This site is intended for health professionals only

Health Union criticises TV "Bringing up Baby" series

The reality baby TV programme "Bringing up Baby" aired on Channel Four should be strongly monitored by a watchdog ethics committee with legal teeth, Unite union has said.

Unite/Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (CPHVA) believes that the series is "dangerous" in its treatment of the babies and parents involved.

Unite/CPHVA has already approached the Children's Commissioner's office about setting up a "watchdog" body to monitor the programme.

Maggie Fisher, Unite/CPHVA professional officer, said: "We need to establish how such an ethics committee might function - who should sit on it, what powers it would have and what its legal basis might be. The Children's Commissioner has the necessary national influence and authority to lead on this."

Unite/CPHVA first raised the alarm about the series in the summer months and has since then generated a website petition with the NSPCC with nearly 3,000 signatures.

Maggie Fisher added: "It is clear that voluntary codes of conduct don't work with a television obsessed with audience rating figures. Babies can't give their permission to take part in such programmes, they rely on their parents to protect them.

"However, there appears to be no protection from Claire Verity and her eccentric parenting methods, which have seen sobbing parents being told to neglect their new baby as part of a routine."


Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"I absolutely agree with Catherine. With all that we know about babies' brain development. That woman should be prosecuted for cruelty to children (and parents!). I've been qualified for 40 years and it was cruel then. Now we know why, there's even less excuse" - Sue Freeman, Health visitor

"Absolutely! Having just completed a 4-year degree on 'Early Childhood Studies' with the University of Plymouth, I am astounded that Channel 4 can justify showing such an an outrageous programme. Claire Verity is advocating an archaic and outdated method of child rearing which fundementally ignores the vitally important aspect of 'secure attachment'. Ms Verity should research attachment theory and re-examine her attitudes.  Channel 4 must apologise to viewers and accept responsibility for showing such an unethical programme thereby contributing to vulnerable people who may believe and follow the 'Verity' method to the lifelong detrement to their children" -  Catherine Hunn, BA