Why I hate One Born Every Minute

For those of you that aren’t aware, I am the owner of a ‘super womb’ – have a read of Elsa’s 40 minute birth & Rory’s 6 minute birth stories.

I was an avid fan of Channel 4’s ‘One Born Every Minute’ before I had Elsa. I watched pretty much every episode whilst I was pregnant & cried with every baby born on my TV screen. It was like doing research to prepare myself for what was going to happen, but now I realise how fake it can be.

Sure, they show you the horrors of when things don’t quite go to plan & you have to be whisked in for an emergency c-section or assisted delivery (forceps/episiotomy/ventouse); BUT do they show the stitches that the majority of woman have, the problems that can occur if your placenta doesn’t come away properly….does the placenta even exist as i’ve never seen it even mentioned on the program? For me it felt like I was having a whole other baby. Does it show haemorrhaging (WARNING: DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF SQUEAMISH! PHOTO OF OUR EN-SUITE BATHROOM AFTER ELSA’S BIRTH) or post-partum infections? Absolutely not & these are unfortunately all too common. 

The majority of ladies on OBEM give birth lying down on the bed (something i’ve heard from a lot of people & for me personally would have been very uncomfortable compared to letting gravity help you!). I’ve found you are either a screamer or not too…personally I couldn’t have made any more noise if I tried (those poor poor people in that antenatal unit whilst I was in the toilet eeek!!) as Joe likened it to somebody being stabbed multiple times & apparently I reached deafening/supersonic level BUT that’s what was natural TO ME. Labour is extremely personal & individual so i’d say just do what feels right to you as you totally won’t care at the time.

People also seem to hop, skip & jump out of the maternity ward – even the most straightforward birth will not have you doing that! Your body has been through a lot, so you can’t expect to ping back. I remember thinking that after Elsa was born, that i’d have her then that was it…off i’d skip to enjoy my beautiful little family. I didn’t know i’d have to deliver the placenta, or the stitches (I remember asking the paramedic in the ambulance if they’d hurt) or the weeks of having to sit on one bum cheek until it goes numb then move to the other side as sitting down is so uncomfortable. Also the peeing ahhhhh! My tips would be pour luke warm water over yourself as you pee. Also lots of shallow baths with tea tree oil for healing. 


My main problem with the program is something that I struggled with both times & isn’t nice to admit, but I wanted to blog about it, to be as honest as possible, to tell everyone that it does happen & how it doesn’t make you a bad mother. After both births I didn’t that ‘rush of love’, in fact, my first instinct was to get the baby as far away from me as possible. I’m not sure if it was due to the nature of my super speedy births & the shock that a traumatic delivery can bring, but birth is brutal & traumatic no matter how many hypnobirthing classes you take or however ‘to plan’ your birth goes.

Every single episode of One Born Every Minute shows that gooey slimy baby being passed straight over it’s mother with such beauty that it’s hard not to get sucked in, to think that if you don’t shed tears or feel sudden unconditional love then theres something very wrong with you. I didn’t even want to hold my own babies; what kind of a mother was I?

It took me a long time to admit how long it took me to bond with Elsa. I didn’t experience postnatal depression with either babies, but it did take me some time to feel that warm fuzzy rush of love that some people experience immediately. It wasn’t until Elsa was about 6 months old that I looked at her & something overcame me, but I felt like I couldn’t tell a single soul how I felt before that time as I felt like I would have been classed as an unfit mother or been whisked off to the GP for anti-depressants when I was fine. With Rory, the feeling came a lot quicker but still wasn’t instant. 

I remember the health visitor making me fill out the ‘post-natal depression questionnaire’ that’s routine at about 2 weeks after Rory was born. I answered 100% honestly; had I been feeling more tearful or irritable than normal? Have you been feeling anxious? Do you struggle sleeping or feel exhausted? YES, YES & YES, because I have a newborn baby you idiot…I’m not depressed, I’m NORMAL as I haven’t slept in 2 bloody weeks & i’m naturally quite an anxious person. She then told me how I needed to see my GP & continuously called me most days to ‘check on me’.

In all of the above pictures my babies were a few hours old – I had to be persuaded to hold them…that sounds absolutely awful & no doubt i’ll be judged no end but, that’s how I felt.

Being a mother is the worlds hardest job; the first few weeks (i’d say before 12 weeks) are quite frankly absolutely awful. Not only are you recovering from something so savage, you then have a tiny human who screams constantly & seems to suck the life out of you slowly bit by bit. But, it gets easier, so much easier, & eventually you’ll have motherhood down to a tee in a nice little routine with everything under control (until they decide to stir things up just when you think you’ve got it sorted & things like teething/illness kicks in!). Before then, you’ll have multiple times of doubting yourself, thinking that you cant do it anymore; but that is OK.

The hardest part of being a mother is the constant doubt; am I doing a good enough job? Should I be doing this differently? What if this/that happens? How, what, when, where, why? It is all consuming but we learn to cope. We are our own worst critics & I’m sure from an outside perspective you are doing a pretty damn amazing job mumma <3

I wish I could have experienced what I see on every episode, but every birth is different & nothing, including a TV program, is going to change that. 

How did you find OBEM compared to your ‘real life’ situations? I’d love to hear your experiences!

