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OU on the BBC: Desperate Midwives - About The Series

Updated Thursday, 19th May 2005

Desperate Midwives is focused on the labour ward of Derby City General Hospital, the midwives who work there are the mums and babies they deal with day by day.

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One of the midwives featured in the BBC Three series Desperate Midwives Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team Desperate Midwives takes a fresh look at the emotionally intense, sometimes precarious, often hilarious work of midwives. The series is focused on the labour ward of Derby City General hospital and follows the midwives and the many different types of mums and births they deal with on a daily basis.  Unlike the Housewives of Wisteria Lane, the desperation here comes from the desire to perform effectively and efficiently in a high stress environment.


On the labour ward, a midwife never knows in advance what’s in store for her. She could be rushed off her feet juggling lots of mums all birthing at once, dealing with a mum crying out for an epidural when no anaesthetist is available to give her one, or tending to a mum who is suddenly rushed into an emergency C-section.

It’s the job of the midwife to try to give the mum the birth she wants, but what she wants isn’t always possible. It’s up to the midwife to try to determine what’s best for baby, for mum, for the doctors and for herself, plus getting home in one piece at the end of each shift.

As well as administering the most intimate of internal examinations, it’s the midwives who have the task of rummaging through the freshly delivered placentas to check on the health of the baby. It’s a messy business – and to deal with the blood and gore, plus all the emotional drama - you have to have a good sense of humour.

Desperate Midwives looks at birth from the point of view of the midwives and provides a real and sometimes raw portrait of this crucial passage of life. It’s an unflinching portrayal of the blood, sweat and tears of labour; including never-seen-before footage of epidurals; C-section operations; and of the moment of birth.

This one really is the truth about childbirth…

  • Episodes from the series can be seen on Really (Freeview 20, Sky 248, Virgin 257) from 7pm, Sunday 18th December 2011




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