There is a lot of buzz right now about April the giraffe. She has supposedly been in labor for days (which is totally normal for a giraffe) and there are live videos of it all over the internet so that everyone can watch when the big moment finally comes.
I have been trying my best to not pay attention to it and I’ll tell you why.
I know the importance for any species to feel safe in their birthing environment.
We know that this contributes to oxytocin production and a more productive labor. April may not know that possibly millions are watching her but I believe all birthing creatures (human or otherwise) deserve a safe, protected space to labor and deliver their baby (or babies).
She is in a pen. I’ve heard some people say that this is for her own safety, but I can tell you that if she were in the wild, she would have found a safe place outside in her natural habitat to deliver. I question if this is inhibiting her labor at all because it’s not her natural environment. It should be completely possible for her to birth outside in a safe space provided and monitored as needed.
This brings me to my next point.
How do we even know she’s in labor?
There is a big difference between approaching your “due date,” early labor and active labor. Every time she has shown up on my newsfeed, she doesn’t seem to be in discomfort at all, which leads me to believe we have a ways to go. This could be a good learning experience for all of us. I always tell my clients that early labor is the longest part of labor and this is a perfect example!
I’m sure April will have an amazing birth once her body and baby decide they’re ready. In solidarity with April, I choose to respect her privacy and hope that she can birth in the way that works best for her. I look forward to seeing an adorable picture of her baby when that time comes.