I spent a few minutes talking with a new mother at work today. She shared her home birth story with me, and when I asked how her son was adjusting to the baby brother situation she was ecstatic! She told me her son was present during her labor and birth, and had been fascinated with it the entire time. She also mentioned how much he comforted her throughout her contractions, snuggling her in between, a making encouraging eye contact with her when the pushing got most intense.
I asked her what sort of educational preparation she used for her son. I was very intrigued to see what she deemed appropriate for her five year old. She smiled and said that they watched lots of animal birth movies, and the process just clicked with him.
I thought this was an amazing parenting skill for the integration of a sibling into the family. Drawing connection for big brother without being extremely graphic…and giving him time to process and prepare his young emotions for the arrival of new life, without it being a complete abstraction and shock to his regularity of life. Even books on baby animals might help develop an early understanding and connection for your child, whether you intend to have them present at your birth or not.
Choose favorite mammals. I went with one that shows the least amniotic fluid. Use your judgement! Dolphins are great if you have/had a water birth and your little one has questions.