7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth

7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth

Ah, the wonder of childbirth – and the sometimes not so wonderful nine months that precede it. Fortunately, TV teaches us many things, and I am not talking about the real medical documentaries! No, I am talking about the many scripted dramas and comedies, and what they teach us! Here are
7 things I have learned!

1. Induction By Disaster

7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth
Forget about dropping atmospheric pressure to induce labor – what you really need is a good old fashioned disaster! In the aptly named Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Disaster,” Keiko O’Brien goes into labor during a crisis that also has her cut off from the rest of the ship. Hilarity ensues as Worf is forced to deliver her baby.

My tip – if you are ever near a very pregnant woman on a space ship, put in for a transfer! As a corollary if you are ever near a Klingon during the end of your pregnancy, run away! Otherwise you might hear, “Congratulations. You are fully dilated to ten centimeters. You may now give birth.”

2. Untrained Assistance

7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth
This actually parallels item 1, in that usually the pregnant woman is trapped somewhere with no access to a real doctor and whoever is around must deliver the baby. In the case of the Eureka episode “You Don’t Know Jack,” Carter’s teen daughter Zoe delivers the baby, despite Carter being present. I would think he is better qualified since he is a sheriff, and police officers are trained for emergency births.

In Falling Skies, while there is a doctor, she is a pediatrician, and when the inevitable complications arise – the baby is breech – Weaver, the head of the militia, steps in! He actually had more experience with childbirth than the pediatrician, having assisted in the birth of his first daughter, who was also breech.

3. Beautiful Newborns

7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth
Has anyone ever witnessed a real birth – or experienced one for that matter? Newborn babies are covered in amniotic fluid and their skin is all wrinkly. except on TV, where they emerge all nice and clean and plump. And, get a gander at their size – feel very, very sorry for those TV mothers. Can you say *OUCH*? Chief Vick’s baby on Psych is a great example of this. There was an added bonus of Lassiter ending up her labor coach, and his facial expressions were priceless!

4. Dumb Dads

7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth
Devon on Chuck, aka Captain Awesome, was anything but when Ellie became pregnant. He turned into a blithering idiot, actually. Without the steadying influence of Ellie, well, I shudder to think what would have happened. He finally redeemed himself when he held his baby daughter and called her awesome, but prior to that, he was a total buffoon.

In fact, any men that seem to be around a pregnant woman, or one giving birth, unless they are doctors (uh oh, Devon *is* a doctor!) exhibit this idiot like behavior.

5. Look Fabulous


Allison on Eureka, Ellie on Chuck, and Chief Vick on Psych – what do these women have in common? They all look great! In fact, I’m willing to bet they did not even get stretch marks or the numerous other pregnancy related side effects. All you mothers out there know what I’m talking about!

How many of you, during your first trimester, experienced the joy of morning sickness? Or, during your final trimester lay naked with a fan blowing on you to cool off – especially if it was the summer time? Now picture these ladies experiencing any of that. No, I can’t either!

6. Fast and Easy

7 Things TV Teaches Us About Pregnancy and Childbirth
Forget what you hear from your friends or family about labor lasting 24 hours or more.

Just have your baby on TV, where it can be over with and done in 25 minutes or less. When Allison Blake has her baby, the countdown clock is ticking, so we have a pretty good idea of how long it was from the time she first told Carter she was in labor until the baby is born – and 25 minutes is about right.

And, while there is always yelling and grimacing, it is usually played for laughs. Before you know it, the baby has been born and everyone is all smiles. No muss, no fuss! When my children were born, I tried the natural, breathing method. until the pain was so bad I would have sold my soul to have it over with. I opted for pain relief, something else you will not see on TV. But, then, I guess as quickly as the babies are born, there is really no time to ask for analgesics!

7. Random Stranger


If I lived in the land of TV, I would not let my doctor out of my sight the last two weeks before the baby was due. Otherwise, I might end up like so many women on TV, having my baby delivered by a totally random stranger.

Consider the episode “Brief Candle” of Stargate: SG-1, where Dr. Daniel Jackson (no, not *that* kind of doctor) delivers a baby shortly after arriving on a new planet. Despite claiming he delivered a baby before, while on a dig in Mexico, he also qualifies under the category of untrained delivery assistance. And he was a total stranger to the parents.

A slight twist on this was in the classic Star Trek episode, “Friday’s Child,” where Dr. McCoy was with the mother-to-be to deliver her baby, but she was very hostile to him, and he was for the most part a stranger, having only met earlier in the episode.

So, there you have it, all the things I have learned from TV about pregnancy and childbirth. Have you learned anything from TV that I neglected to mention? If so, please comment below – I would love to hear what other lessons are out there for us!