BBC One has commissioned a new six-part documentary series exploring what it takes to give birth to the next generation.
Life and Birth will be told through the eyes of the parents and staff at three of Birmingham’s busiest and most diverse maternity units, Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
Unprecedented access unveils the cutting-edge medicine used across the antenatal clinics, Fetal Medicine Centres, delivery suites, emergency operating theatres and Birmingham Children’s hospital every day.
Produced by Dragonfly, the series is narrated by Suranne Jones and captures the amazing work of the NHS midwifes, doctors and surgeons who support families as they welcome new life into the world.
With multiple camera crews, the stories of birth are captured in candid detail, from lifesaving surgery on babies in the womb, to the specialist care given to women who have experienced multiple miscarriages.
Each moment of the process is captured, including graphics of the social media and text messages sent between loved ones during these life changing moments.
The series features a range of stories at different stages of the process, from early scans and pre-term complications, to emergency caesareans, natural births and families bonding with their newborns in the post-natal ward.
In the first episode of the series, 22-year-old mother of one Ashleigh goes into labour with her childhood sweetheart Luke by her side.
She said: “A lot of people do try to make out like pregnancy is full of rainbows and magic. It’s not this big bubble of glitter that everybody makes out.
“But you are over the moon and happy when you are handed that baby at the end. That’s the part that makes everything worth it.”
Creative Director of Dragonfly, Richard Bond, said the camera crew combined cinematic prime lenses with fixed rigs in order to capture everything.
He added: “Warm, funny and truthful, often nail-bitingly tense, and always deeply emotional, this is 360 storytelling at its best.”