N.C. couple plans on delivering baby in ‘dolphin-assisted birth’

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, May 28, 2013

For some, swimming with the dolphins is the dream of a lifetime. For this North Carolina couple, however, it’s giving birth among the dolphins.

Heather Barrington, 27, and her husband Adam, 29, have picked up their lives and relocated to Hawaii in the hopes of having a “dolphin-assisted birth” this summer.

“It is about reconnecting as humans with the dolphins so we can coexist in this world together and learn from one another,” Heather Barrington told The Charlotte Observer. “Having that connection with the pod of dolphins anytime – even if the birth doesn’t happen in the water – still brings peace, comfort and strength to the mother and baby during labor.”

The Barrringtons are currently living in Pohoa, Hawaii with Star Newland, founder of The Sirius Institute. According to the institute’s website, it is “dedicated to the creation of human/dolphin co-creative habitats where dolphins and people can learn from each other through music, underwater birth, dolphin sound healing and restoration.”

The institute recently set up the Dolphin Attended, Water, Natural and Gentle Birth Center (DAWN), which the Barringtons are taking part in. The website claims that dolphin-assisted birth is a part of an ancient native Hawaiian practice, and that the waters off Pohoa are some of the few in the world to have perfect conditions for dolphin-assisted deliveries.

The couple have already participated in several prenatal swims with a pod of dolphins at the institute, and plan on bringing their baby – to be named Bodhi, regardless of gender – with them on several postnatal swims as well. Bodhi, who will be the couple’s first child, is due in July.

Should the couple be unable to deliver underwater, they have also made plans with a midwife on dry ground.

Although dolphin-assisted births are rare, dolphin assisted therapy (DAT) is a well-known practice to help those with mental and physical disabilities and autism learn basic skills and functions, according to Medical Daily. In addition, water births – without the presence of dolphins – have proven to be beneficial in the few documented cases on the subject.

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