The Importance of educating children about birth

 

 

“The birds and the bees” talk is a shared tale for parents. The moment it arrives is often dreaded, full of embarrassment and involves complicated stories about storks and babies that require unlearning down the line.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

In a recent conversation on our Facebook page, parents shared how their children responded to learning about birth – sometimes by witnessing it firsthand.

“My oldest daughter watched me give birth to her baby sister,” said Amanda Boucher. “I’ve yet to see or hear of any negative consequences of kids seeing birth or having information.”

You may find your child is ready to talk at an age younger than you expected, as children have friends whose parents are pregnant or they hear about babies being born. Let your child lead and tell you when he or she is ready to learn about the body and what happens during birth. She may indicate when she’s receptive to the conversation by doing what so many of us did as kids, influenced by our basic childbirth knowledge: sticking a baby doll up her shirt.

“I can remember doing this as a kid, putting my doll in a shirt and pretending to have a baby,” Rita Hayes said. “Is there something a child should not know about this? I mean, it’s just having a baby. It’s how they got there. Maybe we should stop treating reproduction like some weird thing.”

With reproduction being the driving force of our population, it’s pivotal that your child learns about it in a calm, loving, matter-of-fact way. Using the proper terms for body parts can make her adult experience more comfortable, since how children learn about birth influences their relationship to it for the rest of their lives.

“Children don’t need to be micro-managed and shielded from life,” Leanne Booth said. “They need to encounter and see life being lived in order to learn how to manage their own.

A child’s curiosity about birth, though, is separate from sexual intercourse.

“My older kids have seen me give birth twice at home, and they still haven’t asked questions about conception,” said Natalie Linden. “These are two separate topics! Making birth a normal topic (and a normal part of life) empowers my daughters to feel like their bodies are pretty awesome!”

To recap, our top tips for a smooth conversation about birth:

1. Be matter-of-fact in your storytelling.
2. Let your child tell you when he or she is ready to talk.
3. Don’t be embarrassed: Having a baby is how we all got here.
4. Use the proper terms for body parts.

It’s what MamAmor Dolls are all about: empowering children through education.

 

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