People Are Debating Whether or Not "Free Birth" Is Safe After a Baby Died During Labor
A online group dedicated to helping women have "free" or unassisted births is under fire after an anonymous woman who goes by the name of Lisa confirmed that her baby died while she was in labor for six days in a California desert last month. Lisa posted about her experience in the Free Birth Society's Facebook group, sharing that her daughter Journey Moon was delivered stillborn after she finally agreed to seek medical attention for a painful urinary tract infection.
The since-deleted Facebook group still has an active website but has scaled back its social media presence after its founder Emilee Saldaya, a former doula, was getting harassed and fielding death threats. The Free Birth Society's homepage says that, "Contrary to the belief that free birth is a self-indulgent, irresponsible decision, it is in fact a legitimate choice, and one that is based not only on ancient wisdom, but the most current scientific evidence on the physiology of birth."
While the notion of giving birth completely unassisted — or even alone — is terrifying for some women, others gravitate toward the idea. The Free Birth Society's Instagram account has more than 22,000 followers and counting. In fact, the trend has been gaining momentum in the US over the past few years. But is it really safe? We did some digging to find out.