You've heard of people going on vacation to Hawaii and swimming with the dolphins, right? Dolphins are cute, smart, graceful—even funny. What's not to love? But it's one thing to want to become one with nature for an hour swim. It's quite another to want dolphins swimming around you, massaging you, during the underwater birth of your child!
You read that right. North Carolina couple Heather Barrington, 27, and her husband Adam, 29, have trekked over 4,500 miles to Pahoa, Hawaii, with the intentions of having an underwater birth. In the middle of the ocean. Surrounded by wild dolphins. Dolphins acting as doulas. What part of this sounds like a good idea?!
Remember: the dolphins you see in YouTube videos doing cute tricks for treats in a tank at Sea World are not the same as the ones out in the wild blue waters. One is tamed and trained to respond to human commands; the other, in the mammal's natural setting, is known to be malicious. The males gang up on the females and rape them. Both sexes kill small porpoises and baby sharks just for fun. This is not sweet, lovable Flipper we're talking about!
But Heather and Adam—who got the idea after reading the book The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life by Drunvalo Melchizedek—are confident they are making the right decision for themselves and their baby. "It's total relaxation for the mother," Adam told the Charlotte Observer. "Dolphins are very intelligent and healing, which in turn calms mother and baby for the whole process," added Heather. They hope the dolphin-assisted birth will bring "peace, comfort and strength" to the whole birth experience.
The couple flew to Hawaii in April for the months-long preparation for Heather's July due date. The birth plan—in conjunction with The Sirius Institute, which sets up these kinds of births—is to have Heather try to bond with a group of dolphins over the next few months so they will become comfortable enough to massage Heather's body to help relax her, or "escort the newborn baby to the surface for its first breath" as the Institute claims takes place during a dolphin-assisted birth.
I fully understand not wanting your birth to be a stressful experience for you or your baby. And, yes, the sound of waves is relaxing (that's why nature-inspired sound machines are so damn popular!). But would you really want a 300-pound wild animal anywhere near your newborn child? And if that alone wasn't scary enough, what happens if you go through complications during the delivery? What if you start hemorrhaging or suddenly need a C-section? Hello, we've all seen Jaws—blood attracts sharks!
TELL US: Do you think a dolphin-assisted birth sounds like a good idea? Would you do it?
Image of dolphins courtesy of Shutterstock.