The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 13, 2013

Doctor's talk teaches reality of childbirth to West students



Late ... “Here’s the baby’s teeny testicles ... There’s the liver ... This here is the intestines.”

Then it was movie time. If Taylor’s frank talk about pain and blood and bags of water exploding in his face started the task of conveying the messy reality of childbirth, the movies he brought in on vaginal and cesarean section births finished it up.

The vaginal birth scenes were enough to prompt a few students to get up and leave the room and a few others to turn their heads. But when the woman’s abdomen was opened to reveal a lot of stuff few people in the room had ever seen before, gasps filled the room, heads darted away in disgust and a few more people left the room.

“It was the most effective birth control I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Tim King, one of the few boys to take Laurie Hagberg’s early childhood class this quarter.

Students Katelyn Furst and Maria Soroka were very impressed with it all.

“That was cool,” Furst said.

Added Soroka, “It was amazing.”

Rebecca Gurney disagreed.

“It was kind of gross,” she said, before uttering the phrase organizers hoped to hear: “I kind of don’t want to have a baby.”

Teacher Laurie Hagberg said part of the point of visiting Taylor is to give kids a dose of reality, to remind them that childbirth has little to do with glamour and everything to do with major life change.

“It’s real life,” Hagberg said. “From this, they get a clear understanding and awareness that they’re not ready for this.”

To send them off with a vivid reminder of their day with him, Taylor invited them to don rubber gloves and get line to touch a freshly harvested placenta. Just about all the students answered the challenge, many of them proclaiming it “gross,” but curiously poking it and holding it anyway.

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