TLC’s latest game show concept is Labor Games, which “gives couples already in labor the chance to answer trivia questions in order to win life-changing prizes for their child — all before the baby is even born.” Nothing could go wrong there, right?
Quite the contrary: “During labor, emergencies can arise. This is one of the most important moments in your life,” said ABC News‘ chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Besser. “I think this is a really bad idea, to have a camera come in at that moment of your life.”
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, who has delivered some 1,500 babies, said she understands how some parents could be lured by potential prizes — but added “there are two lives at stake” and labor really isn’t a good time to take on unnecessary stress:
Things can and do come up. When they do they can go wrong in a big way. This is a high-stakes medical situation. Not a high-stakes reality game show. Money draws a lot of people off when they need to be focusing on the relationship of the parents. Communication. How do we create an atmosphere with adequate attachment and love for our infant. That should be the focus. And no one should have to answer questions in stirrups.
TLC assures viewers that no one participates without giving prior consent, although contestants Jessica and Aaron said producers were pretty vague about what the show entailed.
“We knew it was a chance to win some prizes. So, um, I mean, why not? Right,” Aaron said. “I think people think we’re crazy. It was worth it. A neat life experience that our boy, River, can talk about for the rest of his life.”
A sneak peek of Labor Games aired during TLC’s Moms Week. More episodes are scheduled to air later this year.