Real Life Birth Vs Movie Birth

I’m sure you have a knowing grin on your face already having just read the title of this piece. What is with the Hollywood portrayal of birth? I mean lets face it, there’s not a lot of glamour involved. I thought I would look at some common movie-birth themes, and compare them with a dash of reality.

The water break:

Movie birth:

Actress clutches perfect bump, and gasps, I think my waters just broke! Often accompanied by a gush of water, usually on a shop floor.

Reality birth:

Woman thinks “FFS, I think I’ve pissed myself AGAIN.”


Movie birth:

Actress will be implementing breathing techniques from the get go, clutching adoring husbands hand (or best mates, or whoever – you know Daddy will make it *just* in time)

Reality birth:



Movie birth:

Actress may grit her teeth, some ladylike groaning *might* be heard (still doing the breathing) Usually only does about three pushes before baby pops out.

Reality birth:

Gnawing on the gas and air, mooing like a water buffalo, may occasionally shriek “OMG am I POOING?!” Also may try and kick midwife. Pushes til eyes go bloodshot.

The Moment of Birth:

Movie Birth:

Baby pops out to delighted cries. Suspiciously clean baby is presented to a delicately flushed and very slightly sweaty mother. Father looks adoringly on.

Reality birth:

Baby pops out to delighted cries and some bad swears because crowning. Wild eyed sobbing mother is presented with slithery purple alien. Father whimpers “Is it supposed to look like that?!”



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57 thoughts on “Real Life Birth Vs Movie Birth

  1. Yup, sounds about right. My husband and I just re-watched Knocked Up for the first time since I had a baby, and there’s a close-up of Kathryn Heigl’s bits during the birth scene, and she’s clearly just had a full Brazilian. We were both like, “Wait…what?” Because that’s totally practical when you’re gigantically pregnant and can’t even see your junk over your huge belly. #ablogginggoodtime

  2. Yeah, in the movies, they always look like they’ve just done a light jog, slightly glowing with rosie cheeks and may still have makeup on (because their labour is so effing short!) After I’d given birth I was grey and looked like a freak myself let alone the purple one I had just ground (in a bowling ball covered in sand paper stylee!) out of my nethers………. #fridayfrolics

  3. Oh God I could pontificate for hours on this one. TV and films properly screwed me over. I blame Call The Midwife. I thought I’d have my hair in perfect victory rolls, be wearing a tea dress, two pushes and then they’re out, all clean and mewling cutely, looking like a 2 month old, as the commenter above rightly points out. Never have I seen anyone in a film experience any of the following which were features of my real life experience:
    a) Shaking so much I couldn’t hold the baby
    b) Throwing up repeatedly
    and my personal favourite
    c) A caesarean. Because apparently that never happens in films. #FridayFrolics

  4. Oh I love this! The bloody books also have a lot to answer for! Thanks to hynobirthing books I was convinced that I my cervix would open up like a flower and bubba would just float out. DID NOT HAPPEN, I have the scars to prove it! Thanks for linking up with #FridayFrolics :- )

  5. ‘Pushes til eyes go bloodshot’…bahaha this had me in stitches, I definitely mooed and swore..then apologised for vomiting on the midwife, then tried to snorkel with the gas and air in the birth pool because I was off my tits..then tried to roll myself off the bed after my epidural because I wanted to go home..Call the midwife always makes me laugh as they make no sound..#ablogginggoodtime xx

  6. Yes. I was really annoyed by the gush of waters breaking lie. I spent hours wondering if mine had actually broken it was such a slow trickle. My boyfriend actually get me a fiver I was imagining it and we would be sent straight home from hospital. Well, I won that bet! #Chucklemums

  7. Actually watched a movie last night with the most beautiful woman empowering birth scene and couldn’t help but laugh thinking of this post 😀 #chucklemums

