This might be the most graphic reality show ever. Lifetime’s controversial documentary series showing women giving birth in the wild unassisted by medical professionals now has a shocking trailer. Below is an exclusive preview of Born in the Wild, which captures an ultra-natural birth movement where experienced parents have their next child in the wilderness. “No hospital, no medicine, no doctors, no turning back,” proclaims the video, with one participant explaining, “I want to experience that primal, primitive sort-of experience.” This video certainly suggests she gets it. First the trailer, then there’s coverage of the show’s lively press-tour panel below.
Warning: This trailer contains graphic content.
A Born in the Wild couple and producer Yoshi Stone defended the show to a room of TV critics at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Pasadena on Friday. Stone emphasized that all the couples are experienced parents who were planning to have a wilderness birth on their own, and that they were provided whatever medical support they wanted. The couples also were not paid for participating — removing a financial incentive for the potentially risky decision.
“Our first child was born in a hospital and this was an experience that we decided we didn’t want to do again,” explained Alaska participant Audrey Bird, who opted to not have a medical support team standing by for her episode. “For us it wasn’t about going to the middle of nowhere, we live in the middle of nowhere, this was a home birth … birth for me is something very important and I wanted to get it out there that you can have birth anywhere you chose — your hospital, your home, your back yard.”
Added Stone: “There are heated debates on all sides of it, but the important thing is everybody should be allowed to make their own decisions.”
Still, some critics questioned the appropriateness of the series, with one reporter in particular asking the panel: “I’m wondering about the ethics of both producers and the network. Where do you draw the line filming something that’s potential dangerous and, quite honestly in my opinion, incredibly irresponsible?”
“There is a vetting process that all our couples go through–” the producer began.
“I’m not worried about the couples, I’m worried about you,” the critic said. “How do you decide to film something that’s potentially dangerous?”
“Birth shows are nothing new,” Stone countered. “There have been plenty of birth shows. We’re simply making another birth show. We try to assure all our outcomes will be positive; we assume that they will be. Again, we’re documenting people making a particular birth choice.”
“If this is just another birth show, then what’s the point?”
Stone: “It’s telling new stories. Birth is a very powerful event. I don’t think you can exhaust that topic especially since there are so many choices that can be made about it.”
Born in the Wild premieres the first of its six episodes on Tuesday, March 3 at 10 p.m.