Scary 'Freebirthing' Trend Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Rant 136

baby handWhen it comes to how you choose to bring your baby into the world, I'm a firm believer that you should do what works best for you and your family. It could be delivering in a hospital, having a homebirth, having a water birth, going the natural route when it comes to pain management, and so on and so forth.

But after hearing about something called "freebirthing," I can't help but feel the urge to go ahead and put my judgy pants on and get a little preachy. What exactly is freebirthing, you ask? Well, it's giving birth on your own. As in by yourself. As in pushing out a baby without the assistance of doctors, nurses, midwives, or even a doula.

Yes, women are actually doing this -- and raving about their experiences with it.

And all I can say is, are they out of their minds?!? They must be, because it's almost impossible to understand why any mother would put herself and her baby at risk all for the sake of having a peaceful and private birth.

Unless you're a medical professional or midwife yourself, how can you expect to know how to successfully deliver a baby? Or even if these moms aren't totally alone and have their husbands present in the room -- do they really believe they'll remain calm and will know what to do in the event that there are complications?

I fully understand that many women want to make sure their labor and delivery is as natural and intervention-free as possible. But shouldn't there at least be somebody there who knows what the hell they're doing?!?

I'm sorry, but the whole freebirthing thing is not only dangerous, it also seems extremely selfish to me. These women are putting their personal wishes ahead of their baby's well being, which is something I just can't comprehend.

I guess the only possible way where I could see this as being (sort of) remotely acceptable is if the mom-to-be made sure there was a doctor, nurse, midwife, or whoever on standby somewhere in the house during the birth just in case she happened to run into a problem. Anything less than that just isn't fair to the baby who is being brought into the world by someone who doesn't have the slightest clue how to do it.

Would you ever consider freebirthing?


Image via sorarium/Flickr

homebirth, labor & delivery


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miche... micheledo

Most moms who choose this route make sure they are VERY educated.  I know several that monitor their health and the health of the baby the entire pregnancy.  They also make sure their husband is well educated and would know what to do if something happened to them.  They research and study and are prepared to make a phone call if help is needed.

This actually seems MUCH better to me then moms who get no prenatal care and just show up at the hospital to give birth, or moms that have the baby come too fast and they are terrified and have no idea what to do.

I just had my 6th child at home.  I DID hire a midwife, but basically ended up having the baby alone.  I finally managed to wake my husband about 30 minutes before she was born and I caught her just as the midwife arrived.  :)

nonmember avatar Cass

Many women will be fine using this method. Many women and children would be injured or killed using this method. My concern isn't for the former group.

Beyond the potential injury and loss of life, imagine the agonizing guilt a mother (or a father) would feel if their child was killed or injured because they decided to choose their own comfort over the health of their child. That's a pain I never hope to know, and for that reason alone, I recommend that a trained professional is there to assist. Even a midwife is better than a scared husband trying to remember a book he read weeks ago while his wife is scared and in pain.

nonmember avatar m

good god micheleo, you didn't think 5 kids was enough? This world doesn't need anymore people. I'll never understand why people would have more than 1-2 at the MOST 3 kids.

nonmember avatar Mrs Yen

I have given birth to 4 children unassisted. Much better experiences than my 2 hospital births. That said, I did almost die after my doctor sent me home to deliver a baby who had died during the second trimester (I have never heard of a Dr doing this, but she was negligent through all of my short pregnancy!)& with my last pregnancy my husband was worried about my always hemorrhaging after birth & my near death & wanted us to have our last at the hospital. I prayed throughout my pregnancy that I would know the right thing to do when I went into labor. I instantly knew to go to the hospital, and sure enough the Dr had a really tough time stopping my bleed.
That hospital experience was far from ideal, but I am alive, which is kind of a bonus.
"Freebirth" as you call it, was an awesome experience to me - we educated ourselves so much & overcame so many obstacles that end badly when one delivers in the hospital. We could have hired a midwife, but the one time we did we had a bad experience (she was a druggy & very flaky! no joke!), so we did what we did!

It is easy to be judgmental about choices that others make, but just remember that others are making judgments about YOUR choices,too.

nonmember avatar linbri29

I'm sorry my opinon is any woman who has her chlid at home is selfish. There are so many things that can go wrong at delivery even if you have a perfect pregnancy. You can have a natural delivery in a hospital but with the security of knowing if something goes wrong help is right outside the door. I will always believe those women are selfish putting their own comfort ahead of the health of their babies because again you never know.

nonmember avatar Michael

I agree with m. Coming from a family of 7, I can safely say that you cannot spread enough attention around. The older ones end up taking care of the younger ones. That is why I will only have one child. As for the article, I feel this practice is unwise since so much can go wrong during a birth.

Jenni... JenniJayne

Fear. Fear. Fear. This article reeks of it! How on earth did we ever survive as a species before birth took place in hospitals if birth was inherently dangerous? Give me a break... A quick look at some research would educate you on how our maternal and infant mortality rates are increasingly high, and it sure isn't from the 1% birthing at home!

Keep your uneducated fears to yourself. Lord knows we get enough birth fear from everywhere else.

nonmember avatar Lauren

When my little girl was born, she had a hole in her lung (which happened during the birthing process, might I add) and could not breath on her own. If I had have been as foolish as some of these moms to be, she would have passed away. I was in the hospital with my OB and I am soooooo glad I was. Don't be selfish. It's not really about you, it's about bringing your child into the world as safely as possible; and to me that's in a hospital with professionals. Why regress??

rubst... rubster87

Darwinism ...

antfa... antfarmer101

JenniJayne... Hospital births are not always necessary, but humans have not been meant to give birth ALONE since we started walking upright. The human female's pelvis and the route the child has to take to exit the birth canal mean that the baby is almost always born facing away from the mother. That means that the mother could cause damage to the baby's spine as she tries to help it from the birth canal. The mother cannot see the baby's face to clean it before it takes its first breath, so the risk of inhalation pneumonia is increased. There are many reasons why you, as a human mother, should have SOMEONE there to help you give birth. Does it always work out that way? Of course not. But better safe than sorry.

As far as hospitals, midwives and doulas... If you are comfortable with the idea of giving birth with no MEDICAL assistance and you are in good health, no risk factors, do as you like, No one can tell you otherwise (yet, anyway). I chose to have my kids in hospital because it was more comfortable for me. But neither way is better. Just different.

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