The goats have no midwives

The goats have no midwives. The sheep have no midwives.

When the goat is pregnant, she births safely.

When the sheep is pregnant, she births safely.

You, in this state of pregnancy, will birth safely.

Recited by the village midwife and several elders among the African Yoruba

goat & baby

16 thoughts on “The goats have no midwives

  1. But goats have a smaller brain-to-vagina ratio than humans do! And sheep have a high infant mortality rate….
    though I do believe firmly in the spirit of this proverb!!! Women ARE powerful and capable and wonderfully safe, in birth.

    • Feeling a little “sheepish” maybe that’s why my birth was so easy on my mom. My brain was smaller than her vagina.

  2. ha ha! omg this makes me laugh. no, there is def. no official term ‘brain-to-vagina ratio:’ I only meant that human baby brains (and therefore heads) are much larger than goat heads. I don’t disagree with you or this proverb, I just thought that I’d point out the difference in brain size, as it would be something I would maybe *think* but not say if this proverb was said to me while I was pregnant! Now I’m sorry I said it, as it makes me seem disagreeable when that wasn’t my intention! Sorry!

    • That was too fun to read. Don’t hold back. I am just a visual person and in my mind that was colorful to say the least.

      I’ve heard that argument as well. It’s an evolutionary argument. That’s why humans can walk on two legs and still birth. Why human babies are born so “pre-mature” based on the development at birth for other mammals.

  3. Dear Melissa, you didn’t seem disagreeable for a second—please don’t suppress yourself! That’s been the fun for me of having a blog–people coming up with unique food for thought like a “brain to vagina ratio”. REALLY, you don’t have to agree with my point of view (even tho I’m always right 🙂

  4. I love this, Gloria… my rabbits don’t need help to give birth either. Having anyone around will actually make them stop their labor.

    Before anyone brings up the mortality rate of rabbits, yes, they do have a fairly high mortality rate. Some moms do not do their job properly. But the majority of them do, and “helping” them out is not helping them out. Out of all the litters my rabbits have had, the losses are still far below what WHO says the human cesarean rate should be. So, maybe that mortality rate isn’t so bad after all.

  5. That’s funny, Lisa. When I’m walking somewhere and I’m afraid I might fall (like down a winding stair case), I start repeating over and over in my head
    “I’m as sure-footed as a goat”. It gets me safely there every time. Gloria

  6. Here in Algeria we help our goats have babies all the time. 🙂 My mother in law is known as the family (all of the women have their own goats for milk) midwife … for goats. No joke, she is always knows when one of the mom’s will be having her babies and out she goes, she helps them nurse, helps to clean up and keeps a watchful eye on them for a few days to make sure that they are ok.

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