The 25-year-old woman sentenced for being a serial pregnancy faker.

This post discusses pregnancy loss and sexual assault that may be distressing to some readers.

At just 25 years of age, Kaitlyn Braun had multiple risky and dangerous pregnancies, leading to a clotting disorder, a cervical tear, a placental abruption, and a hysterectomy. She had late-stage pelvic cancer, and suffered multiple organ failure. Already a victim-survivor of rape, Kaitlyn was also sexually assaulted by multiple obstetricians. And if that wasn't bad enough, Kaitlyn's babies were stillborn

It sounds too horrific to be true. Perhaps that's because it is.

While catfishing, scams, or other types of fraud are usually linked to things like relationship fakers, false claims of disability or illness, or an unqualified 'professionals' — usually for financial gain, Kaitlyn's deception was purely emotional; her target: doulas. 

Unlike other pregnancy and birth medical professionals, the role of a doula is to provide loving support to pregnant women. Doula's pride themselves on engaging in birth practices that women actually want. They believe women. They trust women. And they unconditionally support the women they engage with. 

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Video via Mamamia.

That's what makes this case so shocking. So shocking, in fact, that after being accused by the doulas via social media of deceptions between June 2022 and February 2023, Kaitlyn, from Ontario, pleaded guilty to 21 charges — including fraud, indecent acts, false pretences and mischief.

The 17 doulas, who say they suffered immense trauma from the experience, are considered Kaitlyn's victims. 

A web of lies. 

The first time Kaitlyn apparently faked a pregnancy, she contacted a doula via Instagram. She said she was in labour, her pregnancy the result of a sexual assault. She was terrified, she said, so the doula went to her home to assist her. 

"Kaitlyn had a car seat in the living room and a sleeper seat in her bedroom. She had baby clothes, a breast pump. It checked out that this was an under-supported young woman who was making do with what she could get," the first doula told Cosmopolitan

She claimed her water broke, but the baby wouldn't come for days, prompting fears of an infection. Breaking standard protocol, the doula drove Kaitlyn to the hospital, where an obstetrician confirmed there was no pregnancy. Kaitlyn said she was confused, the doula felt sorry for her, and continued to offer support during the drive home. 

After that, Kaitlyn decided to do it again. Only this time, her story would be far more traumatic, according to the two doulas she contacted via social media. 


She begged them to help her. She told them she's a sexual assault survivor whose family had abandoned her. She said she was about to experience a stillbirth. The doulas team up to support Kaitlyn over the phone. 

As the days pass, Kaitlyn's experience becomes increasingly disturbing. After faking a traumatic labour over the phone — including passionate screams and vomiting, even a proclamation when the baby's head first exits her body — Kaitlyn tells the doula's she’s given birth to a stillborn baby. 

Then things escalated. Having experienced profuse bleeding, Kaitlyn described being transferred to several hospitals, where she said she was diagnosed with a clotting disorder and then late-stage pelvic cancer. 

"They gave her three options: a vaginectomy, radiation, or palliative care. Her kidneys were starting to fail. Things were not looking good," the doulas reportedly said. 

"She told us she might live a year with treatment and three months without."

But that wasn't the end. Kaitlyn then alleged that several of the medical professionals treating her were sexual assaulting her, in the most horrific way. 

Wanting to help, the doulas started making some calls, but it soon became clear that Kaitlyn was never at the hospital. 

"Kaitlyn said she started pushing out chunks of a tumour. She sent us a photo of a piece of a tumour on a blue Chux pad, which I reverse-image searched. It was the default Wikipedia photo for, like, rectal cancer," the doulas explained. 


These are just a couple of examples of the extreme lengths Kaitlyn went to in order to deceive and manipulate the doulas, using their compassion and advocacy for women against them. 

But, why?

"There are probably a few reasons why someone would do this — and it's important to consider what the person was seeking, or trying to elicit from people," explained forensic and clinical psychologist, Dr Ahona Guha. 

