Dolphins are considered one of the worlds most intelligent mammals along with whales, chimps and yes, humans. So, is it crazy for a female human to choose childbirth with dolphins in place of doctors? Or is it enlightened? Heather Barrington, age 27 is going to do just that. Barrington has flown to Pohoa, Hawaii with her husband Adam to prepare for labor at the Sirius Institute with a series of pre-natal swims. Many people are calling her crazy and labeling her idea “…one of the worst natural birthing ideas anyone has ever had”, I don’t know – next to hospital births, this could be a completely enlightened decision.
Water births in general, according to the American Pregnancy Association, lend to more effective contractions, less stress, less pain, more blood flow and more oxygen to the baby. So what about adding dolphins into the mix? We already know that dolphins are a lot like humans – they know themselves to be individuals, have memories and unique personalities and they “engage in cultural traditions that can be passed down to future generations“. Besides these characteristics, researchers at Texas A&M University have found that 16 out of 22 dolphin chromosomes are the same as humans. The nine remaining are simply combinations or rearrangements of the human equivalent.
Researchers have also measured the brainwaves of humans after they interact with dolphins and they have recorded induction of the alpha brain wave state, which balances the hemispheres of the brain and can result in improved immunity, mental response and is indicative of a calm state of mind. What better state to be in for childbirth? Hawaiians practiced dolphin-assisted birth regularly as part of their culture until at least 1937, when interrupted by newcomers.
There are countless stories of dolphins helping humans heal and/or becoming aware of an illness they have, as dolphins use sonar to transmit through soft tissues, relaying information back to the dolphin’s brain. This is advanced technology. Humans do not as yet have the internal technology to be able to identify an issue going on inside of someone else without using invasive treatments.
Dolphin assisted births may trump hospital births in this one area alone – statistics say that “children of mothers who took even the standard drugs available to them during childbirth were 3 times more likely to abuse drugs” later in life. Dolphin births in the black sea for over 30 years have shown that children born in the presence of dolphins develop faster in the first half of their lives, have more brain weight (up to 150 grams) and are even more likely to be ambidextrous.
Dolphin birthing centers are popping up all over the world and are the subject of many international discussions. The Sirius Institute in Hawaii says they receive at least 2 requests per week from people interested in doing a dolphin-assisted birth.
Instead of being judgmental of someone who decides to be unconventional and follow the call of their heart, perhaps our society would benefit from educating themselves on what it is they are judging first. It seems the internet is now plagued with stories about this couple’s plan and how ‘stupid’ it is. When the truth of the matter may just well be that we could all benefit from their example of courage and uniqueness in trying something that calls to their inner wisdom. Hospital births are certainly not successful in giving mothers an experience they will cherish all their life. In fact 12 out of ever 4,500 childbirths in hospitals end in death.
So here is to reviving ancient wisdom and to choosing to birth primal – in the presence of other wise beings.
Written by: Stasia Bliss