Most people watch a live birth video twice in their life: once during sexual health class in middle school, and another time when they themselves are a future parent. Two very different viewing experiences. While you may have protected your eyes in naive embarrassment or horror when you were a mere tween, you most likely dutifully nailed your eyes to the screen if you expected to stick your own baby out in the coming weeks. Either way, birth videos should be viewed for future parents. And not just a video of the birth you plan to have – whether it’s a Cesarean section, vaginal birth, unmediated birth or home birth – but also the one that can unfold if plans need to change, which they often do. Watching a series of birth videos is definitely not the same as a casual Netflix binge. But doing so will inform you about various procedures that may come into play and help you feel as well prepared as possible to go in so that you can be there for your partner.
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Live birth videos are different from most Hollywood depictions or medical explanations of birth. Birth videos keep it real. They offers an uncensored view of what it’s really like to be in the delivery room, as if you were there with them. They provide details on who is doing what at birth, how long it can take from the first contraction to the last push, as well as the complications that may arise. These real birth videos provide clarity on, for example, the role of nurses, doulas and midwives, how much pain relief a hot bath really provides and how long a cesarean section usually takes. With so many fears centered around the unknown, watching birth videos can help parents visualize and prepare for the big day.
We have collected some of the best live birth videos, featuring hospital births, home births, C-section births, vaginal births, natural births, water births, and more. Some contain voice recordings of doctors guiding viewers through the steps of delivery. Others simply show the details of a baby being born. Everyone offers clarity on the subject. Look.
A Planned Unmediated Hospital Birth Video
In this live birth video, a mother delivers her third child without an epidural in a hospital, a type of delivery that is relatively uncommon. Although statistics vary by location, approximately 71 percent of women who gave birth vaginally in U.S. hospitals in 2015 received an epidural. This birth video starts at home, where you see the mother giving birth and watching her contractions. It follows her to the hospital, where she is taken to triage and has her cervix checked for dilation before being admitted. During childbirth, while she is pushing, you hear the doctor instruct her to calm down to prevent her from tearing. Once the baby’s shoulders are out, mother reaches out and pulls her baby out with her hands. The video ends with the doctor explaining all her decisions.
A forceps assisted vaginal delivery birth video
Seaweed can come into play when a vaginal delivery reaches the push stage and no progress is made, or the health of parent or baby is at risk. The forceps-like tool helps guide the baby out of the birth canal. This video gives details of the process, showing a first time mom with long labor who is struggling to expand. In this birth video, after days of labor, the mother opts for an epidural. As she pushes, the baby’s heart rate drops, and the doctor decides that the baby should be born as soon as possible. Because the baby is at risk, the doctor performs an episiotomy, instead of waiting for the mother to ejaculate the baby, which can take hours, make a surgical incision in the vagina and pull the baby out with forceps.
An Unmediated Home Water Birth Video
For some women, the idea of giving birth in a hot tub or pool in one’s own home sounds like the most comforting route to go. Although the americans College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says immersing in the early stages of labor in water can reduce the length of labor, giving birth in water has not been well researched and should be considered experimental. When you think of a home birth, this video gives a good idea of its pros and cons. The mother in the video is going to give birth at home, call the midwife and give birth in the bath. At one point, her toddler even joins her. But without medication, she screams and growls at certain points of pain. She finally gives birth to the baby hands-four-feet, and the bath water gets dark. Then the mother cuts the cord, the bath is drained, the baby is weighed with a slingshot, and the mother recovers in bed.
An induction-twisted C-section birth video
In this video, a mother goes to the hospital to be induced for pregnancy and finally gets a cesarean section. This can happen if labor is not progressing or if the baby is in distress. You see the mother receiving Pitocin, the remedy used to start labor, and then taking a break from the Pitocin as the baby’s heart rate drops. She then uses a peanut ball, which is placed between her legs to help open the pelvis and promote dilation. Once he’s in the operating room, Dad looks over the curtain to see how the baby is born. Although it was not planned, it was not an emergency caesarean section, so the atmosphere is relatively calm.
A mediated vaginal hospital birth video
In this video, an OBGYN medical context provides a video of a medical vaginal hospital giving birth to a couple’s first child. This is a good introduction to medicinal vaginal hospital birth, as dr. Danielle Jones explains why those in labor are taken to triage before being admitted, why patients have to lean over during an epidural, for which exercise is pushed, and why those in labor sometimes vomit. This particular video, in which the first labor has progressed fairly quickly, shows first-hand what it is like to wait for dilation when mothers choose an epidural and are not in pain.
A scheduled C-section birth video
Over 30 percent of babies born in the US are born via C-section. Some are scheduled, but other times doctors and patients decide that a C-section is the best option in the middle of labor. And sometimes emergency caesarean section has to be performed for the immediate health of the baby or pregnant person. In this case, the parents arrive at the hospital early in the morning for a scheduled caesarean section. Since the birth was recent, the couple is selected for COVID-19 before the mother is connected to monitors and given an IV. The video shows dad dressing in scrubs while mom is being taken and prepared for surgery. Later, he meets her in the operating room, where the surgery began, and he takes a seat at her head. When the baby is born, doctors show the parents through a clear screen. Then mother is driven into a recovery room.
An unplanned, unmediated hospital birth video
This is an example of an unmediated birth in which labor progressed rapidly, and mother arrived at the hospital too late to have an epidural. This can happen if the pregnant person arrives at the hospital completely dilated and ready to push. Because an epidural can take half an hour to take effect (assuming the anesthetist is available immediately), in some cases it is faster to give birth than to wait. Especially since labor after the first pregnancy tends to progress faster. The mother, who had previously given birth, brings the baby down into the triage room because there is no time to move. This video is hard to watch, but it illustrates how fast childbirth can progress in parents who have previously given birth.
A surrogate birth video
For parents who are unable or unwilling to conceive themselves, surrogates provide an opportunity to have a child who is genetically related to them. Surrogates are hired by parents to conceive through insemination or IVF, and they give birth to the baby but do not raise the baby as a parent. In this vaginal birth video, you see a woman toiling and eventually delivering a baby boy while his dad watches. Afterwards, nurses measure the baby’s head and listen to his heartbeat, and then give it to his father to do skin-to-skin.
A vaginal twin birth video
Although vaginal births of twins are rare – approx. 75 percent of twins born in the US are born via C-section – twins can in some cases be safely born vaginally. Here a mother with preeclampsia gets an epidural, the doctor breaks her water, and then she gets oxygen. Mom is quickly taken to the delivery room and gives birth to the first twin with only a few growls and no screams, and then gives birth to the second twin shortly thereafter. After the babies are cleaned, mom holds one twin while dad holds the other, then everyone gets skin-to-skin time.