YouTube + Childbirth = Oh my…

In an effort to prepare my brain for birth (I don’t visualize very well, which you can read here), I have been watching birth videos on YouTube.  Now, don’t scold me, I realize that this isn’t the most ideal way to educate myself about labor and delivery.  I even feel bad for watching some of these because all I can think is even if these women didn’t feel the need to protect their privacy, I should at least respect their privacy by not watching.  But, I watch anyway.  In my defense, I would like to point several things out: 1.) I’m not squeamish, not even a little bit, 2.) again, my brain can’t visualize unless it has something real it can recall, and 3.) I have never seen a woman give birth, including myself.

How many times have you seen a woman give birth?  I’m not talking about a quick shot of a mother’s face as she is pushing in a fictional situation such as on TV or in a movie.  I’m talking about the real deal, the nitty-gritty, blood and fluids and exclamations of pain, a baby is coming out of that lady’s formerly tiny orifice labor and delivery type birth.  Before a few weeks ago, I had never seen a birth that showed anything below the waist.  Now, before all the pregnant women reading this go to YouTube and start watching, I have a few more things to say about what I have learned through this process.  Hopefully my trial and error process will benefit someone.

1. Be prepared to see poop.  What else do I need to say about that?

2. Look for the type of birth you want to have.  I just searched for birth and started watching the first result.  I then watched the next, and the next, and the next result.  All of these that I watched had one thing in common that I have no desire to emulate–every woman was pushing her little heart out laying flat on her back.  I want to use gravity to my advantage, especially when it comes time for the baby to descend and come out!  Lord only knows if I will still feel this way when the time comes, but I wanted to see how delivery would work in a different position.  So, I changed my search to natural birth to see what I would find.  Boy, I tell you what, I found some stuff alright!  But, moving on…

3. Good luck getting your husband/partner to watch with you!  I was determined that my husband needs to watch these videos, too, so he could prepare to help me with labor and delivery.  He hates reading, he doesn’t want me to read to him, and we won’t be taking any classes.  What other option is left?  I figured I would educate him visually!  Yeah, that isn’t going to happen.  He made it about 15 seconds in before turning pale, making some indiscernible exclamation combined with a gagging sound, then turning his back to the screen.

4. Make this watching process part of an overall goal.  It made it less awful to watch with a goal in mind.  My goal was to keep watching until I could watch the entire delivery process without clenching my jaw.  If I can’t even watch someone else and remain relaxed, how the heck am I supposed to go through it and try to relax certain parts of my body to help with labor and delivery?  If I could reach my goal of being relaxed while watching someone else deliver a baby, then maybe all hope isn’t lost.

5. After seeing the nitty-gritty details of a delivery, find a video that shows someone going through a calm, purposeful labor.  Watching just the last 10 or 15 minutes of birth, the most intense part, really is only a small part of the entire process.  I found a video that was nice and calm and very helpful.  It was a mother laboring at home with her eighth child.  She doesn’t speak during the 30+ minute video, but she has edited the video adding text to explain certain parts that is very helpful.  Here is the link in case anyone else is interested in watching.

I will keep preparing for birth intellectually as well as physically.  I hope that my husband can get there emotionally so he can get there intellectually as well.  If I come across anything helpful in my preparations, I will share with everyone.

Next on my labor and delivery list is writing a list of the things that I fear the most.  Thanks a lot, Janet Balaskas (I’m reading Active Birth right now), for the nudge to explore my feelings, because I just love exploring my feelings (psst, that is sarcasm).


25 Replies to “YouTube + Childbirth = Oh my…”

  1. I did this with my last birth. Seeing as the birth before that was 8 years prior and youtube wasn’t much of a thing.(if it even was). I enjoyed seeing all the different types of birth because it gave me an idea of what I could and couldn’t handle.

    I always joke that if giving birth was an Olympic Sport I would get gold. It is one of the few physical activities I’m actually good at!

      1. My first birth was a c-section too. My biggest piece of advice is remember that you are the one in charge. If you’re not comfortable with something don’t allow it to be done,but also try to keep an open mind about what you want. Things don’t always go as planned(as it sounds like you already know.) Sounds like you’re doing a good job preparing yourself!

  2. I took child development class in highschool. We watched 7 videos of births showing all different types. Most of the women appeared to be from the 70s though- very hairy! Scared the crap out me so bad I graduated a virgin. I don’t think I can watch them again. I know it’s going to happen one way or the other so I don’t want to freak myself out again.

    1. Oh man, there is no way I could have made it through a birth video as an adolescent! But now I feel like it’s a must watch to be confident in the process and my body. I know several women have said they can’t watch them without bawling and mini panic attacks. Bottom line I guess we all cope and prepare differently.

      1. Maybe start with just watching labor and skip the delivery portion to see how it goes. The link to the video in my post is just labor if you want to give it a shot. Good luck to you! You’ll know what to do!

  3. Birth Skills by JuJu Sandarin is a great read and sounds like it’s in line with your thinking and approach 🙂 I made my goal ‘Do Not Panic’ and, after a calm labor, ended up with a beautiful baby, as well as a huge sense of empowerment and accomplishment, even if things didn’t precisely go to the birth plan (but then, whatever does go to plan?).

  4. I did that with my last pregnancy and DH did watch a couple of the videos (and DH was horrified by them and happy that I had a c section instead). I had been to 4 home births in the past and none seemed quite as horrific as some of the flat on the back births. If I ever do get to birth naturally, I can almost guarantee that I will NOT be on my back if at all possible!!!

    1. Home births must be much more common where you are. That is pretty cool you have seen some births in person!

      I feel the same way about it! It seems so much worse when they are pushing laying on their back. Fingers crossed that isn’t us!

      1. Not too common really but my mom had most of her babies at home. She has a few friends who had home births but I don’t know anyone in my age group who has birthed at home. I would be scared to death personally but I do think it is a good, calm, relaxed environment.

      2. If I didn’t have an issue with birth goo in my home and if my insurance would pay for a midwife, then I would definitely think about it. I’m a little too far from a good hospital (1 hour, to be precise) so I did think about a birth center birth, but again my insurance won’t cover any of it.

  5. I’m due March 5th and have been doing things to prepare myself as well, including watching youtube videos. The ones that I’ve watched (mostly home births) have been incredibly helpful for easing my anxiety. I ball my eyes out every time the baby is born!! lol

    1. Congratulations! I’m due March 23rd, so just a couple of weeks later!

      Have you found any that stand out in your mind as what you want for your birth experience? I teared up the first couple of births and every time the mother is crying and happy I tear up again. Ridiculous hormones! 😉

      1. I’m registered at a birth centre (as in no drugs available), so I watched a lot of natural home births which show mostly just the mothers face. I don’t need to see all the nitty gritty. What stood out to me in all the ones I watched is that yes, there’s pain (to be expected) but the worst pain comes at the end. Some woman handled it quietly while others screamed, but you know, that last bit of excruciating pain only lasts a minute or so. And then the baby is out and it’s so beautiful and so worth it and it’s in that moment that I feel in every cell of my being that I can do this. And that I cry 🙂

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