animals

April the Giraffe | The Watched Pot… Stays in Labor?

It is amazing to witness a birth.  Seeing a human enter the world is a beautiful and spiritual thing.  Watching animals birth is equally awe-inspiring.  How they seem to just know exactly how to move and where to go.

Miss April the Giraffe is about to give birth.  She’s a Giraffe in New York anxiously awaiting her baby.  For the last month she is believed to give birth any day.

 

And the world is watching……….And still watching.

Good news is she likely doesn’t know it.

In labor it is common for people to be so excited and supportive to their loved ones they think they will get to watch the birth.  They may wait in a waiting room or hope to enter the labor room.  They could be at their own home waiting on updates and continue to text or call worried.

So when you birth who do you want watching?  It’s OK to do what you feel.  For some the idea of lots of close loved ones near by is reassuring.  For others it can create the feeling of “the watched pot never boils.”

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Typically in labor a woman will experience pain or intensity.  Which can be hard for others to see.  The woman may be coping well but all the loved one sees is suffering and wants it to end.  A laboring woman will have different levels of intensity at different points of the labor.  The mood of the room will change.  If the people in the room do not acknowledge that change it may become annoying or frustrating to the laboring woman. As well as anxious energy in the room can radiate to the laboring woman.  Ideally the room will radiate relaxation and calm.

Some find themselves feeling bad if the baby doesn’t come fast enough because all their family is waiting.  This can all lead to mind games.  The mind and body are very connected.

I personally thought I was OK with the number of people who attended my first birth in the beginning.  Which included some unplanned but caring loved ones.  Then my labor was long.  Long enough for the visitors there to dwindle down to who I originally thought would be at my birth.  And then… things picked back up and baby girl arrived.  I truly believe the added people watching and waiting played  a role.

You need to take a look at yourself and what serves you.  What will you feel if your labor is long?  Are you comfortable asking people to leave?  Some say birth is as intimate as the act to create the baby.  Who do you want watching then?

So April, Good Luck sister!  You’ll do great!  I won’t be watching 😉

 

 

Viral Birth Sensation | April the Giraffe

Guest Blog by: Marie Lang, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Placenta Specialist

Picture this.

You are pregnant with your fourth child.  Your body has been preparing for this for some time.  You are under the watchful eye of trusted and trained medical professionals. You are comfortably and safely in your own private space – or so you thought.

Next thing you know, you are live streamed and your birth becomes a viral sensation.

While this isn’t a typical reality for most birthing individuals today, it is happening right now to April the Giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

surveillanceOf course, watching a giraffe give birth online can be an educational event for humans, and it can be argued that since she isn’t aware of anyone watching her or the magnitude of the live stream, that it doesn’t really affect her.  But what if it did?

In our current times, we have so many modes of social media and so many ways to get information out to the public.  Today, everyone is a celebrity.  We have Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and more!  It is easier now more than ever to announce your news (or someone else’s news) to the world.  Typically the intentions are good.

Of course your family and friends are so excited about the new arrival that they want to be a part of the celebration!  So they post a pic, or tweet some birth stats, before you even have a chance to give your baby a name!  This can feel very violating and it takes away from something that is meant to be a very special and intimate time.

New parents today should feel empowered to say no.

It is ok to keep your birth space private. It is ok to ask for no details on social media. It is ok to want to be the one to make whatever kind of special announcement on social media that you want to – first.

Here are a few tips for family and friends to gently remind them that this is a special and private moment for you.

  1. Do not pester an overdue mother – she is definitely more anxious than you!  She has heard the, “Did you have that baby yet??”…5,000 times already today.
  2. Do not mention the baby’s name before she publicly announces it – if you are lucky enough to be privy to this information, keep it to yourself!
  3. The pregnancy and birth announcements should come directly from the parents – this should be self explanatory, but it bears repeating!
  4. Ask the parents how they feel about you posting their photos – every parent has a different philosophy when it comes to their children on social media.  Some parents love the attention!  Some are more private.  Even if you think you know – ASK anyways!
  5. Don’t ask when they plan to have another – there are a lot of factors that come into play when a family is planning to add to their family.  These are all private decisions that they may not necessarily want to discuss in public.
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Parents, feel free to use this picture on your social media to help!

