Because she asked me to. (Well, that was a quick blog post – hope I cleared that up.)
No really, she asked me to. Pretty directly actually. She didn’t know that birthing videos was a thing, but she asked if we could watch a video of babies being born. I umm and arred, then coaxed a little more information out of her before I jumped right into it.
I asked her why – and she said because she wanted to know how babies got out. So I explained to her in basic terms how her and her brother were born.
She has heard that before though. One evening after a shower she sat cross-legged on her bedroom floor and asked me what everything was called. She pointed and I told her: Labia. Vagina. Urethra (FYI a 4 year old saying Urethra is kind of adorable).
She was a little unsure where her wee came from so I explained it comes out of her urethra, and poo comes out of her “bum”…. And then she asked “What comes out of my gyna?”
I hesitated, and then answered; “Well, babies come out of vaginas.” Then I very quickly switched it to “You came out of my vagina.” and the whole where did I come from conversation really picked up from there. Anything she asked – I answered it.
As a rule – if she asks something I will tell her a honestly and appropriately for her age as I can. I would rather give her more information than I’m entirely comfortable with than have her think I’m lying or hiding something from her.
Because even though she’s just 4 now, one day she will be older – one day she’ll be 14 and she might have questions about her body; especially questions relating to reproduction and I NEED her to know that I am a source of non-judgemental information.
So, back to the other night when she asked to see a video of a baby being born.
I didn’t rush into it. I told her to wait, and I’d see what I could find.
I checked with her father to make sure he was okay with her seeing birthing videos. I even messaged a friend who’s a midwife to get her input. I let my little girl know I was asking for an outside opinion – which she understood, because she already knows that my friend “helps babies be borned.”
My midwife friend messaged me back with a link to this video. Which was wonderfully informative.
But she wasn’t satisfied and she really wanted to see how babies came OUT.
I showed her this video which does show exactly how a baby is born, right through to the placenta.
She was fascinated, but still it wasn’t what she wanted. She ran off to find a picture of her brother after he was born just to be clear what she wanted to see was a REAL baby. A real baby being born.
So, I searched “child-friendly birthing videos” and I found this one that did the trick.
I was prepared to move on gradually to more graphic videos – pre-watching them myself of course – but this was the amount of information she was looking for. She wanted to see a baby come out. That was it. She was happy. I was happy. We moved on and I haven’t heard another word about babies in the few days since.
I’m not saying there’s a right and wrong way to do this, but I just wanted to say that birth doesn’t have to be scary, or a secret and if kids are asking very specific questions then they’re probably old enough for some kind of answer. My only advice is if you’re going to show children birthing videos make sure it’s extremely supervised and I would watch the videos through once yourself just to be sure that you’re comfortable with the content.
What would you do if your preschooler asked to see a birthing video?