This multi-award winning channel produces programmes made by volunteers trained by the charity WORLDwrite

Download this program as an MP3 (33.9 MB, 1:14:03)

Subscribe to our podcasts using your preferred service:

Help with our podcasts

Baby on board: the battle over pregnancy



Should pregnant women be free to drink and smoke whatever they like, run as far as their legs will take them and relax in the sauna and spa to their hearts’ content? Or should there be strict guidelines from government and professional advocates to persuade women to ensure an optimal foetal environment? What does autonomy mean when ante-natal clinics, ‘breast is best’ campaigners and the media share a common impulse to lecture pregnant women on their responsibilities as an incubator? Filmed at the Battle of Ideas Festival this debate asks up front, if today’s pregnant women are willingly surrendering everything to be a good hostess, will this cultivate a generation of morally spineless parents or nurture healthier, smarter kids?

Related links:


  • Battle of Ideas Debate details


Related topics: Civil Liberties, Debates

Subscribe to our newsletter


Leave a comment now

Sophia said:

Before watching this I blindly agreed with the rules and regulations imposed on pregnant women believing they would always benefit the unborn child. However, after watching this documentary it completely changed my view. By introducing the idea that ‘control’ methods are embedded national guidelines for pregnant women the discussion provides a thought-provoking interpretation on a modern debate. I really enjoyed feminist perspective, particularly in relation to the ‘commodification of pregnancy’ discussed by Yvonne Roberts. All women, including pregnant women, in my view should not be bound by rules and regulations in relation to personal health as long as individuals use a “common sense” approach, as Yvonne Roberts suggests, then society should be less judgmental and controlling.