Whether its a baby giraffe, or a baby human, that is welcomed into the world, we can be sure that there will be lots of excitement surrounding it all.  With some support and respect, we can do our best to make sure they enter the world in a respectful way for everyone.

Congrats to April the Giraffe and all other birthing individuals out there!

Autumn Fun at Upland Hills Farm

Written by: Amy Hammer, co-owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, and CPPS

Fall is upon us and in Michigan that means fun with the family at cider mills, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and farms to name a few.  Janice Rex-Weaver works at Upland Hills Farm in Oxford.  She does marketing and social media for the farm which has been open since 1960 and is still family run by the current Websters who met at summer camp as pre-teens.  Awwwww!  We decided to ask Janice a few questions so families could learn just exactly what wonderful opportunities Upland Hills Farm offers to its community.

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We asked Janice… What is your favorite thing about Upland Hills Farm?

“The fact that it has maintained an authentic farm experience for all these decades.  It was created to teach people where their food and fiber come from.   In addition to days when the public visits the farm, Upland Hills welcomes thousands of school children to the farm each year.  And for school districts that do not have field trip capabilities, UHF brings the farm to the school!  Kids are in complete awe when they see a cow in their gym!”

They have farm animals that you can visit of every kind… dairy cows (that children have the opportunity to milk), goats, sheep, pigs, horses, alpacas, mini-donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, even labrador retrievers!  The farm breeds them, which means you may be lucky enough to visit when the babies are little.  Many spring babies happen with cows and sheep.  This summer also brought kits (baby rabbits) and they are expecting a cria (baby alpaca) any day now.  It’s a baby boom!

Piglets are coming in October!

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Speaking of animals, we asked Janice for a funny animal story…

“Ok, this is perfect because this melds together my birthing education business with my love of farm life. I was showing a family around the farm who was interested in having their wedding there. One of our cows had just given birth to a calf and ………..wait for it………was eating her placenta. Ok, for those of us in the birth world we understand mammals do that, but I am sure for the bride it was a little shocking!”

How about that?!  Farm mammals instinctively understand the potential benefits of placenta consumption!

Along with the amazing farm animals, Upland Hills Farm offers many different programs throughout the year:

  • School Field Trips
  • School Assemblies
  • Summer Day Camp
  • Summer Sundays
  • Fall Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Moon Hayrides
  • Weddings & Private Parties
  • Downtown Rochester Farmers Market + CSA (community supported agriculture) share opportunity
Summer Day Camp is a huge offering the farm has.  Kids have the opportunity to just be kids, hanging out with animals and nature… choosing their own activities from farm chores, crafts, sports, nature walks & swamping, horseback riding and more. And their afternoons are spent swimming in a lake.  Who doesn’t love that?!

Fall brings popular upcoming events as well like the Fall Harvest Festival (Saturdays and Sundays in October) and Harvest Moon Hayrides (Friday and Saturday nights in October).

The Harvest Moon Hayride is a great non-haunted attraction.  It’s super chill and includes a hot beverage and a donut. People can also bring marshmallows/hotdogs and sticks if they want to roast by the bonfire or they can also just relax by the fire with their family.
There is something going on every season at Upland Hills Farm, so no matter when you decide to visit you are sure to enjoy it.  Go check them out – it’s worth the drive!  From 0-99 years of age, there is sure to be something fun for everyone.

Happy Fall!!

Thank you to Upland Hills Farm for all you do, also to Janice for your time and input!
For more information visit: www.uplandhillsfarm.com
481 Lake George Road, Oxford, Michigan 48370
248-628-1611