22nd November 2016

A love letter to post-birth comfort TV

Caroline Corcoran normally loves the new must-watch show and a Netflix buzz. Post-birth? She had different criteria…

There was tea, endless sugary tea, and bowls filled with sticky brownies and Hobnobs and token bananas that I would load up next to me while I leant back on a cushion and flopped a boob out.

“Use it as a chance to get through that box set you never watched,” said the breastfeeding support worker/ health visitor/ midwife/ faces blurring into one in front of my tired, tired eyes about those early, cluster feed-tastic weeks. And I would laugh because one week earlier I’d had a tick list of slick, award-winning shows I wanted to watch and now, all I had in me was a mutter along with Monica in front of a Friends repeat I had possibly also seen yesterday. Or the day before? Or this morning at 3am?

This is the role of comfort TV, coming into its own in that amazing, terrifying, hazy six weeks after you have a baby. When all the rules go out of the window and no-one knows what day it is. When you eat dinner (which is crisps) in bed. When you go between sobbing because you’re so in-love to annoyed that you have to wear a stupid non-wired bra again in three seconds. When putting shoes on is an achievement and you don’t put the bins out and wonder if you’ll ever get it together enough to put the bins out EVER AGAIN.

When watching a film seems like something you did in a previous existence, you can always manage Come Dine With Me. When the postman just saw your nipple and you are concerned you might bleed all over the dry-clean only sofa cushions, you can always gaze at Dinner Date, marvelling at these people, out there in taxis (with shoes on), living in the real world and eating their pan-fried monkfish. Not for you right now, thanks, you’ll just watch them on the telly instead.

I get irritated when people belittle TV as a medium but not because HBO now make dramas that are as good as films (though when I’m outside of the baby bubble, that is also true); because a lot of channels make shows that really aren’t and there are times in life when they are exactly what you need.

So, in that newborn bubble, stick Sam Faiers: The Mummy Diaries on if you fancy it. Revisit series two of Geordie Shore. I’m putting it out there: post-birth, I watched every episode of Elliot Wright: Playa in Marbella and when people came into the room halfway through it, I even put it on pause. I cared what happened to Elliot’s beachfront bar, alright?

So, swerve the box sets (the plot of The Wire is beyond you right now, my friend, and it is best to admit that) and instead, wrap a Corrie omnibus around you like it’s a giant squishy duvet. Snuggle those Friends episodes you’ve seen 13 times already in like they are a hot water bottle your mum’s made you when you’re shivery with flu. There’s plenty of time in life to critique the new season of The Affair or mainline Breaking Bad. This is so not one of them.


@mushmums @cgcorcoran



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