Saturday, March 7, 2009

Give birth like other mammals — peacefully

When I was pregnant and studying Hypnobabies, we were taught to surround ourselves with good thoughts about pregnancy and birth. It can be hard to do when, if you flip on the TV, you might be assaulted with the likes of an A Baby Story non-progressing C-section saga, or a sitcom "humorously" depicting birth as changing loving wives into screeching hags.

And, yet, I craved videos of true-to-life births, both to prepare and to celebrate. As someone who had never seen a birth in real life before, I wanted to see the possibilities. As someone who expected and hoped for a good birth, I wanted to witness what could be beautiful in the process.

I found my answer in YouTube. And it might not be what you were expecting.

Certainly I watched my share of homebirths, water births, natural births, and experiences with childbirth hypnosis.

But what really brought tears of joy to my eyes were watching animal births. Dogs, cats, horses, zoo animals, even water mammals — I was struck by how well these creatures embodied the Hypnobabies philosophy of having no fear in birth, no expectation of things going wrong, complete trust in their bodies.

Yes, I know animals aren't conscious in the same way humans are, and I know we're not built exactly the same, considering that they tend to walk on all fours and we prefer standing. But I took inspiration and comfort from how calm they were in the face of similar physical forces, and how effortless they make birth look. For instance, watch the giraffe birth below and be astonished at the idea of casually letting your newborn drop from a height of several feet onto straw! :)

So, if you're pregnant and thinking about birth, in this post are a few videos for looking forward to the beautiful event. There are many more if you search, although, as always on YouTube, be cautious in what you choose. Also, I don't always appreciate the human presence in the pet and livestock births, because it seems like the animal mamas are doing just fine on their own, thankyouverymuch — another inspiration for taking charge of your own birthing! Below is a necessarily unassisted dolphin birth:

Enjoy, and a peaceful birthing to you! May you be as casual as this panda giving birth to twins:

P.S. I had Mikko watch the video below today of a dog giving birth to a puppy, and he thought it was hilarious! See, nothing traumatizing to it at all.


Lisa C said...

If you haven't noticed already, I love commenting on blogs!

When I was pregnant, I found myself glued to the screen of a calf being born to a cow. So, I totally get it!

Lauren Wayne said...

Totally -- it's like seeing Childbirth Without Fear come to life! I was so pleased at how matter of fact the animals seemed.

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