Parent reviews for Call the Midwife

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Common Sense says

age 14+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 19 reviews

age 11+

A look in to women's lives

I'm not sure why Netflix changed the rating to TV-MA. There is some mild language, and smoking. However, many of the issues are real life issues women have, and still do deal with. I put 11 and up, but truly, if you watch this show with your child and explain the things they don't understand, a younger child could watch this. It's a wonderful fictional historical drama that will educate, and leave you cheering, crying and pondering.

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age 12+

The butt review

A good educational story about a midwife. A good but kind of sad show about these midwifed and nuns helping extremely poor people and abandoned babies. Some birth scenes.
age 13+

wonderful, bitersweet show

I began watching the show when it first aired and I was 14- granted, I was already volunteering at a hospital so I was exposed to some of the material already. At times it can be sad , and some of the birth scenes may scare the very young. However, there is no glorification of drinking, swearing, or sex. The show depicts how difficult it was back then and how good people work to be the hands at feet of Jesus around the world. I would definite recommend it for mature 13 year olds and up.

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age 11+

We love this show

My daughter and I love this show so much that we have watched the seasons several times. It is graphic and there are mature topics. For us it has been a way to discuss things that face women then and now. It opens up conversations about many topics that might not come up in everyday life and many that are often uncomfortable. With us there is lots of stopping the show and me asking her what she thinks and having a conversation. It shows the cycle of life very beautifully. It also shows the complexity of life.....the good and the bad.
age 15+

Love this show!

I really enjoyed this show. It would be fine for older high school age kids, but not younger ones. It handles many mature themes with grace and dignity, but would be too heavy for young viewers. Parents should know there is at least one birth scene in every episode, and though they don't show the nitty gritty, they do make it seem quite real. Sometimes it's rather intense as things don't always go as hoped, and there are other mature topics addressed such as STD's, prostitution and abortion. It does a beautiful job of showing just what women go through as they bring life into the world and many of the issues of women's reproductive health. There's more than just the feminine side though; they tackle topics such as elder care, poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, the role of medicine in our lives, love, mental illness, friendship and family. It is all done in a way that celebrates life and overall is a very uplifting show that deals with complex issues without being preachy or having a political agenda. At least I didn't feel that it was trying to sell me on one viewpoint or another, to me it seemed it dealt with the fact that these are real issues that people sometimes face. I will actually encourage my daughter to watch this in high school because it addresses real issues that she will undoubtedly encounter in her life and I could only wish to present these things to her in the way this show does. The events are told through the eyes of a young midwife who is encountering many of these things for the first time herself. I read somewhere that it was called the "bravest" show on TV, and I would agree.