Love, Charlotte x 

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT BELOW – Joe took this picture of our ensuite bathroom where I gave birth to Elsa when we got home from hospital. The stitches after delivery were absolutely HORRIFIC as I suffered one of the worst tears they’d ever seen which required so many stitches it would make anyones eyes water. I lost so much blood that I was rushed in to hospital 2 days postpartum after a midwife check picked up that my body was basically shutting down but being a first time mum I thought feeling that awful was normal. I had to have a huge blood transfusion. I then got a postpartum infection due to retained placenta. Do these very common problems occur on One Born? Absolutely not. 

This photo doesn’t show quite how much blood was everywhere including all up the tiles 



  1. August 26, 2015 / 8:57 am

    Thank you so much for posting this its a very true and honest account of birth. I had my little boy now two years old in two hours perfect water birth but like you didn't feel that rush of love I was expecting that everyone told me I would have when I first held my baby. I felt scared and even when I went to have a shower after birth I didn't rush to get back to him I took ages and just sat and cried. I had stitches and was in so much pain I honestly thought I was the worst mum in the world. But now he is two and tests my patience ALOT but I literally have so much love for him. So glad you posted this 🙂 xx

  2. August 26, 2015 / 9:54 am

    Thank you so much for your comment & for taking the time to read – I think it's terrible that nobody talks honestly about the 'rush of love' situation….it can make you feel absolutely awful & like something is very wrong with you if it doesn't instantly hit you upon birth.
    It's supposed to be such a beautiful lovely time but sometimes it can be overshadowed by your own guilt & blame for not getting the 'normal' feelings – I think it's such a sore subject that people don't like to admit or talk about it.
    Im so glad people can relate to this post & if it helps even 1 lady who is feeling the same way with not bonding then I'd be over the moon.
    Elsa is the same – constantly being a tiny pain in the bum but I wouldn't have it any other way – they are totally worth it 🙂 xx

  3. August 26, 2015 / 7:30 pm

    I understand everything your saying here hun. Although I did have 'the instant rush of love' it was overwhelmed by the shock of a traumatic birth, not getting the happy ending as you mentioned of baby being passed straight to mum, dad cutting the cord etc etc. For me although I knew I loved my little boy who is now 8 months, I was too scared to hold my own baby through fear of hurting him, dropping him through still being in so much shock and just the not knowing. OBEM doesn't display any of this. I remember for literally weeks after the Health Visitors and Midwives telling me I was running off of adrenaline and I probably was. I was getting no sleep as I was too scared that something would happen to my baby if I wasn't there to watch him every second day and night, and the health visitors always look at you weirdly. I was crying at everything, just because I cared too much, not because I was depressed. Eventually this passed and everything came together and I wasn't so shook up and fearful of the worst. My little pickle in the last two weeks has gained his first two teeth and started crawling and sitting and I wouldn't change him or anything else for the world xx

  4. August 27, 2015 / 11:52 am

    So true – a lot of the time it's not the beautiful experience it's made out to be! It's pretty brutal compared to what the average person has experienced before so can come as quite a shock. I've heard before that it's quite common to obsess over babies health/wellbeing – I think it's that you suddenly have such a huge responsibility at such a vulnerable time that it can be overwhelming. Becoming a mum is petrifying!!
    Can't wait for Rory to start sitting steadily (he tries but flops after a while!) & crawling – for me, the older they get the more i've fallen in love & found it easier. Give me a 'terrible' two year old over a newborn anyday!! xx

  5. March 1, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    I know this is an old blog post, but I'm late to catch on 🙂 I'm pleased you have written this blog; my children are seven and five and it is still with trepidation that I admit to people that I didn't feel a rush of love when I first saw them. When you've just pushed a baby out your vagina (or had a c-Section, as I have had both and felt the same both times) you're feeling a bit cream crackered!! The midwives kept asking me to hold my eldest and I kept assuring them that their daddy should hold him first, I wasn't ready. My body went into shock and I was shaking like mad and I was thinking about pushing the afterbirth out. Holding my baby wasn't top priority, and yet people keep talking about this 'Rush of love'. Nope, didn't happen for me. This should be talked about more openly, and it might help women to stop feeling guilty about entirely natural feelings! X

  6. June 19, 2016 / 8:52 pm

    I normally read your blog simply to satisfy my interior obsession, I wasn't going to read this post at first. Part of my job is responding to emergency obstetric cases that require surgical and anaesthetic intervention, so I couldn't agree more with you about OBEM! It glosses over the realities that so many women face during birth, and doesn't present a balanced picture. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was constantly asked about my birth plan, my answer was "I'm going with a no plan plan!"
    So many of my friends were shocked that I didn't have some fluffy plan for how my wonderful labour would unfold, but I've seen far too many women devasted that their plans have fallen apart and they feel like they've failed before they even start! If I'd had a plan, the labour, and birth that I experienced would not have been it!
    I was lucky,I did feel that rush of love (although it was mixed with a lot of the "hit by a train" feeling) but I actually didn't expect to feel it because so many of my mummy friends said that they didn't, and warned me that it was more of a gradual feeling, and that seemed perfectly reasonable to me! Even so, I then felt guilty for not expecting to love him as much as I did, you just can't win with hormones and birth trauma!! I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant and already worried about all the trauma and anxiety I remember from the first time around! Xx