The animal’s keepers at the safari park leave the elephant alone to move and birth as she feels most comfortable. Reminding us that we are animals, too, Ina May suggests that we also tap into our intuition while laboring, pay attention to our bodies and move in ways that feel best to us during labor.
Ina May pointed out how the mama elephant opens her jaw wide when baby is being born (at 1:44). Ring any bells? You’ve probably heard during your prenatal yoga classes that allowing your jaw to be open and loose helps your bottom to relax, too! (Note: If you get nervous when baby elephant isn’t breathing, stay with it…)
Want more? Ina May also recommended that we watch a specific chimpanzee birth (see below).
What’s so interesting about this birth are the position changes the birthing chimpanzee does. She’s mostly upside down (as if in shoulder stand!), but she moves into other positions during pushing, too.
It’s common for women having a normal physiological birth to also change positions while pushing — in and out of squatting, side-lying, hands and knees, etc. If we allow our animal brains to take over, our bodies intuitively know how to move to help baby out in the best/easiest way possible.
What do you think of as you watch these videos? Do they bring up any specific thoughts or emotional reactions?
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma