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Giving Birth “In the Wild” and on Television! Lifetime Series

June 20, 2014

Want to go give birth outside unattended? Want to have a video record of it? Maybe you could be on Lifetime’s new series, Born in the Wild. I don’t know what bothers people more, that women might not need medical intervention to give birth or that it happens outdoors. People!  Don’t you all know that women have to have doctors to have babies??? Have you no sense of propriety?

A Lifetime exec says the network has set out to document something people are already doing. It’s not as if “we’re dropping people in the woods and saying ‘go have the baby,'” he says. “These are all people who have already had babies in hospitals who had unsatisfying experiences and who are choosing to have different experiences.” AtSalon, Mary Elizabeth Williams isn’t impressed by the “completely insane” concept or by Lifetime’s press release describing childbirth as the “craziest experience” of a woman’s life. “I’m not going to get whipped up over whether a woman wants to give birth in a hospital or a swimming pool or on a pile of leaves, but I do find the premise of having an entire film crew around to document and televise the experience does somewhat undercut the whole ‘in the wild’ thing a bit,” she writes. “And I definitely find Lifetime’s branding of childbirth as an insistently ‘crazy’ event spectacularly offensive.”

Outdoors? Sans doctors? Surely we are reverting to cave men? Or wait, women? Or caves? How could we survive? Hmm, maybe most of us did. The last 50 years have nothing on humanity’s history, right? Never mind that these women don’t want to have babies in hospitals. Never mind that childbirth is an inherently risky event and the US has one of the highest rates of childbirth complications and lowest rates of fetal maternal health in developed countries as it is. Who knows, maybe childbirth in the wild will improve things. After all, from where we are now, the US can only go up.

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