Couple Plans 'Dolphin-Assisted Birth'
Adam, Heather Barringer in Hawaii for the experience
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2013 9:03 AM CDT
This undated photo provided courtesy of Dolphin Quest Hawaii shows Keo and her newborn calf.   (AP Photo/Dolphin Quest Hawaii)

(Newser) – A South Carolina couple is getting quite a bit of attention for their, shall we say, unconventional birthing plan: Adam and Heather Barringer headed to Hawaii last month, where they plan to welcome their baby in July via "dolphin-assisted birth," the Charlotte Observer reports. The Barringers are studying at the Sirius Institute, which fosters human-dolphin interaction, and will spend the weeks leading up to the birth bonding with a dolphin pod. And then, the main event, which will obviously take place in the water: "It’s total relaxation for the mother," explains Adam. Adds Heather, “Dolphins are very intelligent and healing, which in turn calms mother and baby for the whole process."

The plan has met with some incredulity (Jezebel calls it a "questionable life choice"), and a Discover writer goes so far as to say it's "possibly the worst idea, ever." Remember, Christie Wilcox points out, dolphins can be extremely aggressive. But Medical Daily takes the issue fairly seriously, and notes that dolphin-assisted therapy has existed for more than 25 years. In DAT, patients work on things like hand-eye coordination while swimming and playing with captive dolphins; the process is often used with children who suffer from autism, or patients with other mental or physical disabilities. In addition, the American Pregnancy Association has pointed out the benefits of normal, garden-variety water births. Even so, there's no scientific evidence at this point that dolphin-assisted birth would be beneficial to mother or child (or dolphin).

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
InferiorToYou
May 31, 2013 9:35 PM CDT
Maybe just have a doctor in a dolphin costume
KumarPatel
May 30, 2013 9:08 AM CDT
billions of women have done it just fine the normal way for tens of thousands of years...just some stupid attention whoring is all, guess it worked they got their 15 mins, poor kid being born to a bunch of shallow losers like these...
Rational.-Anarchist
May 30, 2013 7:11 AM CDT
Can't wait to hear how this turns out. Seems like one of the most stupid ideas I've ever heard! It's people like this that give a bad rap to Southerners! Honest, we are NOT all a bunch of inbred morons, but there are a few, obviously.