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Video and still photos

Posted Dec 30 2010 11:44am

Restrictions on birth photography


It's honestly not a new issue among those of us on labor and delivery. We have a set policy on videotaping at my hospital (which now includes all types of video - cell phones, video cameras, internet video cameras, and any other new video technology).

The whole thing comes down to this
You can videotape as long as everyone in the room agrees to it, a tripod is not used (tripping hazard), if someone asks to stop the videotaping you will stop, and the mother must also agree to be taped.

There is a lengthy consent that must be signed by the mother and the person who will be doing the videotaping.

My thoughts (personally) are that it's your birth. If you want to videotape, please do! However, if the videotaping is getting in the way of me doing my job, I'm not going to be happy about it.

I had an unexpected resuscitation of a baby several years ago, and the grandma was right there videotaping everything. Usually, babies will perk right up with some tactile stimulation and a little blow by oxygen. Not with this baby. It became obvious that the baby needed more resuscitation measures.

Grandma was literally in my way of accessing the baby so that I could assess, evaluate, and implement necessary resuscitation measures. I looked right at Grandma, and said clearly "STOP TAPING & STEP BACK PLEASE." She was kind of shocked that I said that, but she did it. As I continued with resuscitation, she realized just how worrisome the situation was. Was she pissed that I told her to stop taping and back up? I don't know. All that mattered at that point in time was me getting some assistance to help with the resuscitation, and get this baby to look pink instead of gray. (Hello oxygenation! Let's look a little more perky here baby!)

Once baby was stabilized, pink & crying, I said to Grandma that she could videotape again.

I have come across people videotaping in the halls of labor and delivery. In the halls? Seriously people! There are other people out there - women in early labor who are walking around in hospital gowns, their support people, nursing and medical staff. I sincerely doubt that the other laboring women want to be on your videotape. The staff are more than likely discussing patient care or are consulting with CNMs/MDs in person or on the phone about private patient information.

Videotaping in the halls? A big no-no! Would you want to be taped while doing your job, without your consent? I somehow doubt it.

Then there are the visitors/labor partners who are videotaping interactions with nurses surreptitiously. Yep, I know what that item you're trying to hide in your hand is. Why are you being so secretive about taping? (Audio and/or video) Guess what? I will call you out on it. It's only common courtesy to ask permission of the person you're taping before doing so.

(All that person got was just some routine nursing education on their tape, by the way.)

I have been videotaped, early in my nursing career, giving a complete first baby bath with physical assessment. I think it was great for the family! I involved the older sibling in the bath and assessment as well. It was a GREAT teaching moment for everyone involved. This was back when I worked in a LDRP where mom and baby stayed together in the same room from labor to birth to postpartum to discharge.

As for still pictures........take as many as you want. Some doctors don't like the pictures done during the birth itself, but I think they're an awesome photography moment.
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