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Crowdbirthing: do young mums really like to push in public?

Name: Crowdbirthing.

Age: Popular among mums aged 16-29.

Appearance: Eek … yawn … yikes … eurgh … aaah!

That’s very evocative, thanks. Almost like witnessing a real birth. Oh, have you attended one before?

Only my own. That doesn’t really count. Most babies are too busy nearly dying to appreciate the magic of childbirth.

So tell me, what is it actually like? Like a surprise birthday party in an abattoir.

I’ve never been to one of those. Well, it is difficult to describe. You kind of need to be there. Luckily, younger women are growing increasingly keen on inviting lots of people to witness the occasion, if a survey by the vlogging website Channel Mum is to be believed.

Is it? Probably not. But still, the results are quite dramatic. A total of 2,000 mothers took part in the survey, and among the teenagers and twentysomethings, an average of eight additional people were said to have attended the birth.

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Say that again. An average of eight people were there watching, besides the mother and the medical staff. Most often the woman’s partner, her mother and the mother-in-law.

Yeah, plus five others. And who the hell are they? Your sister, your neighbour, two BFFs and Des from work? Could be. And that’s on average, remember, which suggests it is sometimes more than eight. I agree it sounds unlikely, but you can’t argue with data collected unscientifically to publicise a website.

Oh, can’t I now? Anyway, Channel Mum’s founder is a woman called Siobhan Freegard OBE.

And what does Freegard OBE have to say about it? “The younger generation are used to sharing every aspect of their lives, so why not birth?”

Because it’s inconvenient, unhygienic, narcissistic, revolting and takes forever.You sourpuss. “The crowdbirthing phenomenon may not suit everyone,” says Freegard, “but being part of the birth is an honour and privilege which unites friends and family like nothing else.”

Oh really? In that case, maybe they would be honoured to attend the next four years of defecation and screaming? Yeah, they’re not so keen on that.

Do say: “Now that’s what I call an operating theatre.”

Don’t say: “Oi! Which one of you lot finished all the pethidine?”


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