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05/29/2013

Is dolphin-assisted birth a good idea?

Dolphin
Childern interact with dolphins at the Georgia Aquarium in this file photo. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

A couple from Charlotte, N.C., is gearing up for the birth of their first child — in water, around dolphins.

Yes, you read that right.

The Charlotte Observer reports Heather and Adam Barrington travelled last month to Pohoa, Hawaii, where they want baby Bodhi to be welcomed into the world in July with assistance from dolphins.

The Barringtons are staying with Star Newland, founder of The Sirius Institute, a consortium with the purpose of “dolphinizing” Earth, reports the paper.

In the weeks leading up to the birth, the couple plans to spend time in the water, forming a connection with a dolphin pod.

The idea of dolphin-assisted birth hugely appeals to them.

“It’s total relaxation for the mother,” Adam told the paper. “Dolphins are very intelligent and healing which in turn calms mother and baby for the whole process,” added Heather.

The Charlotte Observer story says living in harmony with the Earth is a way of life for the Barringtons. Among other things, they have travelled across the country, staying with friends, living in and out of their car and picking up odd jobs or doing trades when they need money or food.

Not everyone is going ga-ga over their choice of birthing.

Christie Wilcox, a science writer, wrote a scathing piece about it in Discover magazine. She writes dolphins are “wild animals and they are known to do some pretty terrible things.”

“Look at how their treat their women. Male dolphins are aggressive, horny devils. Males will kidnap and gang-rape females with their prehensile penises, using alliances of several males to keep females isolated from the rest of the group.”

She makes a compelling argument against dolphin-assisted birth.

Back to dolphins, dolphin-assisted birth may sound unconventional but not more than what some other researchers have said. For instance, a W5 episode on CTV focused on dolphin therapy for children with autism a few months ago. Like dolphin-assisted birth, it had its believers and critics.

Raveena Aulakh is the Star’s environment reporter. She is intrigued by climate change and its impact, now and long-term, and wildlife. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh

Comments

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What about the abuse of dolphins that are confined to tiny pools for their whole lives?

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