Super Cool Retro Underwater Birth


This video. Where did it come from?? It’s one of the coolest water birth videos I’ve ever seen. It must be from the 1980s. It seems German? In any event, it’s a water birth in a special transparent, somewhat futuristic (and awesome) looking plastic birthing tub. You can see the entire birth very clearly.

What’s striking to me– and surely to others– is to see the baby born into the water and stay there for so long. It’s just minutes really, and the baby is fine and getting oxygen from the umbilical cord, but it is always mind-blowing to me to know that we were all aquatic animals in the beginning!

Also, look how little blood there is! Virtually none until the cord is cut and even then there’s only a little. I know births can be messier than this– my own certainly was– but there’s a sense out there that birth is this massively bloody battle ground, and it’s just not necessarily like that.

Forewarning: This video is graphic in the sense that there is a baby coming out of a mother but I wouldn’t call it scary or inappropriate at all! In fact it’s reassuring. I showed it to my kids and this is what they said, verbatim, “Look a head. I can see the nose! He’s swimming! Is this for real? Cute!”

One tiny complaint I have about this video and so many other great (and even terrible) birth videos, is the music. Sure Pachelbel’s Canon is lovely, but it removes a very important aspect of what’s happening: the sound of mother and baby. I imagine in this video there was some moaning, deep breathing, laughter, tears of joy, crying from the baby. These sounds are complex and describe the variation of sensations going on here (moans and laughter, crying and calm silence). The pretty music can sometimes romanticize the scene in a way that I don’t think we need.

Ceridwen Morris (CCE) is a childbirth educator and the co-author of the pregnancy and birth guide From The Hips. Follow her blogging on Facebook.


Thanks Birth Junkie for introducing me to this video.

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