The world is waiting with bated breath for April the giraffe to give birth to her 4th calf. Some people have been watching the live stream of April for nearly 4 weeks now and the general consensus from the audience is 'baby will come when it is ready'.
From the moment I first saw that there was a live stream of a pregnant giraffe, I expected the comments to start. You know the ones that we get when we feel like we've been pregnant forever 'are you ever going to have that baby', 'if you go much longer you'll pop', 'you look huge, are you sure it's not twins' etc.
But the one thing I was waiting for was the odd comment about how we should be giving April's labour a helping hand! After all, with 25% of our labours in the UK started by induction and an ever increasing caesarean rate, I didn't exactly expect our medicalised view of birth to stop with us. It wasn't long until I started seeing the comments and here are a few gems which I couldn't help but laugh at-
'I swear if she doesn't give birth soon, I'm going over there and performing a caesarean on her'
'Just wondering, how long will they let her go?'
'15 months? She's probably having complications, help the baby'
'I have to say. . . is this normal? This long of a process?'
These comments are very few and far between but I can't quite believe that we are starting to also distrust that animals know how and when to give birth when they have done quite alright without our assistance in the past.
Why in general though do we trust that animals know how and when they should give birth but we don't trust ourselves? If this was a live stream of a pregnant woman, I can't help but think that the comments suggesting she should be induced, have help, should definitely have had the baby by now, would be coming far more frequently. Of course there would still be people who very much believe in our body's abilities and would be telling everyone to calm down and just wait patiently, but certainly not the majority like in April's case.
Naturally, left to our own devices, we give birth just like any animal does. When our babies are ready, when we are calm and relaxed and feel safe and comfortable. You don't see April worrying that her baby is 'late' or that she needs help to bring her baby in to the world. So maybe, lets all take a leaf out of her book. Lets trust in our bodies and babies and lets also stop putting so much pressure on pregnant ladies. Asking if they have had the baby yet, telling them they are 'too overdue' and that they need to be helped with induction etc. is not going to bring the baby earth-side any sooner, nor is it going to boost their confidence in their body and baby which is actually all the input they really need at this important time in their life!
Oh and April. . . You got this babe!
Emma Batt, Hypnobirthing Mother of one and KG Hypnobirthing teacher.