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