Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why Midwives Need to be on YouTube

According to this morning’s New York Times, there’s a new childbirth educator on the loose—YouTube. On the same Web site that broadcasts cute kittens, teenage pranks, and music videos, women are perusing for footage of real, unedited birth experiences.

In the article, professor Eugene Declercq of Boston University gives an interesting explanation as to what may be behind this emerging trend. He says that women used to regularly see sisters and neighbors give birth, but ever since birth moved into the hospital in the late 19th century, views of real birth are not so accessible.

So, is there a downside to unfettered access to birth videos online? In the article, ACNM Senior Practice Advisor Eileen Ehudin Beard, CNM, cautions that while it’s advantageous for women to be well informed as they prepare to experience childbirth, videos of complicated or difficult births could lead to an unhealthy fear of giving birth.

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