Images of a 3-year-old girl who participated, and even helped, during the delivery of her baby brother have gone viral on social media — and sparked a conversation about why it’s become the norm to prevent children from witnessing the act of birth.
After being asked by her mother, New York native Rebecca Joseloff, to be present during the homebirth, Hunter, 3, began watching videos, and even studying anatomy, in preparation for the big event. When it came time for her mother to start pushing, Hunter was there to provide support and stroke her hair. As her brother’s head was crowning, Hunter even helped by holding his emerging head. A picture of Hunter holding the newborn that was taken by birth photographer and doula Nicole Lahey, who documented the event, went viral after Lahey shared the image with the Facebook group Love What Matters.
“She didn’t cower when her mother roared her brother out and she didn’t get nervous or concerned about it, at all,” Lahey, who the operator of Ready. Set. Chaos. Birth Services, wrote in the Facebook post. “Birth is the most normal part of life; share it with your children and teach them from the beginning, that birth is nothing to fear. Birth is strength.” Not everyone in the group was in agreement that it was appropriate or beneficial for Hunter to witness the birth.