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Top 5 Totally Unrealistic Movie Birth scenes

Cue the cringing!

By babbleeditors |

None of us need a repeat of the crowning glory that was Knocked Up, but hopefully it will inspire future filmmakers to at least make the birth scene less contrived, if not anatomically correct. Five that represent the extreme of the silver screen.

- April Peveteaux

  • Look Who’s Talking, 1989

    Highlight of birth scene: weird plastic doll sees tracers after mom is dosed with pain meds. But somehow watching the whole thing in French makes it more palpable:

  • She’s Having a Baby, 1988

    Apparently in 1988 breech babies were life-threatening and husbands were still getting kicked out of the delivery room.

  • Rosemary’s Baby, 1968

    One would think it might be much more painful spawning the son of Satan.

  • Freddy Got Fingered, 2001

    Tom Green delivers a baby in thirty-eight seconds then bites off the umbilical cord. A lack of hilarity ensues.

  • Nine Months, 1995

    In which we witness the “full moon” factor, video camera antics by husbands behaving badly and synchronized cervix dilation.

Any terrible movie birth scenes you can’t help but cringe at?

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The Bugle is a new blog dedicated to providing updates on the exciting goings-on at Babble — new launches, new contributors and members of the team, changes in policy, hairstyle, milestones, and other noteworthy scuttlebutt.

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22 thoughts on “Top 5 Totally Unrealistic Movie Birth scenes

  1. RedPanda says:

    Mad About You when Jamie and Paul decide they need to have a chit-chat and kiss. Who the hell has time for that when your vagina is stretched to the max and you are tired.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This makes me never want to give birth! Ah!!!!

  3. NM says:

    Are there any movies/tv shows with realistic birth scenes? I have yet to see one.

  4. RedKitten says:

    I’ve never seen one either. Their water always breaks right away, in this giant splat. Their contractions are always perfectly regular right from the get-go. They never take longer than a couple of hours before they’re at 10cm. They all only push for about 10 seconds, and boom, the baby’s out.

    It’s bizarre how common childbirth is, and yet we STILL can’t get a realistic depiction of what it’s like.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We also never see safe sex in movies….has anyone noticed that?

  6. Mel says:

    “Knocked Up” has the most realistic one I’ve seen. But it’s still Hollywood.

  7. Kelly says:

    Dr. T and the Women – a terrible Richard Gere movie (even though hes still gorgeous) the last scene, he gets swooped up in a tornado, tossed around and winds up in some random poor village. he proceeds to be accosted by screaming women, dragged into this shabby house and delivers this random woman’s baby. the last scene hes holding the newborn and laughing his head off. – disturbing to say the least

  8. Anonymous says:

    Pretty much any birth on ER. I was always grateful to my mother for constantly telling me that real birth was not like what we saw on TV. I have passed that on to my daughters and I hope they will eventually do the same.

  9. Kitty says:

    Someone said “they only push for about 10 seconds” and that made me laugh. Do you really want to watch a movie with a more realistic 5 hour birth scene? Methinks not.

  10. brokemom says:

    lol Red Kitten! That *is* how my labor with all three of my children went! Maybe I should go write for Hollywood…

  11. brokemom says:

    ok, 10 seconds was an exaggeration. It was more like 5 minutes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How long did everyone else push? Mine was about 10 minutes. Is that normal?

  13. Anonymous says:

    To be fair to She’s Having a Baby, he was most likely kicked out because she had a c-section with general anesthesia. They always kick out the partner if the mom has to be put completely under, which is indicated when they removed the mask from her face. Also, if the baby’s head really was stuck? Big emergency. Most breech births actually do go okay, though.

    They had to create the dramatic tension of Kevin Bacon’s character thinking he’d lost both of them. He was a pretty big a$$ in most of the film, so it took a giant smack upside the head to get him to realize what he almost lost. They couldn’t do that with a splash-pant-pant-push-push-waaahhh Hollywood style birth.

  14. Rhena says:

    Jim and Pam’s birth in The Office wasn’t too bad, I don’t think. There were certain things that didn’t seem to ring true to me — but mostly it had to do with how conservative the health care system was and that hasn’t been my experience. Pam labored for a long time at the office and her water broke before going in and there wasn’t any crazed running around by mother and hospital staff.

  15. Meredith says:

    Love it! – but I have to say “She’s Having a Baby” can happen and did to me. Last year my daughter was born breech and I had an emergency cesarian. Everything had to happen fast and they did not allow my husband in the surgery. A blood vessel burst in my uterus and I hemorrhaged badly. Almost died but fortunately I’m still here with a bright and beautiful girl. Still a good post.

  16. Stephanie says:

    I have to say hollywood is VERY unrealistic. I was in labor for 26 hours, and 4 of those were pushing. It was TERRIBLE. I had no pain medication, I had to pee every 5 minutes, I was crying hysterically, and screaming that I couldn’t push anymore. Yeah…awesome. Come to find out the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and under his shoulder.

    It’s a messy, loud, embarrassing, crazy and yet beautiful process that not even hollywood could capture. It’s too unique of an experience. I guess that’s why I had three kids. :)

  17. Rebekah Hungerford says:

    I think knocked up was terrible. I have seen two births up close.
    one was natural and the other was with pain meds
    and no ones vagina looks that good when having a baby come out of it!

  18. Kathy FlorCruz says:

    My actual favorite birth scene was from Monty Pythons “The Meaning of Life”. It show the absurdity of a hospital birth, complete with the much needed to impress the hospital billing dept -the “Machine that goes PING!” It was a parody, but in real life, NOT-& the ridiculousness of the machine of birth in hospitals depicted perfectly…& shows several reasons why after my first hospital birth disaster, why I had my next 2 babies at home. A Ten pound baby & Breech birth included!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I thought “Children of Men” had a very realistic birth scene.

  20. anonymous says:

    I hate how most movie and TV births start with water breaking and rushing to the hospital. I was impressed with the new 90210 actually showing an emergency C-section but became completely unimpressed when they showed that same mom, like 3 hours later, up out of bed and walking around the hospital

  21. Anonymous says:

    The birth scenes in “Children of Men” and from “Moll Flanders” are the most realistic i’ve seen. Funny how both are UC…

  22. sweetpea88 says:

    What gets me is that in so many movie births the mothers are always screaming and throwing things. When I had my babies I was dead silent. Which is unusual for me.

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