A lot of pregnant women (and fathers-to-be too), benefit from watching a birth video. These videos can show you what to expect during labor and delivery. Some women find that childbirth videos help give them a sense of control and confidence as they approach childbirth - after they've seen with their own eyes what's involved, they feel they can handle it. But this isn't the case for everyone. Other women find that birth videos, and graphic birth videos in particular, exacerbate some of their existing anxieties about giving birth, and can actually add to their pregnancy stress. It's up to you to decide which end of this spectrum you're on. If you are so anxious about giving birth that it's extremely difficult for you to watch a birth video, then you might want to discuss your worries with your doctor - he or she may recommend that you speak to a midwife or a counselor, to help put your mind at ease.
If you simply do not want to watch a birth video, that's ok too, as long as you consult with your doctor and prepare yourself for giving birth in other ways (i.e. by taking a childbirth course, by reading about childbirth and by discussing your preferences for childbirth with you partner and your midwife). Perhaps looking at some birth pictures, rather than a live birth video, would be ok for you.
Finding Birth Videos
Birth videos are all over the internet. Some of them are homemade, non-professional live birth videos, whereas others have been produced precisely for the purpose of educating pregnant women and their partners about labor and delivery.
Live Birth Videos
If you Google birth videos, you'll soon find plenty of the homemade birth videos mentioned above. When we say "homemade" remember that some of them have been put together and edited with sound etc., at a very professional level, but have been filmed by eager fathers in the delivery room, and then uploaded to the net.
You'll find videos of this kind for all types of births, water birth videos, homebirth videos and unassisted birth videos. Watching these videos can be a great way to prepare for giving birth, but you should bear in mind the following....
These giving birth videos can be rather graphic, depending on the angle at which the camera was placed. They can be extremely informative, but they are generally not structured in such as way as to gently introduce the topic and explain what's going on. There may be little or no voice over or text on screen explaining which stage of labor the woman is in. There may also be little or no sound editing, which means that the woman's cries of pain of discomfort may be audible. For these reasons, it may be advisable (especially if this is your first pregnancy) to check out a professionally produced educational birth video before browsing the net for homemade birth videos.
Online Educational Birth Videos
There are numerous websites on the net that have lots of childbirth videos made specifically to educate Moms and Dads. These videos will often be broken up into segments, with the text description beside them to explain which stage of labor the video covers, and roughly what you will see when you hit play. In these videos, you may hear the voices of the midwife and doctors as they give instructions or encouragement to the laboring woman. Such videos are made to show fathers how they can support their partners during childbirth too. In these types of videos you'll hear the father speaking to his partner as she gives birth and the camera will focus on him as he comforts and encourages her.
Birth Videos And Children
If you are planning to have your children present at the birth of a new member of the family, then watching a birth video with your kids may be a good way of preparing them for the experience. It may also reveal whether or not your child is really ready to be there when you give birth. Obviously, you have to be very careful about which birth video you show to your child - watch it yourself first and then make your decision as the person who knows your child best. Don't forget that there are plenty of books on pregnancy and childbirth written especially for children. A book like this might be a better place to start.