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Just Because Some Babies are “Born in the Wild” Doesn’t Mean We Need to Watch

Born in the WildOnce upon a time, some woman gave birth in nature (a natural birth; get it?). Of course plenty of women have given birth in nature and/or naturally, but the aforementioned one woman had it filmed, and that film, Birth in Nature: Natural Birth, was shown on YouTube, where more than 20 million people have now watched it.

Twenty million anything is a lot, but 20 million pairs of eyes on a single video? The makers of reality TV started feeling all kinds of urges to procreate more of the same type of television. You know, because money. Which is why the Lifetime network is now the proud parent of a new reality show, Born in the Wild. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will chronicle “pregnant women giving birth outdoors, unassisted by doctors.”

A press release for the show reads, in part: “What happens when the craziest experience of a woman’s life becomes truly wild, and soon-to-be parents decide to take on an unassisted birth in the outdoors? Born in the Wild will document the journeys of young, expectant parents who have chosen to give birth ‘in the wild.’”

Born in the wild, surrounded by a reality TV crew. Just like it’s been for hundreds of years.

Never mind that it has the potential to be grossly unsanitary. Or that, God forbid, the mom or baby need medical intervention and there’s no cell service or ambulance nearby (presumably someone on the TV crew will have a satellite phone and/or a medical helicopter standing by — you know, for insurance reasons, just like it’s been for hundreds of years).

I’m all for reality TV. Give me Tori Spelling exploiting her young children and any shreds of a private life and decency. Give me the Real Housewives of any city getting hammered on camera while comparing diamonds and pulling out each other’s weaves. I love it.

Watching babies being born on TV? Maybe I’d watch it if PBS did it, sure. But Lifetime? In the woods? The thing is that maybe there are women who actually want to give birth in nature because they’re genuinely just that spiritual. Maybe we do compulsively over-medicate births in our country. I guarantee you, however, that the women most inclined to give birth deep in some remote part of the woods on purpose would want nothing to do with this show. That would be like appearing as a contestant on The Bachelor because you actually think you might find love. Not. Going. To. Happen. Those are the kinds of women who are more likely to think being born in the wild means forgoing a bikini wax before being wheeled into the delivery room.

Maybe Lifetime will have lightning in a bottle with this show. But just know that any money the moms make for giving birth on camera in the woods will be going directly to their children’s future psychotherapy bills. Because you know there will be many of them.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her regular column on the op-ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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