Should You Videotape Your Birth?
ANSWER: The birth of a child is a historical event of great magnitude for any family. Like weddings, video documentation can capture the emotional richness of this meaningful rite of passage for generations to come.
Unlike weddings, childbirth also involves heightened pain as well as pleasure. And there is the specter of the unknown, and a life and death drama inherent in the unfolding process of childbirth that is absent from a scheduled ritual.
Still, much can be gained from capturing this event on videotape, if you are prepared and willing to adapt to mother nature as she unravels one of life's greatest mysteries.
Start by reflecting on your feelings about being "on camera" during labor and childbirth. Many women report anxiety about "performing" for others, once the labor begins. Pressure to look or act in a manner that would inhibit your working through your contractions would be detrimental.
If you are generally uninhibited about your body and easily express yourself without self consciousness, you may feel at ease with an unobtrusive videotaping. If you are a very private person, you may find that having a camera in your birthing room causes tension which can interfere with your coping, and even the flow of labor.
What to consider if you are planning to videotape your childbirth:
If you decide that videotaping is for you, by all means do so with the commitment to yourself that you will steer clear of any pressure from others that the show must go on. Mother nature is at work here, but if we are humble, it is possible to capture a glimpse of her raw beauty and power.
Gayle Peterson, MSSW, LCSW, PhD is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She trains professionals in her prenatal counseling model and is the author of An Easier Childbirth, Birthing Normally and her latest book, Making Healthy Families. Her articles on family relationships appear in professional journals and she is an oft-quoted expert in popular magazines such as Woman's Day, Mothering and Parenting. . She also serves on the advisory board for Fit Pregnancy Magazine.
Dr. Gayle Peterson has written family columns for ParentsPlace.com, igrandparents.com, the Bay Area's Parents Press newspaper and the Sierra Foothill's Family Post. She has also hosted a live radio show, "Ask Dr. Gayle" on www.ivillage.com, answering questions on family relationships and parenting. Dr. Peterson has appeared on numerous radio and television interviews including Canadian broadcast as a family and communications expert in the twelve part documentary "Baby's Best Chance". She is former clinical director of the Holistic Health Program at John F. Kennedy University in Northern California and adjunct faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. A national public speaker on women's issues and family development, Gayle Peterson practices psychotherapy in Oakland, California and Nevada City, California. She also offers an online certification training program in Prenatal Counseling and Birth Hypnosis. Gayle and is a wife, mother of two adult children and a proud grandmother of three lively boys and one sparkling granddaughter..
Copyright 1996-2003. Gayle Peterson All rights reserved.