by MIA FREEDMAN
This idea does my head in.
Freebirthing. Where women are encouraged to shun all medical attention during pregnancy. Imagine. No obstetric check ups. Not antenatal care. No ultrasounds. No tests for the baby – or the mother for that matter. And then there’s the birth itself. Solo. Just you and your baby. Best of luck.
This growing movement of (predominantly) women who loath ‘the medicalisation of birth’ will emphatically tell you that women are physiologically designed to give birth alone, far away from medical intervention. Without even a midwife in attendance. Your body, they will tell you, innately knows how to give birth.
Until, that is, something goes unexpectedly wrong.
Take a look at this (devastating) news report:
In Australia, the Joyous Birth website is one of the leading advocates of the Freebirthing movement. But what nobody on the Joyous Birth website will tell you is that this practice of ‘Freebirthing’ led to the tragic death of its founder’s baby.
Last week Jane Fraser – one of Australia’s leading Freebirth advocates – was criticised by a coroner over the 2009 death of her daughter. Experts have confirmed that Fraser’s newborn daughter Roisin would probably have survived if a midwife had been in attendance or if Fraser had been in a hospital or birth centre. Instead Fraser chose to labour at home for five days, eventually giving birth in a blow up plastic pool in her study with just her partner and best friend in attendance. None of the three had any medical training.