fri 12-Aug-11 13:36:19

Desperate Midwifes when it is on Really is always a good bet too. It makes me cry even though OBEM doesnt.

NoobyNoob Fri 12-Aug-11 17:42:09

I watched the whole series when I was pregnant with my first son, I really enjoyed it.

I too was scared at the prospect of pushing a small human out of my vagaina! I forced myself to watch it and it helped me to realise that it has to come out one way or the other!

I'm pg with my second now, and could do with some re-runs!

Cattleprod Fri 12-Aug-11 17:59:22

I'm in England (thankfully, if your descriptions of American births are accurate), although DS's birth was stirrups and forceps job, with no epidural!

Is 4od the best place to watch them, or does anyone know if they are being repeated on any of the sky channels at the moment?

Will try Desperate Midwives too, although will be avoiding 'Babies in Danger' or whatever the scary programme that I flicked past the other day was called!!

Mum2be79 Fri 12-Aug-11 18:18:35

I found the series more educational and realistic than the American version on More 4 and the birth stories shown on Discovery Health.

I think the British versions of labour, deliveries and births (so many - baby Tales, Home Births, Mum + One, One Born Every Minute etc, etc) showed how things are in this country whereas in America everything seemed planned (everyone knew their induced due date, c sections and 9 times out of 10 they all got an epidural as a 'matter of course').

Apparently they are filming in Leeds next as some people on Mumsnet have been approached to be on it.

Flisspaps Fri 12-Aug-11 18:34:44

Definitely watch the English one. The first series was on when I was due to have DD (and still on after). Far more positive than American birth shows and give you a much better idea of what to expect.

lolajane2009 Fri 12-Aug-11 19:57:10

you can watch it on youtube too

rarebreed Fri 12-Aug-11 21:19:36

here you go 4OD

Am due in 5 weeks with DC2 so might re-watch them myself. smile

Skillbo Fri 12-Aug-11 22:40:08

Am due at Christmas, live in Southampton and due to DD's birth will definitely be on the labour ward - here's hoping they don't repeat the Xmas special as don't think I could handle that. Mind you, if they pay a big wedge....?

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