The Red Sea, also known as the Erythraean Sea, is a seawater inlet in the Indian ocean that lies between Asia and Africa.
Despite its name, the Red Sea is not always red. It is one of the saltiest seas, even though there is no one river that meets the sea.
The theory behind the Red Sea’s name is that it contains “cyanobacteria called Trichodesmium erythraeum, which turns the normally blue-green water a reddish-brown.”
Now, this salty local doesn’t exactly seem like the ideal place to give birth, does it? But for one woman, that is exactly where she had her baby!
Beachgoers in the resort town of Dahab, north of Sharm el-Sheikh were left shellshocked when they looked into the water and saw a woman giving birth in the Red Sea.
A woman, believed to be a Russian tourist, walked into the sea and gave birth, with the help of her assumed husband and a doctor who specializes in water births, according to the New York Post.
The mom wore just a bikini for her child’s birth. Her husband emerged from the water shortly after, cradling the newborn.
Pictures of the father and doctor have since gone viral, as the location of the water birth is extremely unusual. Along with the photo of dad, photographers snapped a picture of the doctor holding the newborn’s placenta in a bucket after the birth.
The health of the mom and baby are currently unknown, as the family and doctor have yet to be identified. However, they appear to be okay in the photos taken.
Dahab was formerly a Bedouin fishing village and is now popular with tourists as a treasured diving destination.
While this location might not seem like the typical place to give birth, apparently it is a recent new trend for moms-to-be to travel there for water births.
This might be a new trend, but some doctors are suggesting that the Red Sea is not a safe place to give birth.
“I worry that this is a completely dangerous environment for the baby,” said Dr. Saima Aftab, medical director of the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. The doctor was not involved in this water birth but was interviewed by Live Science. “Even in the presence of a medical professional, an ocean birth could be harmful.”
This sea birth is part of an ongoing debate between doctors, as some doctors do not believe that water births are safe.
A water birth is in which the mother spends the final stages of labor in a birthing pool, with delivery taking place either in or out of the water.
The debate is pretty divided, as many doctors think it is safe to give birth in water, but to give birth in a tub is not as safe.
“There’s actually pretty good evidence that it’s safe to labor in the tub,” says Dr. Aaron Caughey, an associate professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “But there’s less good evidence that it’s safe for the baby and even safe for the mom, in terms of infection risk, to give birth in the tub.”
When speaking with Live Science, Dr. Saima Aftab said that an ocean birth is too unpredictable for the mother and the baby.
The high concentration of salt in the ocean water could be potentially dangerous to the newborn baby. On top of that, the temperature in the ocean could put the baby at risk of hypothermia.
“Babies are just so vulnerable” to infections and other hazards,” Dr. Aftab said.
It looks like this baby was doing well after birth. Have you ever seen anything quite like this?
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