Born irresponsibly

I’ll apologize in advance that I’m feeling super-judgey again today. But I keep seeing commercials for this show, and it’s driving me BATSH*T CRAZY.

Have you seen them, for Lifetime’s new series “Born in the Wild?” In case you haven’t, here’s a synopsis:

“In this new series, families take one step beyond homebirth and make the powerful choice to experience childbirth in the great outdoors. No inductions, no epidurals…just expectant mothers facing and giving birth in the arms of Mother Nature. They’ll take on the unique challenges of their natural environment, tackling every obstacle the wilderness can dish out in order to realize their dream of an outdoor birth.”

I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume the scenarios all end up with a living baby, but I can’t confirm that because there is no way in heck I would watch this show and spend money on what is, to me, glorifying one of the most irresponsible things I have ever heard. I mean, if you want to be wild and natural, eat Paleo, schedule a homebirth with a certified and reputable midwife, etc. But why in heaven’s name would you risk your child’s life simply to satisfy some idealistic desire to give birth on the ground in a forest?

I get wanting to de-medicalize pregnancy, to a point. I get wanting to commune with Nature (I love hiking and camping, personally). I get that Lifetime did their “homework” and ensured that all the women featured were low-risk, had given birth before, had hospital transfer plans in place, and that there were medical assistance teams standing by. What I find harmful is that Lifetime is encouraging giving birth in the wild as trendy. They cannot control who sees this show and thinks, wow, this is for me! – and doesn’t have a safe plan in place. Plus, a low-risk mother does not guarantee a safe delivery. It just feels so irresponsible to me, to glorify this as “natural birth.”

What do you think? Am I overreacting?

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9 Responses to Born irresponsibly

  1. argica says:

    I agree with you 100%. We saw the commercial for this show and promised that we would not have a baby out in the woods. I am all about the hospital with a good NICU. What is scary is that these parents just seem so selfish–its all about them. You are bringing a life into this world, you are responsible for someone else and should act like it!

    • babylossmama says:

      That’s exactly it – the baby doesn’t care where it’s born. This is about the parents… who aren’t acting much like parents in their irresponsibility. IMHO.

  2. That is ridiculous. Shame on you lifetime….. You’re right, there is just no telling what could happen when people take it beyond the relatively controlled outdoor environment that is on the show. Interview anyone who has been in that situation real life and ask them if they want to go through it again….. my guess is NO. I too am not knocking the natural approach to birthing, as it can be calming to some (I’m the opposite of nature inspired) but wow. You’re right, perhaps they did not think of the unintended outcomes this show could have.

  3. meghanoc says:

    I havent seen the commercials because I only have internet tv (netflx, hulu, etc), so I did a little research- my big question is, are these unattended births? ie is there a trained birth attendant (midwife, doctor, etc)? From what I could see online is NO! while, as a midwife who practices in a hospital setting, I do support out of hospital birth, like at birth centers and homebirths when guidelines are followed appropriately. There are strict safety guidelines for homebirth (low risk mother, transfer guidelines, trained birth attendant- actually two, one for mom and one for baby, etc)- and if followed they are generally as safe as hospital births. THe couple one article I read profiled stated that the mom was a midwife and the dad was a sheriff so had some medical training. uhhhhh, what good are you as a midwife if you’re hemorrhaging? or if you’re exhausted from birth and your baby isnt breathing? No. not ok. So the premise of the show I personally think is unsafe. It also is glamorizing and sensationalizing these people without any good research behind the scenarios.

    It reminds me of an article I saw on my fb feed many months ago- I get a lot of OB stuff on my feed because of my friends/professional friends. the headline was something like “it’s not all about getting a healthy baby.” I was excited to read an article I thought it was about getting a baby period- healthy or not, that even the unhealthy ones are worth getting. I was disappointed to read that the article was about making sure the mom feels like she was empowered in birth too. As a midwife, I believe in this too- but as a babyloss mom I think ultimately experience is secondary to getting a live baby. how many of us feel robbed of both experience (traumatic birth) and of a baby? I bet a lot.

    • babylossmama says:

      The website says there are “medical attendants” on hand in case something goes wrong, but you don’t see them, so it’s still glamorizing. It’s also weird to me that people who want this “natural” birth are also willing to have it on camera for millions of strangers to watch and be surrounded by a film crew. But I’m just so angry at the concept of this show that I can’t see anything but the hypocrisy and the negatives! I also don’t think that empowering mom and preparing to have a healthy baby need to be mutually exclusive! For me, yes, healthy baby is top priority – but to the extent possible, I want to shape my next birth experience since the first was so traumatic. But never, never, never at the expense of the best option for my baby (prime example: I would love a VBAC, but that could be very dangerous for both me and baby. So, elective C it is).

  4. I completely understand. The positive birth movement over here winds me up. They have the best of intentions – saying that normal (vaginal) birth is best for woman and baby, and that it’s a natural life event. Which yes, it can be. But what about the legions of women for whom that is not possible? The women whose babies die? I totally feel robbed of my pregnancy, and of my birth experience (especially since I was under general anaesthesia). Even the most ‘low risk’ pregnancy can turn out badly. Normalising birth is great, but as others have said, SAFE birth for mum and baby needs to take priority xxx

    • babylossmama says:

      Yep, I feel robbed of those things, too. It’s possible I could get an idyllic pregnancy, but never the birth experience I dreamed of. It’s one of those secondary losses.

  5. megansky says:

    I agree with you..I have very little patience for anything that is being promoted as trendy. And, quite frankly, that show is asking for a lawsuit because despite all the precautions, birth does not always go as planned and if one baby dies or has severe complications, the show will get sued. It just seems stupid, and incidentally, I do not think you are over reacting at all.

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