Thousands Watch Woman Give Birth Live on Internet

More than 3,000 watch Minn. woman give birth live on the Internet.

ByABC News
November 9, 2009, 10:26 AM

Nov. 9, 2009— -- When a 23-year-old Minnesota teacher gave birth this weekend, it wasn't just her husband, mother and midwife who supported her every step of the way.

Thousands of people from across the country and around the world signed in to watch a live Internet broadcast of her more than seven-hour delivery.

For the past few months, Lynsee (who asked to keep her last name private) has been sharing daily details about her pregnancy on the social network MomsLikeMe.

When she was admitted to the hospital about 5 p.m. Friday evening, the social network sent an e-mail broadcast to about 8,000 members, in addition to messages sent via Twitter and Facebook.

According to Cindy Chapman, the site manager for the MomsLikeMe site for the Twin Cities area, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

At its peak, the livestream was accessed by about 3,600 viewers, she said. Initially, Lynsee chatted with viewers registered on the site. As the labor became more intense, she blocked them out.

"She thought it was fabulous," Chapman said.

At 12:46 a.m. Saturday, Lynsee's baby daughter Solveig was born, weighing 6 pounds, 8 ounces.

"When the delivery was happening, people were on the site, chatting and saying they were having chills and crying," said Chapman. "Even doctors were on the livestream, watching and crying."

Lynsee and her daughter will be dismissed from the hospital today, but the video of the birth remains on the MomsLikeMe site.

Last week, Lynsee told that she hoped the experience would educate others.

"We wanted to share this experience," she said about the decision about her decision to broadcast the birth, which she made with her husband Anders. "If I were in a classroom, I'd be teaching about development. It was a way for me to teach… A way for me to use myself as a textbook."

Lynsee joined the MomsLikeMe site for the Twin Cities area on the day she found out she was pregnant. She and Anders had just moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul, and she found the Web site to be a good way to meet other women and learn about local resources.

Soon after joining, she answered a message from the site's manager asking pregnant women in the area to contact her. And before she knew it, Lynsee wasn't just a member of the online mothers' network, she was a contributor.

After talking it over with her husband, the young woman agreed to share every last detail of her pregnancy through a daily blog, and then finish off the project with a live Internet broadcast of the delivery.

How did her husband feel? "He was a little hesitant at first, as was I," Lynsee said. But after MomsLikeMe assured them that the video would be shot tastefully, the parents-to-be embraced the idea.

When she gave birth, a cameraman was in the hospital room with Lynsee, her husband, her mother and her midwife. A second camera was mounted in the corner. There were not any graphic shots taken from over the midwife's shoulder.