One Born Every Minute
Want to Video Tape Your Birth? Read This First.
You may be thinking about videotaping your birth. I always enjoy watching myself in the labor room and hearing my thoughts and actions prior to giving birth. But as far as I was concerned, keep the camera out of the hot spot, please. The last thing I wanted was a zoom-in shot of my baby coming out of my hoo ha. No. Thank. You.
I mean, then, who else is going to watch this video anyway. Is that really the video that you want to throw on for your parents, in-laws and close friends when they come by to visit? “Hey Dad, check out the close up of me pushing a watermelon out of a pea-sized hole!”—not exactly must-see TV.
When I was pregnant, I barely wanted to watch the videos of other people’s births that come on TV or they show you in childbirth class. I figured that if I knew everything that was going on down there and had the visual to go with it, there was a good chance I’d chicken out, freak out or pass out. And by the way, where do they find these women who volunteer for such footage? My sense of obligation to educate humanity on the realities of childbirth is not that strong. And quite frankly, if God wanted women to see it all, he would have given us some sort of Go-Go Inspector Gadget extendable neck option, so we could crank up a few extra inches of vertebrae just to check it all out. But he didn’t. He kept the real action far, far away from our view. And I take that as a divine sign. Now, your husband, boyfriend or baby daddy—he should see it all (see caveat below). Let him stomach the view. That’s the price they pay for getting the easier end of this pregnancy business.
All jokes aside, the decision is a very personal one and yours to decide. If you do decide to video tape, the question is usually how much to tape. And since you’ll be busy doing other things, you need to make sure your wishes and director’s notes are known wayyyy ahead of time. Many husbands get this wrong. Getting the side view shot of the doctor pulling the baby out, umbilical cord and all—priceless. Getting that shot from the angle of right behind the doctor’s shoulders, well….maybe not so much. But again, it’s your call.
Also ladies, I have to tell you, as your trusted girlfriend, that you should think long and hard about how much of the actual birth you want your husband to see up close. I know many a men who (too) closely witnessed the birth and never (and I mean never) could see that area in the same sexual way again. I’m just saying.
As for the nuts and bolts of videotaping, you should definitely make sure both your doctor and the hospital allow it. Talk to your doctor at one of your prenatal visits not in the delivery room. Some hospitals allow taping during labor and after delivery but not during the actual birth. Hospitals have been sued for malpractice during childbirth and videos have successfully been used in those cases, which has prompted many to stop allowing taping.
If you are planning to video tape your birth, this is probably not a job for your husband or partner. You will need him to be focused on you and not the video camera. In order to allow your coach to focus on you, it’s best to have someone else work the camera, if possible. Consider asking a friend or family member that would be willing to do the job. But remember, this is someone you are comfortable with, since he or she will be present for your labor and birth. Also:
- Bring extra batteries and at least two video tapes, one for the birth and one for later.
- When the baby is born, take the tape out of the camera and store it in a safe place. Cameras get lost or stolen. Video accidentally gets deleted or taped over and is lost forever. Don’t let this happen to you.
And speaking of video tape -- don't forget to watch Lifetime's unscripted series "One Born Every Minute" Tuesdays at 10pm et/pt.