Add Born in the Wild to the list of reality TV shows drawing controversy. Lifetime plans to air a show about young couples opting for a natural birth outdoors without assistance from doctors. In fact, doctors won’t be present at all on the show, just the production crew.
According to the Lifetime’s press release, the show’s hook is this:
“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? Born in the Wild will document the journeys of young, expectant parents who have chosen to give birth ‘in the wild.'”
The reality show is getting heated criticism for essentially promoting a new trend among pregnant women who want to give birth naturally. Lifetimes insists they’re taking serious precautions to keep the mother and child safe. Born in the Wild will not allow first-time mothers to give birth on the show and participants must be healthy. A trained emergency responder will be nearby in case something wrong.
In the show, a couple chooses a site outdoors for the natural birth, but production will be within a reasonable distance from the hospital. Eli Lehrer, Lifetime’s senior VP who’s also head of nonfiction programming, says:
“Our presence at these births is going to make them far safer than if they were doing it on their own.”
Concerns for this type of birthing process involve obvious issues, such as a complicated births or danger to the child or mother.
“This isn’t [Discovery Channel’s] Naked and Afraid and we’re dropping people in the woods and saying ‘go have the baby. 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.”
The show is inspired by a YouTube video about a natural birth in the wild that garnered 20 million views.
Lehrer says couples on Born in the World represent a “small subset”of people.
Digital Spy reports that Lifetime has three more unscripted reality shows to air in the near future– Girlfriend Intervention, Kosher Soul and Threads. Eight hour-long episodes of Born in the Wild will air.
A specific date for the premiere of Born in the Wild hasn’t been released yet. Eight hour-long episodes are planned to air.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]