How Modern Television Approaches Pregnancy

It sometimes seems as if every cable station has their very own take on pregnancy and birth. There are the sensational ones that focus on the weirdest aspects of pregnancy and the ones that show birth after birth in rapid succession. There are also the sitcoms that feature pregnancy and new parenthood, which can provide an interesting perspective on how our culture views women and pregnancy at the current moment. Here is a look at just some of the latest offerings on TV. Set your DVRs!

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant

pregnant woman watching TV
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Discovery Health produces I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. One of the more sensationalistic programs on this list, they advertise that they are looking for stories of people who found out they were pregnant when they gave birth or just a few weeks before. Others who watch the show say they either love it or hate it. Either way, they can't seem to get enough of the drama. 

One Born Every Minute

Newborn with Hospital Bracelet
Photo © Elyse Lewin/Getty Images

One Born Every Minute is filmed inside the maternity ward at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. They show a couple of births every episode, heavy on the editing. You can find this one on Lifetime.  There are a wide variety of births depicted, but you should be aware that, thanks to editing, you're not seeing everything.

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16 and Pregnant

16 and Pregnant tv show

MTV began airing this show, focused on teen pregnancy, in 2009.  It follows several teens each season, showing how they are preparing for their baby, and and how the reality of impending parenthood is affecting other aspects of their life. True to reality TV form, there is always plenty of baby daddy drama going on, as well as postpartum crying. While the show doesn't set out to glamorize teen pregnancy, many worry that it does just that.

A Baby Story

A Baby Story is a production of TLC and is the show that started the baby TV craze. They advertise that they will take you through the final weeks of pregnancy, all the way to the labor and birth and through the first weeks with baby. This show has since been followed by a spin-off: Bringing Home Baby.

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I'm Pregnant and...

This is yet another reality pregnancy show that focuses on pregnancy... with a twist. Each pregnancy spotlighted on the show is accompanied by a confounding problem. Episodes have addressed pregnancy and addiction, pregnancy and bipolar disorder, and pregnancy and homelessness.

Baby Daddy

On the sitcom side of things, Baby Daddy is an original comedy television series that premiered in 2012. It follows Ben, a man in his 20s, who gets the surprise of his life when a one-night stand leaves his baby at his doorstep. Ben decides to raise his daughter with the help of his brother, his two close friends, and his mother, Bonnie. The show doesn't take itself seriously, but it's interesting to a non-standard view of parenting on the sitcom circuit.

Check Your Current TV Listings!

Of course, this is only a small snapshot of the TV shows out there today, and the roster is always changing.

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