Hollywood Childbirth

If you relied soley on TV and movie viewing for childbirth education, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it takes the length of a prime time TV show for a baby to be born.

Hollywood birth scenes seem to go by in a flash. Almost as soon as the mum-to-be arrives in hospital and settles into her hospital bed it's time for her to 'push'.

This is quickly followed by her grabbing her husband by the scruff of the neck and screaming comical expletives at him.

Then as you reach for another handful of popcorn you watch as she pushes out her squeaky clean newborn – who looks remarkably like a 6-week-old baby.

Oh how inaccurate those birth scenes are!

Here's our list of what Hollywood gets wrong in the labour ward:

1. You won't need a full face of make-up.

HOLLYWOOD SAYS: Childbirth requires make-up.


Maybe in the early stages of labour your appearance will enter your head, but by the time you get to hospital the last thing on your mind will be how well your foundation is blended, and whether your lip gloss clashes with your bronzer.

Worry more about whether the anaesthetist is going to be at the hospital by the time you get there!

2. Clothes are over-rated.

HOLLYWOOD SAYS: Women wear a hospital gown throughout childbirth

REALITY SAYS: Not if she can help it

While most labouring mums wear some comfy clothes on the way into the hospital, once you're in the throws of established labour you couldn't give two hoots about what you're wearing!

Be it a stylish maxi, your husband's undies or your yoga pants on inside-out, you'll be more worried about how many minutes you have until the next contraction arrives.

Chances are you'll feel so irritated by the mere feeling of clothing on your body that you'll be happy to bare your ballooned body and engorged lady bits to all who dares to enter your birthing suite.

3. A bed is for sleeping in.

HOLLYWOOD SAYS: Mums go through childbirth lying down.

REALITY SAYS: Not always

In the throws of active, established labour the most uncomfortable position is lying flat your back.

You're more likely to find 'comfort' (if you can call it that) on your all-fours, leaning forward into your husbands arms, or with your face on the floor and bum in the air.

Think fit balls and yoga positions – gravity is your friend!

4. Labour equals hard work.

HOLLYWOOD SAYS: Child birth is fast and it's a race to get to hospital in time

REALITY SAYS: If only this were true!

Despite Nina in Offspring rushing to hospital with baby Zoe practically crowning in the car on the way there, the quickest way to slow down your labour is to go to hospital.

Unfortunately, all the adrenaline required to get you out of the house, into the car, through the red lights and into the birthing unit is more likely to slow down your labour than speed things up.

The average length of established labour (the painful, full-on part) is 13 hours. Therefore the chances of needing to 'push' in the hospital corridor is highly unlikely. Get ready for a marathon.

5. Childbirth doesn't end when the baby is born.

HOLLYWOOD SAYS: Once the baby is out you're done

REALITY SAYS: What about the placenta?

Once you've finally delivered your precious bundle of joy it's not all smiles and roses. Hold your visitors back for a while yet!

The placenta still needs to be delivered and there's a whole sweaty, bloody mess of woman and lady bits to be cleaned and stitched up.

Admittedly, you'll be so relieved to finally have your baby in your arms to even notice – thank goodness!

What gets you screaming at the screen when you see Hollywood renditions of childbirth?