Parenting Lessons I Learned at The Zoo


Talking about inducing labor the other day in my childbirth class, an expectant father, who seemed to know what he was talking about, chimed in, “The owners of prized cattle or horses would never use labor inducing drugs as it’s too risky, it’s best to leave the animal alone.” In a different class we had a long conversation about pets being born. “Don’t try to touch a mother cat in labor, she’ll be extremely angry,” said one of the students who’d seen cats give birth on more than one occasion.

The famous midwife Ina May Gaskin loves to talk about how other mammals behave in labor and how much we can learn from them. She often shows this incredible video of a mother elephant giving birth to and resuscitating her newborn. Then there’s this lovely video of a dolphin giving birth and bonding with its baby in a serene lagoon. In the spirit of all this au natch mammalian love, I give you this remarkable picture– bigger picture below. Feel free to print it and hang it on your hospital room door!













Thank you Feminist Midwife for the amazing photograph!

Ceridwen Morris, CCE, is a writer, childbirth educator and the co-author of From The Hips: A Comprehensive, Open-Minded, Uncensored, Totally Honest Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Becoming a Parent

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