Childbirth is an incredible experience. When all goes well it is the most wonderful thing, and it is amazing to celebrate afterwards with loved family and friends.
But, it could become a traumatic experience, and you can never tell if it's going to go well or take a turn for the worse which is one reason children (and pets!) are seldom invited to participate in the process.
Yet some parents do it, as described in the video below:
She's not the only one.
The risks didn't give 29-year old hypnobirthing and pregnancy yoga teacher, April Wild, pause, as she birthed her third child with her four year old daughter, River, present for the entire "magical" water birth.
See the full story here: Four-year-old helps mum deliver baby brother in living room
We shared the story on social media, and were somewhat surprised to see that most people did not find this "magical" at all, in fact many expressed concern.
"I really don't see what is "magical" about a 4 year old helping her mother birth? This is just weird, creepy, traumatic and totally unnecessary... Why?" commented one poster.
Another wrote: "A 4 yr old is still a baby herself.. I don't think it was appropriate for her to witness that.. its just wrong. She should be playing with dolls.. not delivering babies."
A few expressed similar sentiments to this one: "Hope she puts money away for therapy later on."
See more comments here:
South African parents might not agree with this but in other countries it is now seen as a "norm".
In 2016 celebrity and TV chef Jamie Oliver had a similar experience when his wife Jools gave birth to their fifth child.
Their two daughters who were then 12 and 14 years old were in the room with their mom during birth and they also cut the cord.
Jamie revealed at the time that it was "amazing to witness, very very emotional"
Ann Linden, a midwife in New York City, told BabyCentre that "the choice for a child to be present at a birth is highly individual."
She advises that if you want to explore the possibility with your child, "present the idea without exerting any pressure. And let him know that he's allowed to change his mind at any time."
It is important to note that a child of any age will need some preparation for this experience. "No matter how wonderful it can be to watch a baby being born, it can also be very frightening for a child to see his mother in pain," she said.
Would you let your kids be present or help during birth?
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