Can You Take a Video During the Birth of Your Baby?

Dad taking photo of newborn at birth
Photo © BSIP/UIG/Getty Images

You've probably always assumed that you would have pictures of your new baby. You may have even thought of a few good labor pictures or even possibly some of the birth. Maybe you've been dreaming high-tech and are planning on having a video camera present.

Guess what? You'd better make sure that you are allowed.

Why You Might Not Be Allowed

That's right: some hospitals and birthing facilities do not allow photos of the labor or birth. Some even go as far as to ban photos for the first few postpartum hours.

There are some critics of these hospital policies who say that this is merely a way to prevent someone from using a video in a court proceeding. After all, many surgeries are videotaped. Others say it's more convenient for the practitioners.

Supporters, mostly hospital policymakers, say that it is to allow the mother and baby the very best care or to enforce HIPAA guidelines.

Not all policies are the same. Some birthing centers say parents can take videos of labor and postpartum but not the birth. Others allow video recording of vaginal deliveries but not cesareans. Some places will allow parents to video or photograph the process with the doctor's permission only. The best way to be sure which policies apply to you is to ask your care team.

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  1. Relias Media. HIPAA restricts some photography, but not all. Published March 1, 2018.