The world (yes, including us!) has been watching. April the Giraffe has finally given birth to a precious baby boy, as millions have watched her labor and delivery via livestream.
I woke up this morning to the interwebs ablaze! April was in active labor, for real! Two adorable little hooves out and everything!
I, along with millions of people across the world, watched as that rock star Mama moseyed around her unit, nibbling on foods left to give her strength through the process, and I imagine, thinking positive thoughts and listening to her body. (Not the hoards of people telling her to get.that.baby.out.already!)
Again, we don’t typically cover animal births, but, we felt that there were a few things the world could learn about April’s labor and delivery process!
1. Working with gravity is so much better than against it! April standing and walking her entire birth basically proves what we intuitively know–it is so much better on mama (and baby) to work with gravity than against it. Research shows that upright birth position promotes lower episiotomy rates, and reduced need for medical intervention such as anesthesia.
2. Food during labor should not be a rigid no-no. For far, far too long, pregnant women in labor have been told they could not eat. Yes, we understand that sometimes, emergencies happen and surgical intervention may be necessary. But, for the most part, even the American Association of Anesthesiologists agree that healthy women would benefit from food during labor. April ate like a champ right before active labor to get ready, and nibbled throughout to keep up her strength. More could take note.
3. It’s good to be prepared, but allow nature to do it’s thing first. Of course, there are situations where medical intervention is needed for birth. We never want mamas who have been in that position (like me!) to ever feel shamed when nature needs help. But, again, for the most part, going as naturally and with as little intervention as possible is better for baby and for Mama, and while it’s important to have help ready at a moment’s notice, our bodies are amazing creations that are more capable than we often give credit for.
4. Most babies come when they are good and ready. Poor April! Meme after meme after meme harassed her about when that baby was coming, and what someone was going to do if it didn’t come on the time schedule they felt appropriate. Try as some might to control every little aspect of our births, babies don’t often pay attention to us backseat womb-drivers.
5. There’s no such thing as too much love. You may know that the giraffe symbolizes language of the heart, as it’s heart is the largest of any land mammal in the world. The giraffe is the symbol of nonviolent communication parenting, and this particular giraffe inspired so much positivity and well-wishes across the globe. And while some may still believe that ‘over-loving’ a child will make him self-centered and absorbed, there’s a lot to be said for having an entire world rooting your Mama (and you!) on.
Welcome to the world, sweet baby boy, and well done, Mama April!