freebirthing/no medical assistance

There has been a wee bit in the media about freebirthing after an Australian women who gave birth without assistance baby died. I was just looking on TVNZ and found this link to a british couple who used utube to watched births so he could deleiver the baby. It was her 4th child and the labour was over 3 hrs... I have had three labours, each under three hours and each time have made it to the hospital with plenty of time and had my midwife there to assist with the birth...

I personally think that choosing to birth a child without any medical assistance is irresponsible, there are many risks involved in childbirth and to blantantly disregard these for your own personal view is not acceptable to me.

I think there is a place for homebirth, but assisted by a trained midwife who can help if needed. free birthing or watching utube for assistance seems rather strange.


lauredhel said...
May 5, 2009 at 4:40 AM

You know nothing about the woman you're using as a pawn here to declaim women as "irresponsible". You know nothing about what happened, when or why the baby died, or anything else about the story. Yet you are using her personal grief to launch into a sermon about personal responsibility.

Women have the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies. Whether you would personally make the same decision or not.

Anna said...
May 5, 2009 at 11:02 AM

The baby in this case may not have died as the result of the freebirth, but I don't think freebirthing is a particularly good or ethical idea.

Simply because birth is normal doesn't mean it's without risks. Many of the normal health events in our lives require specialist treatment - not many people do their own dental work, for example, even with the sage advice of YouTube. And it's pretty hard to make good decisions when you're in labour or immediately after birth. Admitting this doesn't denigrate women. It just acknowledges that being dependent and vulnerable at times is a perfectly normal part of being human, and that others have a human responsibility to us at those times.

I don't think the right of women to do what we want with our bodies is absolute - that's just individualism by a different name. I don't see my task as a feminist as advocating for women to do things which might harm themselves or their babies. I have the right to drink throughout my pregnancy so that my child has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome - but that's a pretty hollow right. A more pragmatic and ethical response would be questioning why a woman would want to exercise such a right, and how others might make a supportive response which is respectful the woman involved.

Azlemed said...
May 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM

see new post for some of what I was thinking please.

lauredhel said...
May 5, 2009 at 3:23 PM

And do you know anything about why some women exercise this particular right?

lauredhel said...
May 5, 2009 at 3:26 PM

"I don't think the right of women to do what we want with our bodies is absolute -"

I actually find this incredibly sinister. What rights do you think the State should have when women choose to freebirth?

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