"In this instance, it sounds like there was a significant care-seeking component to the behaviour."

This is often a motivation for Munchausens/Munchausens by proxy type behaviours, where someone fakes their own illness or the illness of those in their care, to seek attention and care from others.

"The sick role can be attractive for some people because of the secondary gains such as physical support and kindness. It's important to note that no one can conclusively understand why she did this without speaking to her — these are hypotheses only."

Coming unstuck.

In Kaitlyn's case, she repeated the deception over and over, creating increasingly disturbing scenarios as she progressed. 

"Essentially, with behaviours like this there is strong reinforcement the first time it works," explained Dr Guha. 

"The attention may feel good, or perhaps the thrill of getting away with it, and this becomes a potent reinforcer for the behaviour happening again. With some forms of offences there is often a brazenness which can creep in over time, a sense of 'I'm untouchable, no one will find out'. This thrill can be part of the draw."


And it is this that ultimately led to her arrest.

In one instance, Kaitlyn told a doula she was a gay student social worker, and needed help. The doula arrived and took Kaitlyn and her supposed girlfriend to the hospital. She emerged from the hospital claiming she was only four centimetres dilated, so the doula suggested Kaitlyn go home and rest. 

Concerned for Kaitlyn, but with a day job to attend, the doula enlisted the help of a second doula to keep an eye on Kaitlyn when she couldn't. 

"The red flags started to pick up when Kaitlyn said her water broke. The (other) doula was like, 'I think she peed in front of me. It wasn't her water breaking. It looked like pee,'" the doula told Cosmopolitan

After discovering Kaitlyn's baby bag contained nothing but a change of clothes, alarm bells started ringing, and the doula remembered seeing a Facebook post about a fake pregnancy. She searched for the post, and quickly realised she had fallen victim to the same woman. 

She never spoke to Kaitlyn again, but with the events playing on her mind, and increasing numbers of doulas contributing to the Facebook post with their own experiences, the doula decided to take things a step further. 


She created a TikTok video, which would eventually go viral, laying the path for Kaitlyn's arrest. 

But not before one last hurrah. 

This time, Kaitlyn reached out to a doula via Instagram, describing herself as a rape victim-survivor about to give birth to a stillborn baby. She was in hospital, she said, surrounded by friends. 

Kaitlyn wanted grief and loss support, given she was about to lose her precious baby. The doula obliged, but something felt amiss. The friends, who occasionally spoke to the doula, sounded just like Kaitlyn. 

Kaitlyn went into labour, she said, pushing too early and suffering a cervical tear and a placental abruption. She had issues with blood clotting, moving into multisystem organ failure, and put on life support. 

The doula, having experienced her own trauma, was struggling to cope — she thought Kaitlyn might die. The next day, one of Kaitlyn’s 'friends' said she too was going into labour, having been assaulted by the same perpetrator. She was going to lose her baby too. It was simply too much for the doula. 

She contacted a colleague for support, eventually uncovering the depth of Kaitlin's deception. 

Kaitlin was arrested days later, and charged with more than 52 offences, including fraud, criminal harassment, false pretenses, indecent acts, and sexual assault.

After pleading guilty, she was sentenced to a two-year term of house arrest, followed by three years of probation. She is forbidden from contacting victims and will not be allowed to use the internet or social media.


The sentence was in line with a joint submission from the Crown and the defence, and Justice Robert Gee, who handed it down, said he found it distasteful.

"I appreciate that many victims will find this [ruling] as distasteful as I do," he said, CBC reported.

He said he empathised with the doulas, many of whom had shared victim impact statements in court.

"The 21 offences committed by Ms Braun caused significant long-lasting harm to her victims," Gee said.

"The trauma caused was expressed eloquently by many during their victim impact statements. Many now have trust issues, it's impacted their abilities to carry out duties in their chosen profession as doulas, some have left the profession entirely and all have suffered financially because of Ms Braun."

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637.

This article was originally published on October 16, 2023 and has been updated.

Feature image: Facebook.

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