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The Disappointing ‘20/20’ spin on ‘Extreme Parenthood’

by Amanda on January 4, 2009
category: In the news,Labor and Delivery

2020.jpg You didn’t miss anything if you didn’t watch the 20/20 special on Extreme Parenthood on Friday night. The show covered the ‘Orgasmic Birth’ documentary, women with baby dolls as babies, extended breastfeeding, surrogate mothers, and finally the ‘Business of Being Born’ documentary. All the segments came from a “What are they thinking?” and judgmental perspective meant to provoke fear. But really, can you expect any more than that from John Stossel?

I soon began following 20/20’s judgmental hinting and wondered about some of the women presented. Like the women caring for dolls as their own babies, but I have to admit I fast forwarded through that segment. I also had an issue who the lady who used her own eggs and inseminated herself in her apartment for her surrogate babies.  I sought to understand why women extend breastfeeding up to 6 years.  The show was shocked and appalled to find women still nursing 2 ½ year olds, but used that as a springboard to other families who are nursing longer.

I found myself agreeing with the women in the two brief segments about birthing. I liked how both of them explained that they don’t want to replace medicine or go back to the olden days, but just want to give women more options when it comes to labor and delivery.

An “Orgasmic Birth” or home delivery isn’t for everyone. However, I think my husband is up for the orgasmic birth experience. He was watching the show with me and said, “Dude, we’re making out during delivery. Hells yeah!”  I am not sure I would really feel comfortable doing that with people watching, no matter how much they told me to “lose my inhibitions” while they lit tea lights around the room and playing some dirty Janet Jackson music.

I found myself relating to the woman in the hot tub when she talked about making her own breathing pattern or Lamaze to relax. I recently told my friend, Kim, about how I made it through birth with no medicine with my breathing patterns. With each contraction I made 10-12 low “O” sounds to get me through them. As I was re-enacting the sound when we started cracking up laughing realizing how sexual they sound when you aren’t in a delivery room.

One of our authors, Amelia, has written about Oxytocin here on The Mom Crowd. She wrote,

“Oxytocin is responsible for producing contractions in the uterus which in turn dilates and thins the cervix so the baby can pass through.  Your body also releases oxytocin when your baby is nursing and when you have an orgasm.”

So it doesn’t surprise me that some women would feel an orgasmic release during labor.

Overall, the show didn’t give you any real useful information. It felt more like entertainment. I just hope people don’t come away from the show linking the crazy baby doll moms with moms who choose to opt to deliver differently. The “hard hitting” journalism of 20/20 was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe Veronica Corningstone from ‘Anchorman’ would have done better job reporting.

  • The Crunchy Domestic Goddess also found the show a disappointment. Check out her anticipation of the show here and her re-cap here.

What did you think of the show? What do you think of this new “Orgasmic Birth” phenomenon?

3 Responses to The Disappointing ‘20/20’ spin on ‘Extreme Parenthood’

  • Gravatar
    Comment by myra
    January 4, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

    So funny that I clicked here just now! You’ll never guess what Tivo’s serving up. I find it almost unbelievable. Childbirth is not pleasurable sensation-wise, and you’re talking to someone who ADORED labor. It’s weird, I loved all of labor because I knew what I was working for. But it was WORK. And um, I fractured my pelvis. That just hurts. Everyone is entitled to their own choices, but there’s no way you can find fault with women who find childbirth painful and take drugs. When my epidural was finally working after I was mostly through the contractions, I was finally able to enjoy the birth. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Now off to watch the “Reborn” segment. Oh my.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by San Diego Momma
    January 5, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

    Totally agree with your assessment. I did find the breastfeeding the 8-year-old thing a bit disconcerting, but did not see the parallel to breastfeeding a two-and-a-half-year-old. Not the same 20/20!

    I used to find 20/20 a purveyor of some useful news magaziney topics, but they’ve kind of become FOX in my mind now.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by PamperingBeki
    January 7, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Oh my! Sounds like I should be glad I missed it.

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