If you haven’t heard of April the pregnant giraffe you might have been on the moon. And if you have been home and have heard about her you probably watched some footage of the animal pacing her stall hoping to catch a glimpse of a giraffe giving birth.
Live feeds from two webcams at her home at Animal Adventure Park were running 24/7 this week. The park was hoping to offer an educational experience for people.
You can watch here:
Tens of millions of people logged into the live feeds in late February hoping to see the birth but many of the doulas in the crowd realised something fairly quickly:
April wasn’t actually in labour yet.
And, as a doula, there is one thing I know really well and that is that birth takes time.
When a woman is pregnant and approaching her due date the same kind of excited attention drops down on her. Friends and family begin phoning, texting, emailing, Facebook messaging, hoping for updates. “Have you had that baby yet?” “Are you ever going into labour?!” “What’s going on with you? How are you feeling? Any contractions yet?”
It feels like being stalked!
Unlike April, who has no idea the world is watching her, pregnant women do feel the pressure. You are not a giraffe giving birth! And, while everyone’s concerns are motivated by love and excitement, it can feel like a huge invasion of privacy.
Some pregnant women cope by changing their voicemail message and not answering the phone when they get close to their due date. Others post a daily message on Facebook alerting friends and family that they baby isn’t here yet.
Here is a free meme you can use to let people know you’ll tell them when baby arrives.
Humans need privacy to go into labour and give birth. If we know we’re being watched all the time our hormone flow is altered and the hormones we need to have a baby won’t work right. It’s ok to tell your loved ones to back up and give you the time and space you need to go into labour when your body is ready.