Home Delivery

Tweeting while watching Home Delivery on ITV1 last night, I was expecting the shocked responses. There are people would actually choose to birth at home over going in for the works at hospital?

Because, you know, hospital is so much safer. Hopefully, if they continued to watch it, the programme has whet their appetites to learn more. Home Delivery is a positive homebirth series that views like a healthy antidote to the at times terrifying One Born Every Minute.

What surprised me was the flurry of tweets horrified that a woman was letting her eight-year-old son see her give birth. The worry was that he would be traumatised. Some called it “wrong”.

It was strange to me that these viewers didn’t seem concerned that it would upset him to see his mother in pain so much as adamant that he shouldn’t see his mother’s vagina.

What’s the problem here, though? The act of giving birth is not sexual. Body parts are capable of diverse functions. Even ears can be sexual organs. An eight-year-old is old enough to cope with the context in which he sees his mother’s naked body.

Certainly, many eight-year-olds know something about sex by then. Why shouldn’t they get a healthy view of women’s bodies by observing a birth?

I loved that the son was just chilling out with an iPad, manning the camera for a bit, then checking in on his mum in the birth pool.

What an amazing way for a family to welcome a new baby.

Over to you – would you or wouldn’t you have an older sibling at your baby’s birth?


5 Comments

  1. March 22, 2013 / 10:28 am

    If we are ever lucky enough to have another baby I will be planning to have another home birth – having Littler at home (admittedly unplanned) I think made it easier for Bigger. I have clear memories of my mother in hospital having given birth to my younger sister and being confused as to why she was taken away from me and hurt by it (and in some ways blaming the new baby)

    Whether an older child should be there or not will depend on the timing, the child and everything else – but being able to curl up in bed shortly afterwards, with your whole family together is very special
    Muddling Along recently posted..5 lovely things – still not spring…

  2. Mum2BabyInsomniac
    March 22, 2013 / 11:09 am

    Well as you know I am planning a home birth and depending on the time will quite possibly have Iyla running around too so I think it is fab! I really enjoyed last nights programme and it has made me feel really positive again. I accidentally watched a programme with lots of hospital births the other night and it freaked me out. I don’t think there is anything wrong with an 8 year old boy watching, I’m fact I bet he grows up to have a better understanding of women’s bodies than most 8 year old boys! It’s natural and not something that should be hidden away in a hospital. I have started preparing Iyla by telling her that I will be making lots of noises! Xx
    Mum2BabyInsomniac recently posted..Felt Play Food

  3. Michelle
    March 22, 2013 / 1:12 pm

    I watched this last night and really enjoyed the show. When it got to the bit with the son watching his Mum I wondered how he was going to cope/react. In fact, as the midwife explained, to him it was all perfectly natural and not ‘weird’. It was clear that it was better for all the family that he was around. He got to see an amazing event, learnt a lot and in between could just chill out and carry on as normal – he also added a bit of normality to proceedings. The entire programme showed how childbirth needn’t be a major drama. Even when there was drama at the end the midwife and the parents kept so calm. A great show.
    Michelle recently posted..Review: Travelodge’s new family room

  4. Helen (and Bethany)
    March 22, 2013 / 1:42 pm

    In the idealised world in my head I wanted my older daughter (who had just turned 3) there for Bethany’s home birth and it would all be beautiful and serene. As my husband pointed out though, because I didn’t want anyone else there to help, he wouldn’t B able to give me his full attention and he knew I’d need that. In the end it was great: my oldest gave me a big kiss in between contractions as I knelt in the birth pool, before she joyously went off on a ‘special holiday’ with her grandparents at 4am (!) and I was able to almost break Jon’s fingers as he looked after me and then Bethany when she arrived. The 3 of us got to know each other in a calm of home before the 3 year old whirlwind returned to meet her baby sister. Considering the loud mooing noises I made in labour I was also glad she wasn’t there to worry about me, as she’s a very sensitive soul and I’m not sure I could have made her understand that Mummy was going to be ok in the end. If she had been older we may have done things differently, but I’m totally content with the decisions we made, and the home birth we were lucky enough to have.

  5. Purplemum
    March 22, 2013 / 8:23 pm

    My son was around in the early part of my second labour and cracked us up by asking “why is Mummy making cow noises?”.

    I intended for them to be present for my home birth with my third labour. However it all kicked off at night and they were in bed fast asleep throughout.

    I think birth and breastfeeding should be normalised for our children and what better way to do that than to make it part of normal life.
    Purplemum recently posted..Tantrums

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