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5 Realistic Childbirth Scenes From Movies

By Monica Bielanko |

Is this so hard to realistically replicate?

A few months ago Nichole Beaudry listed her favorite pregnancy movies.  She did a good job covering the best movies about pregnancy over the past couple decades so I decided to use her post as a jumping off point to nail down the best childbirth scenes in American cinema.

It was harder than I thought.

Here is what I find fairly shocking. Of the hundreds and hundreds of movies made, there are precious few realistic birthing scenes.  Not only that, but it’s tough to find a scene depicting childbirth that isn’t the usual vaginal birth.  I found one c-section and no water births or anything like that.

Am I missing something?

Even the movie scenes I have listed below aren’t exactly realistic. Is this because women aren’t making a majority of the movies?  Does birth have to be ridiculously silly (9 Months) or uber gory (Dr. T and the Women) in movies? I mean, I’m not looking for a ten hour labor scene or anything, just a really cool birthing scene that doesn’t depict the men bumbling around like idiots while the women turn into screaming nutcases.

Is that so hard to direct?

Anyway, here are 5 childbirth scenes from movies that didn’t make me roll my eyes.  After you watch them go read this awesome article Ceridwen Morris wrote on How Movies And Medicine Mess With Our Ideas About Birth. What she writes is important for any pregnant woman to keep in mind.

Am I missing any that you like? Leave a comment!

For Keeps
Doctor: [after the baby's birth] Stan, would you like to cut the cord?
Stan: Isn’t there someone a little more qualified?

She’s Having A Baby

Source: Homebirth: A Midwife’s Mutiny

Knocked Up

I’m sorry, but that kid looks about four months old.


Juno MacGuff: Ow, ow, f**kity-ow! Bren, when do I get that spinal tap thing?
Bren: It’s called a spinal block. And you can’t have it yet, honey. The doctor said you’re not dilated enough.
Juno MacGuff: You mean I have to wait for it to get worse? Why can’t they just give it to me now?
Bren: Well, honey, doctors are sadists who like to play God and watch lesser people scream…
[Juno lets out painful scream, Brenda checks her watch]
Bren: Sh*t.
[to doctor]
Bren: Hey, can we get my kid the damn spinal tap already?

Children of Men 2006

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About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “5 Realistic Childbirth Scenes From Movies

  1. Sarah says:

    There is a water birth in The Back Up Plan…looks pretty realistic to me…but I dont have any kids…sorry :) Good to know these are the most true to reality.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Juno was my favorite :)

  3. Barbara says:

    Cold Feet (a british series) has a pretty realistic one as well (from my very non-expert point of view, of course):

  4. amy says:

    there was some movie I watched a long time ago about a woman who lived in the woods back in pioneer times. her husband was away or dead or something, so she had to give birth to her child all alone. she made a harness out of sheets and hooked it up to the foot of her bed so that it would hold her up while doing a squatting style birth. I remember thinking “neat! I bet it’s way easier that way!”

    wish I could remember that movie! does it ring a bell for anyone?

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