Born in the Wild due to be aired in the US on June 9
Born in the Wild due to be aired in the US on June 9

Many women might applaud giving birth naturally but being butt-naked in the wild is a step too far.

However, this is not the case for a group of expectant mothers who have embraced the challenge for US television network, Lifetime, as part of their Born in the Wild reality show.

Inspired by a viral video showing a birth in the forest that notched up 20 million hits on YouTube last year, the eight-hour long episodes will follow women giving birth without being given any assistance from doctors - just the serenity of nature to help them push their way to motherhood.

But critics have already condemned the show for putting future mothers at risk who may be influenced into giving birth without medical assistance.

"I understand everybody wants to believe we overmedicalize pregnancy and that it's a natural process.

"But it's a natural process that historically has caused an extraordinary loss of life," said Ron Jaekle, doctor at the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Fetal Centre.

"There is not a single piece of literature that we had to read growing up that didn't talk about somebody's mother or wife dying in childbirth, it was part of the national vocabulary. In the 1900s, a women died for every 1,000 babies born in the United States. Today it's .1 for every 1,000."

But producers of the show have assured concerned viewers that a trained emergency doctor will be on set and that the chosen location will be near a hospital if any complications arise.

Also, the women participating on the show will have already given birth before – ruling out first-time mothers.

Eli Lehrer, Lifetime's head of programming told Entertainment Weekly: "I'm not surprised an obstetrician would say that but we're taking extreme precautions to make sure the mothers and the babies are safe.

"Our presence at these births is going to make them far safer than if they were doing it on their own."

But Jaekle remains less convinced and added: "They can't possibly make it safe enough to not eventually have a problem that will need a medical intervention to save the day. And then the producers won't interview the docs in the ICU who will say, 'This would never have happened if she had been in a hospital.'"