My family and I have just returned from a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. In the course of this visit, we attended several presentations by park rangers regarding the many natural wonders of the park. One of these talks discussed bats. (Not my favorite subject, but my sons were enthralled). In the course of this presentation, I was made to feel insufficient regarding my birthing abilities. Having had three natural births at home, I have a certain amount of pride in my birth experiences. I gave birth in the water, I had no pain meds, and my babies all weighed more than 8 pounds. Not too shabby, right?
Well, apparently that’s nothing compared to what bat mothers do. These marvelous (albeit slightly creepy) creatures give birth to babies which weigh about a quarter of their mother’s body weight (to put it in perspective, that’s like me giving birth to a 50 pound infant). They do this while hanging upside-down by one foot (the other foot being needed to catch the infant bat as it is born). Then, being mammals, they proceed to begin nursing their new baby while still upside-down.
Move over, homebirthers; I think we’ve been outdone. . . .