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Rad Video Of Baby Blinking And Moving Underwater During Birth

By ceridwen |

I’ve seen lots of different kinds of births, but still this video blew me away. Maybe just for the simple fact that we rarely see a baby moving and blinking and very baby-like, but underwater, still in the amniotic sac and not breathing.

In this water birth the baby girl’s head emerges under water. We can see that the sac has not yet broken– this is called being born in the “caul” and it’s perfectly safe, just really unusual. (In some cultures it’s considered a blessing.) She starts looking around, blinking, turning and wriggling a little. Still, her body is inside mom. Soon her whole body emerges, she comes to the surface of the water with help from mom and takes her first breath. All of this with absolute calm.

This baby is also born in the occiput-posterior position– or facing the back. This is also perfectly safe, but involves some extra maneuvering on the baby’s part.  In this case, the midwife doesn’t grab the baby’s head to pull her out. There’s clearly no need for it, and the baby is just fine.

I bet midwives get used to it, but to me, it’s still awesomely new and weird to see a baby just chilling out in the water. I think you can even see fluid moving in and out of the baby’s mouth. It’s so hard to remember that babies are not “breathing” before they are breathing. I find I get a lot of questions about this in class. Is the baby stuck!? The baby can’t breath in there! Well, the baby is still getting oxygen from the umbilical cord. For a few moments in birth a baby is right in the sweet spot between living in water and living in air. It’s just still astonishing to me the way this all works.

My only advice about watching this video is to turn down the music, it’s an odd choice for a soundtrack.

Thanks so much to Midwife Thinking and Gloria Lemay for alerting me to this video. There’s always something new to discover when it comes to birth.

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About ceridwen



Ceridwen Morris is a writer, mother, and certified childbirth educator. She is the author of several books and screenplays, including (Three Rivers; 2007). She serves on the board of The Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York and teaches at Tribeca Parenting in New York City. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ceridwen's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Rad Video Of Baby Blinking And Moving Underwater During Birth

  1. MonicaBielanko says:

    You used the word “rad”. That makes me love you so much.

  2. ceridwen says:

    Ha! Monica, it really is rad. In fact, it’s totally rad.

  3. Naomi says:

    So rad!

  4. Carolyn Hastie says:

    I love this clip. You are right – it is totally ‘rad’ in that most folks don’t ever see anything like this happening. We are so privileged that the mother chose to share this precious video with us. Babies are so intelligent. Mothers are so intelligent. Both are able to do their ‘thing’ when they are fully supported to do so. The midwife was obviously awesome too. Thanks for sharing it, the more people see this video and others like it, the more physiological birth will become ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ in the communities eyes.

  5. S. Lee says:

    Sweet Video!

  6. L. says:

    that was beautiful

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