Monday, July 12, 2010

The Berenstain Bears and the Unassisted Home Birth

I am always glad to find books that celebrate home births, especially since they are so few and far between. So to find an unassisted home birth in such a mainstream book as the Berenstain Bears really made my day.

The book is called, officially, "The Berenstain Bears' New Baby". Small Bear outgrows his small bed, and heads out into the woods with his dad to build a new one. He hasn't noticed that his mom's tummy is much bigger--but his mom pauses a minute to celebrate that "You've outgrown that snug little bed just in time!"
While Small Bear and his dad sharpen the axe, and chop down wood, the little bear keeps asking what will happen to his bed.
Imagine his surprise when his dad tells him he's going to have a new sibling!
And imagine my surprise when they come home to his sibling--already tucked into the old bed, and even dressed in white with a bow in her hair!

It's amazing: while they were in the woods, Mama Bear went into labor, gave birth unassisted, birthed the placenta, cleaned the baby and herself, cut the cord, cleaned the mess, dressed the baby, moved the old bed into the other bedroom, and got back into her classic spotted blue dress, her belly back to (admittedly round) normal size.

I mean, they didn't even mention the hospital! Or even a midwife!

I've always thought women who do unassisted birth were pretty self-sufficient, but Mama Bear really takes the cake.

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