(OCEANS) Adam Barrington and his wife Heather are among an alarmingly increasing number of soon-to-be parents partaking in a bizarre birthing process called dolphin assisted birth. The process involves a water birth with dolphins, and is supposed to bring the expecting mother peace and serenity as well as a feeling of one with nature. However, experts are very skeptical about the unusual procedure and worry that it may result in harm to the fetus. As brilliant as dolphins are at the end of the day, they are still wild animals, and they have been known to kill other small animals for no reason. Therefore, wouldn’t it seem unwise to bring a newborn into such an unpredictable environment? Also, how could this process impact the dolphins involved? Read on to find out more about this strange new trend. — Global Animal
A couple from North Carolina has traveled to Hawaii to birth their child under water in the company of dolphins – an idea that experts say is not only whacky, but extremely dangerous.
Adam Barrington, 29, and his pregnant wife Heather, 27, told the Charlotte Observer that the dolphin-assisted birth will bring ‘peace, comfort and strength’ to the mother and her baby during birth.
But experts say that dolphins, especially in the wild, are unpredictable, dangerous and not to be trusted around a pregnant woman – or an infant child, for that matter.
‘This has to be, hands down, one of the worst natural birthing ideas anyone has ever had,’ writes Christie Wilcox in Discover.
She cites research showing that dolphins will ‘toss, beat, and kill small porpoises or baby sharks for no apparent reason other than they enjoy it, though some have suggested the poor porpoises serve as practice for killing the infants of rival males.’
She also points to a number of YouTube videos showing dolphins roughhousing with humans.
‘Is this an animal you want to have at your side when you’re completely vulnerable?’ she asks.
Moreover, marine biologist Lori Marino has noted that after a decade of research, ‘there remains no compelling evidence that [dolphin-assisted therapy] is a legitimate therapy or that it affords any more than fleeting improvements in mood.’
The couple is headed to The Sirius Institute in Hawaii, which has the stated purpose of ‘dolphinizing’ the planet.
Heather Barrington says its possible that she won’t have the actual birth in the water with a dolphin midwife.
But she will spend a lot of time in the water before and after the birth trying to bond with a pod of dolphins, nonetheless.
‘It is about reconnecting as humans with the dolphins so we can coexist in this world together and learn from one another,’ she told the Charlotte Observer.
The couple has been married four years after seven years of dating. They work odd jobs when they need money and travel around the country, staying with friends or in their car, the Observer reported.
They have no specific plans for where they will live after the baby is born.