Should you show the water birth video just to your family or share it with the world? Get the positive and negative reasons why you should or shouldn't.

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Credit: Jay Wilde

There are thousands upon thousands of water birth videos available on YouTube. With the abundance of social media outlets today, it's easy and fun to showcase important milestones for your family, friends, and followers, and sharing your water birth video can be a powerful teaching tool. But your birth video may or may not get a thousand likes or even the response you intended. So before you hit that upload button, it's important to think through the pros and cons of sharing a personal event.


Shatter Stereotypes

Let's face it: There are many stereotypes about giving birth. Add Hollywood's portrayal of the out-of-control screaming, hand-crushing, ice chip-eating lady in labor, and the lesser known birthing option of water birth, and you will have confusing ideas about what a water birth might look like. Sharing your video can be a great way to help others understand a water birth, which might dissolve and clarify preconceived notions. When watching a water birth video, Christy Dorff, a mother of two in Mesa, Arizona, explains that women are often "in a trancelike state" and labor and delivery are not out of control. "It's not manic screaming and running around. It's really quite quiet and calm," Dorff says. First-time moms can be especially nervous about delivery, so helping them see water birth as a powerful, peaceful experience can calm their nerves.

Educate Others

Sharing your water birth videos can show others the different aspects of water birth and what it entails. A quick Google search of "water birth videos" shows women giving birth in bathtubs, rented tubs, or even in the ocean. Some videos show women partially clothed and others are nude, some show partners or older children in the tubs, and some show either a room full of people or a lone midwife in attendance. "Videos of normal unmedicated births are helpful for families to view," says Edwin Huang, M.D., the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It can be helpful to share a video of your own water birth experience because it will give others useful information about what to expect. It can also help reduce the misconception that "water birth is a fringe option for their birth," explains Laura Kattan, a certified nurse-midwife from Arlington, Massachusetts.

Share Great Joy

Birth is incredible. There are few experiences comparable to the moment you first meet your baby. Being able to share that moment with others can be a gift. Jessie Holder, a mother from San Francisco, gave birth to her daughter in water. "Giving birth is the most amazing thing my body has done," she says of her experience. "I loved my water birth because it was peaceful, calm, and everything I hoped it would be." By sharing your video, you can help others experience the joy and beauty of birth.


Invite Critics

Of course, one of the biggest downsides to sharing your own water birth video is the critics. As the saying goes, "haters gonna hate." Many people may say they want moms to choose their own birth plans, but that doesn't mean they won't have an opinion about it. When choosing to share something people feel passionate about, you open yourself up to various opinions, and given the anonymity of the Internet, people typically won't be afraid to share them. Your personal decisions will be questioned, shared, and discussed more than you want. If you're sensitive to critical or negative comments, you can follow Kassie Anderson's lead. Anderson, a mother from New York City, chose to share her video with just close friends and family. "I don't show my videos to anyone who might be negative. I only have shown it to respectful parties.?"

Give Too Much Information

Birth is beautiful but messy, and putting your water birth video online means you have to be ready for your birthing close-up. Crowing heads, buoyant boobs, and possible pooping! Oh, my! Although some women may feel confident sharing the nitty-gritty dirty details of birth, not everyone may be ready to put it all out there. And not everybody may be ready to learn all about water birth. If you don't want to give others an intimate "up in here" visual of your birth, avoid sharing your video.

Water Down a Personal Moment

Birth is an incredibly intimate moment between you and your baby, you and your partner, and you and your family. No two births are alike, and sharing your water birth video may take away some of the intimacy and uniqueness of the moment. Once it joins other water birth videos online, others may view it as "just another birth video" rather than a tender, special moment of new life entering the world. Even though an old adage says that "sharing is caring," you might want to think twice before you do, especially if you're worried about lessening your water birth's value or facing unwanted scrutiny.

Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.

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