As Adam and Heather Barrington prepare for the birth of their first child, they made some unusual decisions: They traveled to Hawaii to connect with the earth and have a “dolphin-assisted” water birth.
“It is about reconnecting as humans with the dolphins so we can coexist in this world together and learn from one another,” said Heather in an interview with the Charlotte Observer.
The soon-to-be parents funded their trip from North Carolina to Hawaii by working odd jobs during the early stages of Heather’s pregnancy. In April, they flew out to the islands to stay with Star Newland, founder of The Sirius Institute. They plan to stay there until Heather is expected to give birth in July.
A large part of their study in Hawaii revolves around bonding with a pod of dolphins.
“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,” said Heather.
Adam and Heather’s philosophy is based on “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life,” a 1999 book by Drunvalo Melchizedek. In the two-volume collection, Melchizedek illuminates “the mysteries of how we came to be, why the world is the way it is and the subtle energies that allow our awareness to blossom into its true beauty.”
When Heather goes into labor, the Barringtons intend to visit a bay populated by dolphins so that Heather may have a dolphin-assisted birth.
According to the Sirius Institute website: “Since birthing in water is beneficial, and dolphins are able to heal or improve a wide range of medical conditions, it is reasonable to suppose that their presence at water births could be beneficial.”
The Barringtons also explained their goals in a video on YouTube.
Although the Barringtons believe they are acting in their child’s best interests, science writer Christie Wilcox says they should reconsider.
“My professional opinion: This has to be, hands down, one of the worst natural birthing ideas anyone has ever had (and that is saying a lot),” Wilcox said in an article for Discover Magazine.
Although dolphins can have their sweet moments, the Hawaiian-based expert in venomous fish explained the marine mammals have been known to toss, beat and kill small porpoises, sharks or dolphins for simple enjoyment.
“No matter how cute they might appear, dolphins are not cuddly companions,” Wilcox warned. “They are real, large, ocean predators with a track record for violence — even when it comes to humans.”
She concludes that the Barringtons would be better off without the dolphins.
While they are at it, they may also want to start considering where they’ll live after the baby is born — something they haven’t planned for yet.
“We always do things on a whim,” Heather said. “Showing him or her all the love possible is what matters.”