Underwater Birth and Dolphins
Igor Tscharkofsy, Dr. Igor Smirnov and Elena Tonetti in Russia,
Dr. Michel Odent, M.D. in France, Estelle Meyers in New Zealand,
Dr. Gowri Motha, M.D. in London, Binnie Dansby in England
and others pioneered underwater birth.
Now underwater birth is an accepted as part of the British
health services and recommended for those who anticipate problems
with their pregnancy. Literally thousands of successful
underwater births have occurred throughout the world. The
initial enthusiasm for this technique has grown and its benefits
for the mother and child are increasingly confirmed.
Parallel to these developments, the practice of dolphin assisted
therapy developed through the work of Dr. Hank Truby, Dr.
Betsy Smith, Dr. David Nathanson, David Cole, Scott Taylor,
Dr. Horace Dobbs, M.D., et alia. The direct experience
of many people who have encountered dolphins and been healed
by them also confirms this approach.
As the advantages of underwater birth became clear, and the
therapeutic value of dolphins was demonstrated, the concept
of humans birthing underwater with dolphins developed.
Since birthing in water is beneficial, and dolphins are able
to heal or improve a wide range of medical conditions, it
is reasonable to suppose that their presence at water births
could be beneficial.
Some 20 years ago, after developing and confirming the benefits
of water birth, Igor Tscharkofsy began to birth human babies
in the Black Sea with the dolphins. Some of the reported
occurrences include a mother and a baby playing with the dolphins
within 45 minutes of the birth, another instance of a free
dolphin escorting a newborn human baby to the surface for
its first breath. According to Igor Smirnoff, their
research director, water babies develop six months faster
over their first two years and development of waking, talking
etc. occur earlier. According to Elena Tonetti, who
managed the Black Sea birth project for several years, the
children are also ambidextrous.
Dolphins are curious about pregnant women and often come around
to check them out. This is a common occurrence according
to Dean Bernal, companion to the free dolphin Jo Jo who swims
with many people in the Turks and Caicos islands. In
commercial "swim with dolphin" programs, pregnant ladies are
often excluded from the swims because the dolphins often concentrate
their attention exclusively on her to the exclusion of the
In the Black Sea, dolphins would often come close to the people
in the water and were present at many births. Dr. Gowri
Motha, M.D. took 8 pregnant ladies to the dolphin facilities
at Eliat so they could birth with the dolphins. She
is convinced that this is beneficial for the mother and the
babies. More evaluation and repetition of the process
will more firmly establish the benefits of underwater birth
with the dolphins.
The work of Dr. Stanislav Grof and others have established
that the birth experience is the major formative experience
for our personality. A good birth results in an
imprint of basic trust in the universe while a difficult birth
can lead to an imprint of struggle. Whatever the
imprint, it tends to be repeated in our later lives.
From a physical point of view, human babies at birth have
proportionately the largest head of any land creature with
the smallest body. Dr. John Lilly found that angular
accelerations can create sheer forces on the brain.
Above a certain critical value that depends on brain and body
size, the brain can be damaged by accelerations. A birth
into water allows a smooth transition where the head and brain
are neutrally buoyant. The mass of the water minimizes
the accelerations to the brain and helps insure its intact
delivery. See: http://www.planetpuna.com/Brain-Size-Birth
The fact that humans like water, swim, dive, and are attracted
to birthing in the water has led to the development of the
Aquatic Ape Theory that postulates that humans are partially
aquatic creatures and evolved in a watery environment near
rivers and coastlines for millions of years. This has
resulted in several "marine" characteristics including the
structure of the nose, the position and shape of the breasts,
subcutaneous fat, and tear glands which are characteristic
of some marine animals like seals, dolphins and sea birds. See:
This puts water birth in a context in where it is part of
our aquatic heritage and approaches the conditions of our
ideal primal environment. We now know several cultures
practiced water births including the ancient Egyptians and
the Hawaiians. In fact, Hawaiians performed underwater
births with dolphins as late as 1937 and still privately maintain
At the moment, the birth activities in the Black Sea have
ceased. While several projects have sought to establish
places where people could birth with dolphins, this has yet
The Dolphin Attended Water and Natural (DAWN) Birth Center
Hawaii is ideal for underwater births attended by free dolphins.
The climate is ideal and there are coastal areas throughout
the islands where dolphins come close to the shore.
A Sample of the type of coastline suitable for the habitat
is seen below.
There are tide
pools, hot ponds, access for free dolphins. This area
of Hawaii is the only area where all these occur together.
Therefore this is a prime area for establishing water
birth with dolphins and the human-dolphin habitats where we
can live and learn from each other. This area can also be
the first embassy for the Cetacean Commonwealth.
details see: www.planetpuna.com/VOD19