Live streamed animal births are becoming a very large trend on social media. I can’t complain, though. My daughter wants to be a vet one day so she loves them. That said, there are some things we weren’t prepared for when we started to watch these births. I wanted to share 10 things to know before watching live animal births with kids.
10 Things to Know – Live Animal Births with Kids
These are tips from our experience. We have already had the sex talk and have open dialogue about any questions related to that so that is not a factor. If you have not had this talk, be prepared for questions.
Live Mammal Births are bloody
Be prepared for the fact that mammal births are bloody. I know that my kids were both intrigued and disgusted by this at the same time. Some animals will have more bloody show than others but it is part of the experience.
Giraffe babies fall
The first time we watched a giraffe birth we were a little traumatized. Giraffe babies fall a few feet from their mom and can land on the ground on their backs. Mom will walk away briefly and the baby just lays there. It’s kind of disconcerting if you aren’t aware it is coming. The baby will start to come to and mom will engage with the baby. However, at first they will not so be prepared for that.
The mother may eat/clean the afterbirth in a mammal birth
In a mammal birth it is not uncommon to see the mother licking the blood and birth effects from the baby. While this is perfectly natural, it can be off-putting for children. It is important to prepare them for this and explain why this may help an animal in the wild to survive. If your child has an uneasy stomach, they may not enjoy this part as much.
There could be complications
If you choose to watch a live feed of an animal birth it is very important to prepare yourself for complications. What if one egg doesn’t hatch? What if the baby doesn’t make it? Not every animal birth is a promise of a healthy baby. Prepare your child for this possibility. If you are concerned, use pre-taped births like the ones I like to in this post. All babies in this post survive.
There are predators in the wild
Not all animal births are filmed inside of zoos. Some will show what things look like in the wild. This can be a great educational opportunity. However, make sure that your child understands that there are predators in the wild. Some of the animal birth videos will show a predator trying to kill a new baby. Sometimes they are even successful. Make sure to talk through this with your child before watching a video like this.
Zoos and Rescues will intervene medically where needed
Not all animal births go smoothly. If it is a birth at a zoo or rescue there may be a decision made to protect the lives of mom and baby by intervening in the birth process. This could mean birth via cesarean or going in to rescue a baby who mom may not let live due to imperfections. These care workers are there to protect both lives. Some videos will let you watch the surgical procedure to save the unborn baby.
Animals birth in the water
I know this seems like a no brainer but there are animals that give birth in the water. These births are great to show children and talk through. You can point out how quickly the baby has to be able to move and react to their environment to avoid predators. It is also interesting to see how quickly a dolphin will find the surface for air.
Sometimes the male gives birth
In cases such as the seahorse, the male is the one to give birth. This is very interesting to talk about with children. I find that it is fun to let them spend some time researching what other animals rely on the male to give birth.
Hatching eggs can take a long time
Some eggs take hours will some will take over a day to hatch. It is important to prepare your child for a longer process. There is no instant gratification without the fast forward button when it comes to some eggs.
Some “birth” videos will actually be videos of an animal laying eggs
There is nothing wrong with this. I am simply making you aware that some birth videos will be the animal laying the eggs. They may not even show you the hatching. This can be interesting if you wonder how a certain animal lays their eggs though.
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