Dear Hospitals, Why The Labor Videos, Brah?


Dear Blue,

We just finished our childcare classes this week. For four weeks, we’ve been hoofing it down to the hospital every Monday to learn how to feed, clothe, change and deliver you. I learned so many terms I didn’t know existed, such as nipple confusion and meconium, and wouldn’t you know it? They showed a video about labor.

All throughout the room, the mothers transfixed themselves in horror, caught in the terrible hypnotic gaze of dilation in 1080p. Good Lord, Blue…birth is beautiful in its concept, but in the execution it is one of the most gruesome things I’ve ever seen. For the first time, I understood the terror your mother feels at this prospect.

The point of the video was to show how the partner is supposed to support the mother, but the whole time, I was thinking, really? Why do we need to see this?

I see it like this. Imagine you’re walking down the street. As you cross an alley, you see a sign that says “Muggers! Beware! Do not go down this alley!” Above the sign, there is a short video clip playing that shows a mugger stabbing someone with a knife. All right, I’m convinced. I’m not going down that alley. Thanks for the warning. And the visual sealed the deal. Facebook like.

Now, imagine, there is no sign. Or perhaps you don’t see it. You walk down the alley. Then, a mugger appears. You know what’s going to happen, but instead of things just happening as they were meant to happen, the sign pops up and the video plays again. You see a guy getting stabbed just before the mugger stabs you. Was that helpful? Did it ease the pain of being stabbed? Did it make it any more bearable?

No. It did not.

The same goes with labor videos. Completely useless in a pregnancy class. Show them in the previews before a horror movie.



Oh! One more thing for all the readers out there. We now have a facebook page.

Like it, por favor! And thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “Dear Hospitals, Why The Labor Videos, Brah?

  1. Totally. There is no other medical situation where they say, “Here, watch this video of how it’s going to go first – you’ll be so much more prepared.” I don’t need that kind of preparation – isn’t that what doctors are for? I chose not to watch that video at pre-natal classes, myself.

    A live birth video was part of sex-ed when I was 12. It wasn’t abstinence-only style sex-ed, but I’d imagine it was a lot more effective. It was a good long while before I was willing to try anything that would have any chance of causing that. And when I did, I was pretty damned obsessive about birth control.

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