Ah, the miracle of childbirth. We’ve all seen pregnancy, labor, and childbirth depicted countless times in television and movies… and if you believed every movie/TV depiction of childbirth, you’d think that most babies were born in taxis.
While some depictions of childbirth on screen have a grain of truth to them, plenty get so many things wrong they would leave any mom scratching her head and shouting at the screen, “THAT IS NOT HOW THINGS HAPPEN!”
Here are a few memorable moments that got labor and childbirth – well, not exactly right.
Way back in the 1980s, there was a show called V (which stood for Visitor, not Vagina!) Spoiler alert for a show that aired decades ago, but the visitors? They were ALIENS. And some humans had… relations with them. And one of them gave birth to a baby, and it turned out to be… AN ALIEN LIZARD BABY. To be honest, I could not actually watch this scene again in its entirety because it traumatized me the first time I saw it. But I can tell you this: People don’t give birth to alien lizard babies.
This charming movie was released in 2001, and the birth of Amelie is shown taking place…quite rapidly. Conception starts at 1:18 when sperm meets egg, and birth happens at 1:31. If only pregnancy and birth took 13 seconds!
Phoebe is surprised when her regular doctor isn’t available (uhhh, at the OB/GYN practice I went to while pregnant, they had me see all the doctors because any one of them might deliver my baby); she prepares to give birth vaginally to triplets (a planned C-section would have been more likely, no?); and she says her first contraction is “not that bad” (although things do quickly progress).
When Alison goes into labor, she calls her doctor — and like Phoebe, she is shocked that her regular doctor can’t deliver her baby. Do people think that OB/GYNs are total slackers who are always on vacation? Or that they should all be on call 24/7? Would you really want a doctor who never slept to deliver your baby, anyway?!
In an episode of the new TV series Modern Love, Maggie goes into labor while painting (well, the nesting thing is accurate!) — and then, at the hospital, she hallucinates that her doorman is there encouraging her. This is unrealistic, because most New York City doormen do not even actually open the door all the way for you, let alone show up at your hospital, and the looks they give most people are not encouraging.
Angie’s water breaks, signaling that she’s gone into labor, and she is rushed to the hospital. Water breaking is a common movie/TV signal that a woman is going into labor. But in real life, only 15% of women have their water break before labor begins.
Your labor and delivery will probably not be accompanied by a charming indie-rock soundtrack full of jaunty acoustic songs. But, I mean, if you prepare a good playlist in advance…it could be? I did not have it nearly together enough to curate a special playlist for the birth of my child. He was born to the sounds of hospital machinery, and I considered that his introduction to industrial music.
Look Who’s Talking
I’m sorry, but neither newborns nor fetuses can actually talk. Nor do they have opinions. Despite what some conservatives believe.