For those of you who didn’t get to see the full video of the NHS Leicester Trust’s anti-teen pregnancy campaign, it’s online again.
The video has continually been labelled at “gory” and “graphic.” The only thing graphic about the video is that it shows a human being in pain being humiliated and ogled by others. The staged birth of what appears to be a posterior baby is in itself far from graphic.
As I wrote on Birth Activist, many women experience psychologically and emotionally traumatic births for reasons such as inadequate emotional support, a fearful birth space, a birth space full of strangers or care providers who resort to humiliation or bullying to gain compliance. In other words, the feelings that some women experience in a hospital would mimic the presumed feelings of this teenager giving birth while taunted by schoolmates.
The provocative nature of the campaign is not the big issue for me. I would like to think that we could do right by the next generation of mothers by not perpetuating the inaccurate media meme of childbirth as a terrifying, humiliating and inherently shocking event.
It doesn’t have to be.
Here is what birth CAN be… and is for many women: