Woman giving birth via C-section LIVE on TV sparks controversy

Lotus birth

A woman has given birth live on TV via C-section, but some viewers branded the show as ‘next level voyeurism’.

Elijah Bougasa, 31, welcomed her son at Sydney’s Mater Hospital over the weekend, and cameras were there to film the whole thing.

The Australian mum’s birth was broadcast live as part of a show called Operation Live, and they filmed the entire procedure.


While she revealed she was ‘terrified’ about the prospect of the birth being broadcast live, she said ahead of welcoming her baby: ‘I’ve been told I won’t notice anybody there’.

She was originally a ‘back-up’ patient, but ended up being the star of the show as everyone else gave birth before the show.

She said: ‘Everyone started popping babies except me.’

Many viewers took to social media to say how moved they were by the live birth, but not everyone thought it was a good idea to broadcast it live.

One said: ‘Stumbled across #OperationLive. Really? A live cesarean on television? This is next level voyeurism. (Literally blood and guts)’.

Another added: ‘Nope. Sorry. No matter how beautiful the miracle of birth, I just don't need to see it live on my television. #OperationLive’.

While the live birth has made history in Australia, the first UK live TV birth happened back in 2006, when little Caleb arrived via C-section during Channel Five's two-hour special Birth Night Live, presented by Gabby Logan.

READ MORE: Mum films herself giving birth next to playground in her garden

In a similar situation, the show makers had wanted to film a natural birth, but it was not possible due to bad timings – one was born just eight minutes before the start of the show! Seems like babies don’t take TV into account when they’re trying to come out…

The show was met with controversy before airing, as medical professionals were worried about the impact the disruption could cause expectant mothers.

One senior staff said at the time: 'Some of us have very big reservations.

'If they really want to show the wonder of birth, why don't they film it and transmit it once they know everything has gone well and mother and baby are fine?

'Childbirth isn't always that simple and things can go wrong. Imagine what it would be like if there was some disastrous complication, live on TV.'

Since then we’ve been treated to pre-recorded One Born Every Minute, which premiered in 2010.

Mariana Cerqueira
Lifestyle Editor

Mariana is a lifestyle writer who has written for Goodto.com and My Imperfect Life. She joined the Goodto.com team as an intern after completing her journalism MA at City University. After six months spent writing about food, celebrity news, and family trends, Mariana left to write for Healthy Food magazine - but returned in 2017, to join the Future team once again. In her spare time, you’ll find Mariana in the kitchen cooking for her friends.