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