I’m not going to lie, I love a bit of Corrie, in fact there’s not much that I prefer more than a TV dinner, a cup of tea and a bit of Corrie and last night was no exception….Except last night’s viewing left me feeling a little confused. At points I wanted to laugh – in fact I did laugh and at other times, I just thought….No….Yet again, we get to see the journey of a new baby being brought into the world and we have to see the drama, the straining, the pushing, the agony, the abuse of the innocent bystanders and I couldn’t help but think to myself… How many pregnant women or pregnant women to be are going to watch this episode and think to themselves what in store for me?
Unless you work with a childbirth educator who is able to inform you, of how and why these repetitive images and stories, from the shows we know and love, can negatively impact your labour, you have very little, if any awareness of why for perhaps for just this one episode, it might be better to switch over. It’s these passively absorbed messages from the TV, alongside the stories from well-meaning friends and family, that define our conscious expectation of birth and perhaps more importantly tell our subconscious that birth is something to be fearful of…I’m mean look at Kylie, that seriously scary!
I fully understand that Kylie’s experience is representative of many women’s childbirth experience and I also appreciate that watching a woman breathe her baby down, smiling, talking and barely breaking a sweat, doesn’t make the best TV in terms of drama. But I can’t help but wonder, if we started seeing more women using and talking about calm and comfortable births on shows like Corrie and within wider popular culture – Duchess of Cambridge I still salute you – maybe we’d begin to change the cultural expectation of what childbirth can be like. There is definitely another way and it shouldn’t be a secret!