Sure, give birth in an unnatural environment in the presence of a carnivore. Sounds safe.

This is a truly dumb idea going around the news sites these past few days.

Dolphin-assisted birth: Nice, or nuts? – CBS News.

From water birth to hypnosis, the natural-childbirth movement has tried a variety of innovative methods to accommodate women who are uninterested in a medically assisted birth procedure.

But critics are now saying the natural-childbirth movement has completely jumped the shark — or, in this case, the dolphin.

Dolphin-assisted childbirth is an option that some expectant parents are embracing, claiming it is a more natural, relaxing way to deliver a baby.

WHOA. Stop right there. There is nothing relaxing about delivering a baby. To put yourself in a strange environment worrying about this wild animal around you seems completely counterintuitive.

Science Sushi on Discovery blogs calls Dolphin-Assisted Birth—Possibly The Worst Idea, Ever.

What would you do if the dolphin does get aggressive, decides to attack the mother or even the newly-emerged baby? How would you protect either from a three-to-four hundred pound animal with lightning speed and agility that is more at home in the environment than you are? And that’s just the dolphin side of things. What if something goes wrong with the birth in general? What if the baby gets stuck, or the mother starts hemorrhaging? Do you really want to be deep in the ocean if something happens?

Well, maybe not THE worst but right up there with most irresponsible. She mentions this was featured on Penn & Teller’s Bullshit show. I remember that. The mothers ended up not going through with it. The birth is not really about you, ladies. It’s about bringing a healthy baby safely into the world.

Dolphin-Assisted Birth: Therapeutic or Wishful Thinking? [VIDEO] : Conditions : Medical Daily.

According to founding partner, Paradise Newland, and research director, Michael T. Hyson, Ph.D., “birthing with the dolphins has been an ancient native practice in Hawaii and in other cultures.” Because of a perceived demand, the Sirius Institute has developed the Dolphin Attended, Water, Natural (DAWN) and Gentle Birth Centers in Hawaii. Boasting a mild climate, year-round availability of free dolphins, and supportive cultural milieu, Hawaii is the natural location for DAWN, the partners claim.

There may be worse choices than placing your fate in the hands of the Sirius Institute, which promotes ‘integration’ of the Cetacea (dolphins and whales) into human culture. No matter how attractive they appear, though, dolphins are wild animals; predators that in fact, have been known to kill other animals. Those who study dolphin behavior report that the marine mammals can become aggressive towards humans though reported injuries have been relatively minor, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod.

I’m skeptical of that claim that it’s a native practice. Why would women go into the water to give birth at all? It would attract predators. There are bacteria in the water as well.

Besides the fact this is unnatural, potentially dangerous and has NO evidence to support it is even beneficial at all, one particular feature of this idea irritates me – that dolphins are some magical creature that have a connection to humans. They are animals. They do their own thing. We are projecting our feelings onto them and that is faulty reasoning.

Tip: Todd Stonewall

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  15 comments for “Sure, give birth in an unnatural environment in the presence of a carnivore. Sounds safe.

  1. Kitty Lapin Agile
    May 28, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I often find the argument “it’s a long standing practice of the natives to the area”, to be silly. For one, does anyone ever check to see if it is true? Second, just because “natives” practiced it, does that make it safe or even better? Vermont has a history of midwives, and I know 3 babies that have died during home births. Guess what, law suits happen next. Dolphin birth? Are these dolphins in a pool? Or out in nature? In which case sharks might be a concern. Blood is involved in birth. Dolphins in pools, that’s a breeding ground of poop and bacteria and all sorts of goodies. Guess what moms? Childbirth is uncomfortable. But not the horror one imagines. A dolphin will be just as confused as any other animal.. .and will get the blame if anything goes wrong.

  2. Eve
    May 28, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I think I’m going to start a business–LAB: Leopard-Assisted Birth. Have a Caesarean the natural way!

  3. May 28, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    It’s coincidental that I mentioned Michael Hyson in the comments of your other post about cancer-curing dolphins and Christie Wilcox had done a post about it too. For that to come up twice in one day says something about the sad state of my life I think.

  4. May 28, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Whatever happened to dingo-assisted births?

    Damned new fads.

  5. Graham
    May 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    This and the story about using Dolphins to detect cancer make me wonder if someone has confused Anne McCaffrey’s “The Dolphins of Pern” with reality…

  6. Dave Sharp
    May 28, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    I just don’t understand. In what way can the dolphins be considered to be “assisting?”

  7. Chris Howard
    May 29, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Ugh! Seriously, ugh!

    That is all.

  8. May 29, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    I try not to refer to our fellow creatures as ‘animals’, that sounds derogatory. I prefer to call them ‘other animals’.

    • May 29, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      There is no difference. We are not plants or minerals.

  9. May 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Yes, that is my point.
    Animals is frequently used by us as a term of disparagement, to indicate a species some regard as ‘lower’ than themselves. Other animals suggests they are equal to us, creatures that have evolved as we have, but are different.

  10. May 29, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Going with the idea that bigger is better . . . Orca-assisted births, in the numbing waters off the Alaska coast.

    . . . I kid, but someone is going to read it and go . . .”Say!”

    • May 29, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Nah, giant squid assisted births are safer – more tentacles to hold the baby.

  11. May 29, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    This would be irritating if not for being completely hilarious. Though I’ve never had a child, I can say with relative certainty that if I would I’d want to be in the company of those trained to actually assist, and who wouldn’t, under any circumstance, mistake the infant for lunch. Gotta love that line ‘year-round availability of free dolphins’ though!

  12. Pete Formaini
    June 2, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Ah yes, because nothing says “relaxing” like bleeding in shark-infested waters!!!

    These people are certifiably insane!

  13. June 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Perhaps it would be helpful if someone could define “unnatural child birth.”

Comments are closed.