Cable network Lifetime has ordered a new reality series that will chronicle women giving birth in nature.
Born in the Wild will follow families that want to bear their children as naturally as you can possibly get—in the outdoors. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show was inspired by a viral video which featured a birth in a forest, which got more than 20 million views on YouTube:
[Eli Lehrer, Lifetime's senior VP and head of nonfiction programming] says he has a personal connection to the show's concept himself as his second child was born at home via midwife. "This isn't [Discovery Channel's] Naked and Afraid and we're dropping people in the woods and saying 'go have the baby,'" he says. "These are all people who have already had babies in hospitals who had unsatisfying experiences and who are choosing to have different experiences. This is something people are doing and we set out to document it."
A press release for the show asked "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?"
Of course there's already plenty of hand-wringing about how safe a show like this could be for women:
But one obstetrician says we already know what happens when women give birth in the wild, and it isn't good. "I understand everybody wants to believe we overmedicalize pregnancy and that it's a natural process. But it's a natural process that historically has caused an extraordinary loss of life," says Ron Jaekle, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. "There is not a single piece of literature that we had to read growing up that didn't talk about somebody's mother or wife dying in childbirth, it was part of the national vocabulary. In the 1900s, a women died for every 1,000 babies born in the United States. Today it's .1 for every 1,000."
Jaekle told Entertainment Weekly the show "doesn't make any sense." Welcome to reality TV, dude. The show's producers said they are taking plenty of precautions to ensure safety. "Our presence at these births is going to make them far safer than if they were doing it on their own," said Lehrer.
So who is interested in actually watching this? Is this something you'd save space for in your DVR?
Image via Shutterstock.