Looking back on the first birth I think I was a bit apprehensive but watched anyway. I recall Trish being more interested in watching them. This changed for me for our second pregnancy – I was more interested in watching than before. I felt pretty knowledgeable by the third birth, but we did watch the video of our second birth with the kids.
That’s not to say that I’m up for watching everything – I’m uncomfortable with watching a c-section because I’m squeamish about watching surgery. Considering the c-section rate in the US is 32%, maybe watching a video of a birth by c-section is good preparation, to get familiar with the process & surgery room. I still wouldn’t be able to watch the actual cutting of the belly but knowing what else is going on would be wise.
Like the article, I agree that you should do what you are comfortable with, but I would recommend watching some childbirth videos to get familiar with, as the article puts it so nicely, ‘the sights and sounds of birth.’ The problem – as the author also notes – is in the editing of the videos. Labor can be long – our first two were about 20 hours and some labors are longer. There’s no way a video can capture that. Plus some videos show birth in one of two extremes – scary as hell or totally romanticized. The question is whether watching a specific video will make you feel better about birth or freak you out more? Everyone is going to be different about what they want or need to see.
I also agree with the article’s take on ‘good’ videos that show how to cope during contractions. Today, birth videos are accessible via YouTube, which did not exist for our first birth and had just started before our second (just looked it up – the first video was uploaded there in April 2005). It’s pretty cool that this is possible – now I need to go find some good videos on YouTube to share. Looks like I’ll be spending some time surfing on Youtube 🙂
Cool picture by Chez Sugi