It was such a pleasure to attend Maplewood Elementary School Career Day! Walking to school with my child in the drizzling rain I felt excited to share my knowledge of healthy birth and different outcomes with two first grade classes and one third grade class. Maplewood is a sweet school known for diversity and parent involvement and is just down the street from Get Babied, so many families are familiar with our work. Donning my Get Babied shirt a lot of folks were quick to point out that they see our sign at Airport and E. 38 1/2 St. on their way to school each morning.
Having been to one other career day at a different school representing myself as a Doula and Childbirth Educator, I knew I would ask a lot of questions and leave the children free to do the same in this elementary setting. It seems that communication about the anatomy and physical nature of birth are either a total mystery (as one child excitedly pointed out that babies are in the Mommy’s tummy in a big egg!) or beginning to be clearer as many students spoke accurately about their own births or the birth of siblings. Some kids spoke to loss of pregnancy in their families. One third grader said, “I’ve heard of that. It’s called a miscarriage.” There were, of course, birth stories about midwife attended homebirth, “I was the only person in my family born in a house” and c-section alike, “My Mama tried to push me out and it hurt so bad that she had to get her belly cut open to get me out.”
We chatted a bunch about how birthing humans are like birthing Mama cats who need quiet, solitude and a great feeling of safety to let the baby be born. Luckily there were two books in the school library that helped describe some of the feelings and thoughts of children who are having their first sibling: A Special Something by Jan Fearnley and The Birds, the Bees, and the Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Resources for asking more questions and getting more answers about pregnancy and childbirth was a topic in all three classes. Asking parents and doctors are always my first referrals, but I was particularly touched by two responses for where a young person could get more information: “I could talk to my Mom’s midwife!” and “I could ask your daughter about it.” My daughter is in the know on the topic since I am passionate about childbirth education.
We have enjoyed reading:
My Brother Jimi Jazz by Chrissy Butler-great for a planned homebirth.
It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robbie Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley-for older children with a lot of questions.
BookWoman in Austin has been a great resource for educating my child with age-appropriate content.
What a treat to love my career and to be able to share that love of a fundamentally human topic withing budding minds! It was a great way to begin the celebration of Motherhood this Mother’s Day weekend.
Happy to be the parent of a Maplewood Mustang!