The Goat Doula

JA Pic 4 Jala & Goat.jpg

I’m going to tell you one of my favourite animal birth stories.

The goat in this photo was one of our family milking goats many years ago, her name was Misty. The little girl in the photo is one of my daughters, her name is Jala. We had 4 milking goats who over the years birthed many babies.  Misty always had very quick labours and smooth births. The other 3 goats often had complicated births, at times I had to assist with the second baby, as they always birthed 2 or 3 at once.

There was one thing different about Misty’s births than the other goats, she would not birth without my daughter at her side. We discovered this the first time Misty went into labour. I was in the kitchen when all of a sudden I heard the most distressed goat call I’ve ever heard. Misty could get pretty loud at feeding time but this was a sound like no other. I ran down to the goat shed and realised Misty was in labour. My presence didn’t calm her, she continued to bleat very loudly. My daughter came running down to the shed to see what all the commotion was about. Misty instantly stopped bleating as soon as Jala entered the shed. Jala went over to Misty and gave her the usual rub down and cuddle. Jala stayed with Misty for a while and then wanted to go off and play. As Jala was leaving the goat shed Misty started her horrible sound again. Jala returned to Misty’s side and the sound ceased. Once Misty trusted Jala was going to stay she layed down on her side and Jala sat down next to her. During Misty’s contractions she would lick Jala’s hair. By the end of the labour Jala’s hair was matted like felt in parts. This phenomena continued for many of Misty’s births, she always loved Jala at her side.