Signs of Life: Popular Places for Giving Birth

Once upon a time, it was standard practice for mothers to bear their children at home or in the local midwife’s hut (which often included a warm bath, for what nowadays we would refer to as a “Jacuzzi birth”). Supposedly, some European women even sought to give birth in a stable or cave where animals were kept, in hopes that the child would turn out something like Jesus, that is, be holy, sober-minded, and avoid heavy metal music.

But in the 20th Century, the systematic hospitalisation of entire peoples caused a shift from the standard home birth (now called a “home” birth, with quotes to make it sound outrageously abnormal) to the Labour & Delivery Rooms1 of hospitals.

However, some creative couples are choosing to deliver in other places, in hopes of a more fun and exciting birthing experience. Much like destination weddings, these births promise lifelong memories, stories to tell for generations, and picture-perfect snapshots for the photo album (especially if one hires a professional photographer).

Some of these creative birthing places are natural and quaint:

  • the beach
  • a forest
  • an open field.

Others have become popular with modern forms of transportation:

  • trains
  • planes
  • automobiles (sometimes in the hospital parking lot—for the drive-thru birth experience)
  • cruise ships (replacing the old-fashioned trans-Atlantic ships to America)
  • houseblimps.

Still others are fun and exciting:

  • amusement parks (especially on rollercoasters)
  • playgrounds (while the older siblings play, of course)
  • little league cricket matches2
  • construction sites
  • about midway down a ski slope (“extreme birthing,” as some would say).

And for the classy couple, locations of a professional or social nature:

  • law offices
  • public libraries
  • theatres
  • hotel lobbies
  • weddings/funerals (certainly cheers up the funeral party)
  • mall cafeterias
  • school reunions (especially in the U.S., where high school reunions are quite popular)
  • and, if you’re lucky, or just rich and famous, on television.
  1. Not to be confused with the Labour Party’s Delivery Bay, where the trucks bring in loads of mail for the politicians.
  2. Curling and flailing haven’t made the top 10 list yet.

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