Perhaps you watched some traumatizing birth videos in your high school biology class and now you feel you’re set for life. Or perhaps you’re preparing to deliver your first baby and you feel completely unprepared for what’s to come.
In that case, videos of birth might be an informative, useful way to get ready.
Where can I find birth videos to prepare for labor?
Look, I get it. Birth videos isn’t exactly a thing you want to randomly browse on YouTube. Heaven only knows what you might inadvertently stumble upon in the wasteland that is an internet search.
So I’ve curated a list of helpful resources for you!
Check out TLC’s A Baby Story.
Depending on your age, you may remember the hit series on TLC that ran from 1998-2010. More than just birth, this series documented the course of a single pregnancy all the way through delivery. The episodes included interviews, doctor’s appointments, and of course, the main event — baby’s birth.
While the show is no longer running, you can still watch episodes on YouTube. You can find one playlist here, for example, that includes episodes for nine different babies/families.
Some have criticized the series for packaging the entire labor and delivery process into a neat, 30-minute episode. After all, many women spend many hours, if not days, in the early stages of labor. Still, the show was pretty revolutionary for its time.
The births in these videos will give you a far more realistic look at childbirth than the Hollywood stereotypes (which usually bear little resemblance to the real thing).
Baby Center also has a library of birth videos.
The library of birth videos on BabyCenter’s website is pretty extensive. Many expectant moms may find it helpful that, unlike A Baby Story’s, BabyCenter has categorized their videos clearly.
You can browse birth videos for c-section births, natural births, epidural births — even a birth using hypnobirthing.
There’s also a series of videos that expectant moms can use as a virtual childbirth class. Given the logistics (and cost!) involved with in-person childbirth classes, this is a nice feature.
Your delivery hospital may have birth videos to share.
The hospital where you plan to deliver your baby may also have birth videos available. This is especially true in light of all the pandemic-related changes many hospitals made over the past few years. Definitely check out what your specific hospital offers on their website or dedicated YouTube channel.
If your hospital doesn’t offer birth videos or what to expect videos, you can check out this one from the University of California. It breaks down a lot of the changes from the typical birth process that hospitals have implemented since the start of the pandemic.
Or you can just roll the dice with YouTube.
There’s certainly no shortage of birth videos available on YouTube. A category within the results says “from health sources,” so you can limit your viewing to videos that are likely to be medically reviewed and contain accurate information.
Or, if you’re feeling brave and perhaps a tad adventurous, there are millions of uploads of random home videos of birth and birth vlogs from everyday people. I am neither brave nor adventurous, so I haven’t reviewed any of those on your behalf.
Of course, there’s just no telling what you’re going to get with those, so view them at your own risk!