The BBC have gone behind the scenes at the Portland Hospital – where woman pay £40k+ to give birth in luxury hotel surroundings. The synopsis states…
“The first episode reveals how the Portland Hospital’s army of consultants, midwives, chefs and cleaners serve some of the UK’s most pampered parents. We meet high-society it girl Hui, who isn’t ashamed to admit she is too scared to give birth naturally.
No-nonsense Scottish nurse Pat is adamant she is not star struck but baby struck as she looks after the newborns of celebrities and royalty while they enjoy afternoon tea.
And the Countess of Bradford reveals how her career as a consultant delivering newborns has a disastrous effect on her social life. “
Oh where do I begin? I just feel sad, baffled and confused after watching this programme. And I really didn’t expect to. I thought it would be light entertainment to have on in the background for my half-asleep standard new parent attempt to stay up past 9pm! But no, after watching through my fingers as the new mums declared just hours after giving birth that they must now start to worry whether or not their husbands will be cheating on them if they don’t get back into perfect shape right away… Is this the real world? I thought that was just a line that Hello & The Daily Mail fed you & we all ignored knowing it is COMPLETE NONSENSE! YOU JUST CREATED A HUMAN WITH YOUR BODY!!
Next we see 9 screaming babies in a nursery, as the Mum’s sleep through the night, eat their 3 course restaurant quality food & apply their perfect makeup and yet can’t even pick their own baby up… Why have a baby if you don’t want to be a mother? I’m all for Mothers getting the support they need, but where is Dad? Surely that’s who should be offering support, not flying in for a few hours to film the birth on his gold plated iPhone? The only thing your baby needs in the first few weeks is you. It’s that simple.
The consultants try valiantly to keep repeating their beautifully polished ‘PR friendly’ lines so they don’t get sued but you start to see the real frustrations as the midwives are more honest than their seniors and even recount tales of Mothers’ asking them to pass them a glass on the table next to them… Is this what money does to you? You literally can’t lift a finger. It’s as if they’ve been promised they won’t have to endure any pain or discomfort at all if they just throw all this money at it. Am I going to have to be the one that breaks it to them…? That’s not how it works.
Am I too old fashioned? Am I being naive…? Possibly. But it makes me sad for these babies that will grow up as a fashion accessory for the most part. To me, being a mother is about being completely selfless, whether you end up with stretch marks or an extra 15 lbs those things don’t matter when you get to watch this beautiful baby grow into a wonderful little person! Life is about so much more than you and being a mother is the quickest way to teach you that lesson.
Right at the end of the programme you see one mother who actually wants to deliver her baby naturally and wants to keep her baby by her side through the night. This should be seen as completely standard and yet after 50 minutes of bafflingly casual remarks about how they would ‘just die!’ if they had to look after their baby by themselves this becomes a great moment of relief. Thank goodness!! Someone showing some maternal instinct!!