Trend: Giving birth for the public to watch

I’ve never given birth, so I really can’t say what the experience is like. But, what I imagine is that


I’ve never given birth, so I really can’t say what the experience is like. But, what I imagine is that it’s a very intimate and emotional experience shared by a family (plus the doctors, nurses and/or midwife who are there to assist in the process). So when I heard about two women with plans to share their birthing experience with the public, I wondered: Why?

Marni Kotak is a 36-year-old woman, 8 months pregnant, and planning on giving birth to her first child on display at a Brooklyn art gallery.

"…By giving birth in public, I can bring to light something that our society clearly has many issues surrounding," Kotak told TIME in an email.

The "exhibit" at Microscope Gallery is titled "The Birth of Baby X." The staging area is set up with a bed, rocking chair and birthing tub, and a widwife and doula will also be present to assist Kotak.

But not just anyone will be able to attend. Kotak is restricting her labour and delivery to a small group of people who have expressed an interest in her and the exhibit by coming to the gallery.

"The Birth of Baby X" is set to run from Oct. 8 to Nov. 7, during which time Kotak will come and go from the gallery until she goes into labour.

While not everyone will be able to view Kotak’s birthing experience, reports that an Ottawa woman is streaming the birth of her third child online where anyone with an internet connection can sign up to watch.

Nancy Salgueiro, a chiropractor, childbirth educator and mother of two, is broadcasting the home birth of her third child because she wants women to "see how wonderful and gentle birth can be."

Her due date was reportedly Oct. 7, but as of Oct. 12 she had not yet gone into labour and viewers were still able to pre-register on her website.

It’s an interesting thing that these women are doing, but I’m not sure it’s something I’d want to share with the world. Am I alone here?

Would watching a live birth help to dispel some of the fears you have about the experience?

*** Update: Ottawa’s Nancy Salgueiro gave birth to a baby boy just after 3 a.m. on Oct. 16. The birth was live-streamed online to more than 13,000 viewers.

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