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age 12+

Good family drama

This has been my favourite show for 5 years. There is really no limit age limit on this show. Anyone is welcome to watch the birth scenes. The reason I rated it as 12+ is that is this more than just a birth show. This show tells modern day viewers all about the difficulties that women, all women, not just pregnant women, faced in the 1960s. Today, such issues still exist, but they have been more accepted and understood among people. Here are some of the mature content I must warn you about. 1. First of all, I want to assure you that there are no sex scenes. CTM is all about the consequences of sex. Despite there being on scenes of couples undressed and engaging in sex, there were many references to sex. - A midwife and her boyfriend( who is a vicar and supposedly opposed to pre marital intimacy) throws his preaching out the window and makes out with his girlfriend at night. They were never nude, but they kissed for about 5 min and he touched her bottom) - In season 2 episode 1, a lady was pimped by her husband. We see the lady kiss her husband goodbye and then get into the car with another man. Fortunately, viewers never saw her have sex with the other man. It took place off screen. -There were 3 prostitutes who failed on their birth control, and got pregnant. Thus needing the help of the midwives who treated them without judgement while convincing them to find another job. Good news is that all 3 gave birth to healthy babies( one baby was delivered by a midwife not associated with Nonnatus House, and birth was never shown on screen). Bad news.. sorry about the spoilers but one of the prostitutes had her baby taken away, and later tried to kidnap another couple's baby, one got syphilis, but was treated and cured, the third was a captain's daughter whose dad forced her to be a sex slave on board. She had a baby girl delivered by one of the midwives, who went onto the ship to help her. and they never found out who was the father, there were too many men . on board. 2. Lack of modesty Of course, this being a birth show, it is expected. It's not a warning but only kids who have taken some sort of lesson on puberty will have a general idea of the birth process, hence the 12+ Midwives must look between the pregnant mother's legs for exams and delivery. These births look very real. The women don't scream and swear and half ass the role of the labouring mom like the birth scenes in movies. There is a midwife advisor on set. The advisor tells the actresses how to moan, grunt, and pant like a real mom in labour. The babies, who do NOT belong to the actresses( they belong to other moms who allow their baby to be filmed) are all under 2 weeks old, so no 4 month olds dressed up as newborns, like they have on grey's. No one's private parts are shown, but they do place the newborns close to that area of the actress so it looks like the actress delivered the baby. My favourite part is when the babies crown( meaning i can see the top of their head coming out of the birth canal. Most people puke at the thought of that, but once you get used to seeing births, that becomes rather magical. 3. Gore..again..expected with a birth show. - Two scenes of botched abortions( out of the entire series) back then such action was illegal, unless there is medical reason. That's the reason for the 12+ rating, a 6 year old would not be able to understand the concept of abortion. - Two hemorrhages. Ok i get it, most women lose about half a litre of blood during a natural birth. But hemorrhages, sorry for the scare,is when the baby and placenta are delivered,and all of a sudden there is a huge gush of blood That is not normal, that requires urgent action and a few bags of donor blood to fix. Or,in one episode, one of the midwives was pregnant and her delivery was hell. Her placenta began to separate before the baby was born. - which brings me to the next topic, c section. That's how the midwife's delivery turned out. C sections are never pleasant. It will always be a major surgery, unlike appendectomy, which is now no longer a open abdominal surgery. However, back then c sections were even worse than they are today. There will be three in this series. Two of the three are never shown. One is shown. That one shown on screen will take place in a 60s OR with the mom put under( they don't do that anymore, unless there's no time for a spinal). Also, a real OB does the surgery for that episode and he makes a midline incision( vertical). That cut hurts like ( insert your favourite swear) and is hard to heal and fade. Today they don't do that vertical cut anymore( unless in a dire emergency) they do the smiley face/bikini line incision whatever you like to call it. Yes i imagine once the spinal wears off it still hurts a lot. But a lot of the c section moms walk out of the hospital unassisted 3 days post op.. that's what i like to call..talent... like how do they act as if they haven't had surgery. If they are still in pain, they hide their feelings like a pro..just trying to by funny. 4. Relating somewhat to the third point..delivery stuff garments- yes, i know as a child, white latex gloves could be used for a horror movie. Dun dun dun dun... on top of that the midwives also wear a white cap and a white gown. Whenever someone wears white( which as a child i think immediately to scary doctors) or gloves( which means they are going to stab you with sharp objects any second now). But CTM took this fear away, at least for this show. White gowns and gloves were the only thing available as sterile dress in the 60s. The midwives aren't even going to do anything painful to the moms, other than maybe a shot of pain meds, and there was one membrane sweep( still don't get why that is so painful). That's about all. I stopped associating white with fear of painful sharp stuff)Midwives don't intervene to a great extent. - forceps& " the small cut with scissors, starts with an e but i'm not going to attempt to spell) Today, forceps are just about as dreadful as c sections. However, since inserting metal spoons into the birth canal isn't the best thing in the world, women always get epidurals before that type of delivery. Women in the 60s were not so lucky. Epidurals weren't widely used until the late 60s and 70s. Yup it was that much fun. In forceps delivery, the women always need an " cut", no not like a c section, it's the cut down there. Today's women will always get a shot of lido cane..did i spell that right?( that stings, like the kind you get at the dentist, but id imagine this is 1000X more embarrassing being down there) but that numbs the spot. Back then, it was assumed that the contractions overpower the pain of the cut. Not true, these women on CTM screamed like there was no tomorrow.That is a myth, the myth was believed in China in the 90s and that means my poor mom, and all the other Chinese moms of people my age( I'm a 90s baby) were victim to being cut without numbing meds. Anyway.. note to self... and note to all girls.. in the future if you find yourself needing one of these dreaded cuts.. and don't have an epidural in.. tell the doctor that you would rather die than get cut with no numbing meds. FYI I got stitches without numbing meds in China when i conveniently fell on a metal bar while trying to balance on something, and miraculously i didn't lose my voice from screaming and even more miraculously i am still alive today. I wanted to die right then and there from these un numbed stitches. But most likely, you will never have to request for numbing meds because 9 times out of 10 it's going to be given to you without request. 5. Last one..phew.. drinking. One of the midwives was an alcoholic. She is sober now and attending a support group. Interesting thing is that her addiction never once affected her professionalism towards patients, she was never drunk in front of them. Although we never see her drunk and talk funny, she did get a bit of an overdose one night, forcing another already exhausted midwife( who worked all day) to head out again for a night delivery( to cover for the drunk midwife, who was asleep and dead to the world) . Also, part of my brain dies everytime a pregnant lady smoked, they didn't know the risk back then. Even the doctor smoked. Makes me want to go back in time and give a presentation on the ill effects of these ( insert swear here) things. Anyway my apologizes for this essay, instead of a comment, but i tried my best to make it funny..right?

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age 14+

A consistently interesting show about new life

Coupled with the premise of having new life given sometimes multiple times in a single episode, the show has very interesting, strong female characters you can invest in. Trixie and Chummy particularly stand out to me, a bombshell with a quick quip at all times and the latter a motherly soul with a vocabulary that requires me to keep the captions on at all times. Start binge watching now, and maybe this show will be on par with "Downton Abbey" like it deserves to! (BTW, this does have some era-appropriate smoking)

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Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 14+

My youth

Since I am 58 I see my youth in this series . I also see that life nowadays is much better though I feel melancholia . This world is so "clean"in the west We had the best of times and the worst f times :-) My mum smoked through pregnancy and breastfeeding All people I knew smoked From the GP to the dentist In hospitals and so on and we still live What does that say about modern day tales ? Show children this world - cause we are forgetting our history !

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age 12+

Healthy and educational

Depending on the maturity of the child, but this brings a strong educational message on the history and reality of childbirth, health care and women's health. All boys and girls should both learn where baby's come from, and that there is nothing to take for granted in the progress we have made on the health of mothers and infants. A fantastic learning resource, with good story lines.

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