Common Sense Media says

Sublime British medical drama with explicit birth scenes.

Users say

(out of 13 reviews)
age 12+
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Teen, 17 years old Written byunder dogg December 26, 2013

epic

beeeeppp
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Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written bymore2watchandread January 11, 2016

Call the Midwife Content Review

This show is excellent! I watched it all the way through in just a couple of weeks, it's so good. Call the Midwife is about a midwife/nurse named Jenny Lee (well, the first three and a half seasons are) who moves to the East End of London to further her education in health. She moves to a large building which is home to a group of nuns and nurses like Jenny herself. Set not even 15 years after WWII, Jenny attends to a lot of returned soldiers with wounds unhealed after the decade, which is sad on its own. But mostly, they're there for the expecting mothers and to help them with their births, so you see a bunch of REALLY cute babies. They show the births a lot of times, but not from the nurse's perspective, and rarely a baby dies or is born with anything abnormal. Homosexuality is in the show in the 4th season, introducing itself with Patsy and her girlfriend and then with a man who whose wife was expecting a baby. He was in a public place when he tried to undress with another man. Being queer is frowned upon in that society, so everyone then hates him and his wife, but when the man is forgiven in court, everyone accepts him back into the community. A lot of cheating happens in the show, and minors getting pregnant. There is also some dabbling with prostitutes every season. Racial stuff also happens, like a darker pregnant woman getting treated unfairly by neighboring women. Trixie, Cynthia (before the 4th season), Patsy, and Jenny all drink in their room at night, but nothing too bad. A lot of people smoke in the show, but never on the job near babies (the mothers do sometimes, but I think that's different), Everyone on here are such good actors/actresses! Miranda Hart is my personal favorite. I love her so much! GREAT ROLE MODELS. ALL OF THEM. Really educational! You learn a lot about nursing and midwifery, not to mention the historical facts you learn during the show. Jenny Lee is based of of a real woman named Jennifer Worth and her real memoirs. But it's kinda like Little House on the Prairie. They exaggerate a lot of things and make up things to make the show more exciting. A couple bad words are said, but nothing too terrible. There's blood, some stealing, some women physically fight whilst preggo, but there's no violence, really. It's just that you have to be okay with some blood and a couple of abortions, one done with tools that weren't sterilized illegally, the other in a hospital done by doctors because she had diabetes and was also a minor. A nun decides to resign and get married to a doctor older than her, but she does it with honor. I watched this with my sister, who is 11. She handled it fine. In fact, if you ask her, this is her favorite show, and definitely one of mine :D I'm normally not into this type of thing, but this show is great!
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Teen, 13 years old Written byABCand123 September 29, 2014

cool

cool
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Parent Written bycindy.1980 October 21, 2012

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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Adult Written byhelenah April 7, 2016

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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Teen, 13 years old Written byPoppy.bath April 5, 2016

definitely for girls! sooooooo goooooood!!!!

my older sister didn't want to watch but i made her and I loved it so much!!!!!! she liked it too but didn't watch any more! i have now watched all the episodes and have loved them all!!!!!!! it teaches a lot about women and childbirth some scenes are very intense and there is mention to (or shown) incest, rape, prostitution, adultery and domestic violence. definitely watch before you let your kids! all in all it is a sweet look into midwifery in the 50s!
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Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byRubyTherese June 6, 2015

Awesome

I love it! This is my favourite tv show. I started watching this when I was 11. My mum started watching it when I was 10 but I wasn't that interested when I walked past the tv. Then one day I decided to sit down and watch it and I immediately fell in love with it. I'd be careful with kids under 11, though.
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Kid, 10 years old December 28, 2012

my opinion ,fair

i think it is educational and help's kids know things were for women havng baby's in the nineteen fifty's.But it's up to you what you think
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Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bysfranza September 22, 2016

Life at the East End: endearing and heartbreaking

Call The Midwife has proved to be one of the best shows on TV. With a wonderful camera work it tackles social issues in London's East End which go from poverty to the pill passing through home abortions and the thalidomide crisis with the utmost care, compassion and very tactfully and subtly. The midwives and nuns are deeply involved in the community and care profoundly for their patients, devoting their full attention to them in every occasion. Every aspect of life is represented very accurately with exceptional quality acting from everyone. The stories told are heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It is a show that teaches valuable lesson about love and moral without batting an eye to the most harsh situations. Call the Midwife is a wonderful way to learn about the mishaps of life in a very classy manner.
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Teen, 14 years old Written bymercedesr March 17, 2016

Not for boys

If your children know the facts of life, this show is fine. It tackles some harsh issues like incest, rape and prostitution. However, this is a good tool to explain what those things are. I don't think boys would enjoy this at all. About three quarters of the show is jargon about birth procedure and its just really a womens thing. I watch this with my mother and its a heartwarming experience.
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Kid, 8 years old July 4, 2015

Explicit, graphic birth scenes in bloody but beautiful drama.

My rating:PG-13 for brief bloody images.
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 May 16, 2014

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
Adult Written byviper_wings March 18, 2014

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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