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Did anybody catch the new TV series ‘Out of My Depth’?  It featured Amanda Holden ‘training’ to be a midwife and was another programme that needed lots of cushions thrown at it.

The basic premise is this:

Amanda Holden trains with student midwives. After a month of intensive on-the-job training, her mentor must decide if Amanda has learnt enough to join the delivery room team.

Oh, well… five whole weeks?  That’s Ok then.  Who knew you could be trained to be a midwife in only five weeks?  Probably only if you have a camera crew trailing along. 

A pregnant woman actually volunteered to have Amanda as her ‘lead’ (haha) midwife.  I can only assume that the side effects of this decision were not laid out clearly.  (the side effects unfolded for us all to see)

How did her birth go?  Cue image of woman lying on the bed screaming in agony, cut to midwife outside in the corridor “she’s asked for an epidural, which I think is the best decision.  She’s lost control and this will help her gain back that control”.  Next, image of Amanda Holden zooming to hospital in her chauffer-driven Merc fresh from an overnight flight back from ‘work commitments’ in the US.

Oh, how could anything possibly go wrong, you may be wondering.  What a fantastic, supportive, empowering set up.  Surely this is a normal birth waiting to happen.

Despite screaming in agony without a single helpful idea from the midwife for managing her labour (i.e. stand up, move around, have a bath, have a massage, relax, GET RID OF THE FECKING CAMERA CREW!!!) the woman did get to 8cm dilated before Amanda Holden got on the scene.

Then she was given her epidural and the baby’s heart rate dropped and didn’t recover.  Amanda Holden and camera crew then took up full-time residence in the birth room (as opposed to intermittant filming of screaming) and what on earth do you think happened then?

The woman’s very clever body sussed out that all was not right.  There were strange people in the room and thousands, if not millions, of people were watching.  She stopped dilating.  Totally understandable reaction to 1. an epidural and 2. a celebrity and camera crew suddenly appearing.

What happened?  Did her midwife act as her advocate?  Boot out the camera crew and Amanda?  Close the blinds, start massage and put on some soothing music?  Of course not!  She was wheeled off to theatre and given a very graphic ventouse – all captured on film (of course).

Why oh why do we think it’s Ok to mess with birth like this?  What an experience for that woman, what a lesson to learn for all pregnant or young women watching, what a welcome for that baby.

Sometimes…. I despair.

 

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