Going behind the scenes of One Born Every Minute where Midwife Gemma from the hit series tells all…
One Born Every Minute has been something of a phenomenon here in the UK. The question isn’t who has watched it, the question is who hasn’t? This reality series follows the stories of pregnant mums in the maternity ward.
Here Gemma Raby, one of the midwives from the last series shares her experiences and tells us exactly what it’s like filming this BAFTA winning show.
“It was an amazing experience to be involved in the filming of such a TV phenomenon as ‘One Born Every Minute’, and although it was edited to create the ‘birth story’ it depicted a very real representation of life on our maternity unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
Initially it felt very strange to be surrounded by cameras, especially as they are all remote controlled, so we would see them moving but wouldn’t know if we were being filmed or not. This was very odd to start with, it made everyone feel quite self conscious, we would sit around not speaking, and when we did we would whisper. I’m sure the technical team watching us thought it was hysterical! We wore individual microphones much of the time, these were very sensitive to all sounds but the technical team asked we not remove them throughout the shift, we did however dedicate a lot of our time discussing if they could hear us weeing! Again, I’m sure the technical team were bemused by this!
In our job we are very involved in the care of a couple but then often we don’t find out what happened to them and their new babies, thanks to One Born Every Minute we were able to see our couples outcomes, along with the rest of the nation. It was lovely to see babies that initially not being very well, so much improved and at home with their happy parents.
I think Channel 4 probably have lots of ‘unseen’ footage of us being silly or clumsy which never made it to air, including lots of singing and dancing during breaks or in theatre, running into cameras (when they were new to us) and generally falling over when running around.
It was a huge honour to be chosen from all the other proposed units to be part of the One Born Every Minute story, and although a bit strange to start with it was an amazing experience. We also now receive lots of positive feedback from women coming into the unit. They tell us that it has made us more relatable to them, also seeing other peoples birth experiences has helped prepare them for their own labours.
My favourite thing about being a midwife is being part of such an emotional, memorable moment. We can make a huge difference to how someone experiences their birth. We provide information, support and friendship during a particularly stressful but transforming experience. Obviously not every day as a midwife is filled with good news and for me, not being able to help someone have the kind of delivery they had initially hoped for is very disappointing. We feel we have let them down in some way, but we also help to breakdown why different choices have come about to minimise disappointment.
I hope One Born Every Minute has helped expectant parents and we hope that all of those who have followed the show have enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Gemma and her colleague Claire will be speaking on stage at The Baby Show which takes place at the NEC Birmingham from the 18th-20th May. To book tickets log on to www.thebabyshow.co.uk.