The Unrealistic Portrayal Of Childbirth On TV


Before experiencing childbirth, have you ever just watched a childbirth scene on TV and then begin fearing the process of giving birth? Well, you’re not the only one! Many young or teenage girls have watched dramatic childbirth scenes from dramas and swore they never want to give birth. Once you’ve gone through the process yourself, you’d know what it’s like. So the question of the day is, “Is the portrayal of childbirth on media realistic?”

Overdramatic childbirth scenes on TV

I’m sure we all know by now how a childbirth scene goes when watching a TV series or movie. What we usually see are typical childbirth scenes including drama, near-miss disasters, caesarean sections and flashing blue lights.

All of this only adds to the notion that childbirth is risky, painful and dramatic. The way that childbirth is being portrayed in media, though only aims to entertain, may lead first-time mothers to anxiety and fear of the birth process.



Fear in childbirth

As a result of the overdramatic childbirth scenes from TV series or movies, inexperienced girls and women tend to fear childbirth. According to a study conducted in Canada, people whose perceptions have been influenced by media has a greater amount of fear in childbirth.

It is something very relatable as I remember myself as a child, watching a childbirth scene on TV for the first time, I was terrified with what I witnessed. Right after the scene ended, I turned to my mother and said, “Mum, I don’t want to get pregnant when I’m older.”

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The response that I’ll get from her is always, “Don’t be fooled by the TV, silly! Giving birth in real life is hardly as dramatic as that, trust me.” Despite hearing that, I’ll still be scared of it nevertheless. This shows just how powerful the influence of media can be.


Childbirth in real life

Unlike what we usually see in dramas or movies, pregnancy and labour are long drawn out. Most of the childbirth is slow and uneventful involving a lot of waiting for labour to progress. This makes childbirth boring for visual media like TV.

Even my mother used to tell me, “It isn’t as scary as you imagine it to be. You may be afraid now, but once you’re in the situation, the only thing you would want is to be over with the process as quick as possible. Besides, you’ll be too numb and overwhelmed to feel any pain by then. All your attention and energy will go to focusing on pushing your baby out, or if you’re giving birth by C-section, you won’t even feel any pain at all.”

With that being said, you really shouldn’t fear and believe what you see on TV too much. Being a little afraid for labour is normal but too much anxiety is not good for you and your baby. Even if you’re scared, you’ll have to face it anyway when the baby comes, so be strong!

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