  8. Just popping back and still loving it (as in the McDonalds advert) just want to add that I agree with you that in the movies they don’t spend the whole labour shouting “I’ve done a poo, you are lying I’ve done a poo! Have I done a poo? You promise that I haven’t done a poo!” etc etc That was not from personal experience *cough*. #Chucklemums

  9. Hahahaha mooing like a water buffalo!! Hilarious and oh so true. It’s the breathing in the movies that annoys me the most. And they are always, always sat up in bed with lots of pillows whereas in reality that would be really difficult to push the baby out (I suppose crouching with boobs half out whilst hanging off the midwife and birth partners arms wouldn’t look as glam). #chucklemums

  10. Aha! You are SO spot on with this. Always pisses me off when the ‘newborn’ is about 3 months old. Brilliant analysis – feel a bit better about watching films where their clean white nighties stay clean and white (wtf?) and their hair is just ‘a bit messy’ rather than plastered all over their face. #chucklemums

  11. The bit about GIVE ME THE DRUGS had me seriously giggling. Exactly that happened to me with my second. They were all like, ‘it’s too soon for gas and air’ and left me in the triage bit. Once I started shouting for drugs they quickly moved me to my own room with a lovely entonox machine. #chucklemums

  12. Just popping back from #chucklemums. I looked a mess during birth – I’m so glad the only photographic evidence is one black and white picture taken from a safe angle.

  13. Haha slithery purple alien is the most accurate newborn description I have ever seen! You should write a book of childbirth truths so that people really know what to expect!


  14. You nailed it! And I’m the mom that got screamed at from the Mrs. during both births. I look at her in awe, everyday. What a miracle – a little untidy, but a miracle nonetheless! Thanks for making me laugh! #fridayfrolics

  15. Oh, Mumzilla, why else dost thou think I exhort all mums to AVOID celeb birth stories?
    “Is it supposed to look like that?”
    Yes, dad, it is. THAT is a GRADE A* new baby!

  16. If they shit in the movies it’s in a comedic fashion. When I shat, no bugger was laughing, least of all the midwife with the scoopy net! #chucklemums P.S. new theme looks fab on desktop xx

  17. Haha! Yes, they don’t tend to be very realistic, do they? I always love these attractive, clearly a couple of months old, ‘newborns’ they are presented with! I understand that practically there is not much that can be done to avoid that, but it does amuse me! I also love how they always potter off to hospital on the first contraction, but never get told ‘bugger off home – that baby’s not coming for another 2 days’! My absolute favourites on film & TV are multiple births. Who are these people giving birth to multiples naturally, at term?? I’m sure that does happen occasionally, but I am also quite sure it is not the norm for multiple births, yet is 100% of the ones shown on film!

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!

  18. Never have truer words been written! Me and The Hub are always talking about this. Like when anyone on TV has sex and they get up straight away or lay there for a cuddle #mess #chucklemums

  19. I laughed out loud at this. My husbands first words my husband uttered to me when presented with our first born delivered by emergency c section, “his balls are massive”. I then fell asleep and snored really loudly until they patched me back up. Living the dream x

  20. I could have sworn I’d already commented on this – I’ve definitely read it before – but I’m glad i checked!
    Great post, very funny and I am SO going to have to do a pair of doodles on this topic at some point…! 😉
    #chucklemums #ablogginggoodtime

  21. Slithery purple alien! To give you an image of my son at birth- cross your slithery purple alien with an elderly Chinese gentleman and give him an extended forehead that has the soft fine fur of a mole… Bless him… I still thought he was the best blinking Chinese mole alien I had ever seen. Xx

  22. Ok so I had 2 c-sections so a bit different. But when my son was born he was covered in that white vernix stuff, I was like “ewwww!!!”a bit reluctantly clutching him to my chest #chucklemums

  23. So, I’m super late to the party on this one but about the “purple thing”… when we were presented with my son after my wife’s labour and we were handed this purple, misshapen monstrosity rather than the beautiful baby boy we were promised I was convinced something was wrong and a doctor would be coming around soon.

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