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Childbirth Doll: Some Love it, Some Say 'Ew'
The Childbirth Education Doll has caused a bit of controversy, with some saying that they found the doll to be too, well, creepy. ParentDish spoke with Sharon Coleman, the doll's designer, via e-mail about her creation.
ParentDish: Why did you create this doll?
Sharon Coleman: I created this doll as an educational tool for my three-year-old daughter while I was pregnant with her little sister. Since my children are planned home births, the older siblings are present during the births.
SC: The reactions I get vary. Midwives, doulas and those individuals who believe in natural childbirth all seem to love the dolls. Many, many others seem to be grossed out. I have been featured on a "creepy crochet" blog and the topic of many "ew that's gross" discussion forums. I don't get offended. They are coming from a place of ignorance. A new life coming into this world is a beautiful thing especially when the birth is natural, without any drugs or intervention. It is a rite of passage that our pharmaceutically-centered society has devalued.
PD: Do parents ever buy these for their kids?
SC: I am not aware of any parents who have bought the dolls for their kids. I do sell the pattern, though, and I'm sure parents have bought that to make for their kids. With details like wedding rings, earrings and sometimes even tattoos, they are quite time consuming and the price reflects the work. It is a lot of investment for a doll, which is why I mostly get professionals who see its value as an educational tool in their midwifery and doula practices.
PD: You said "With details like wedding rings, earrings and sometimes even tattoos" -- was that a custom doll you made for someone? Why did you include those details on the dolls?
SC: Each doll I make is custom. Usually customers want the same eye and hair color that they have. Once the faces and hair are on the dolls, they seem to take on a personality of their own. I let this personality guide the finishing touches. One doll just begged for a tattoo. Another hip young mama had dreads and a nose ring. All of them have wedding rings. I know many moms these days don't, but having been a single mother myself, I know how much easier it can be with a dedicated partner. And I want life to be easy for these mamas : ) I recently made one for a charity event for Georgia Friends of Midwives. She had a T-shirt and matching bag with their logo.
The Childbirth Education Doll, along with the pattern to make your own, can be found at Sharon Coleman's Etsy store, along with other items. For more of Sharon Coleman's crafts, visit cozycoleman.com.
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