Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Freebirthing / Unassisted birth

Posted on: May 3, 2009

Freebirthing or unassisted birth has been discussed in the media over the past year or so; freebirthing is when a woman or couple decide to give birth with no medical input.

Last year there was a Channel 5 documentary called Extraordinary People: Outlaw Births http://freebirthing.org/ which gave a fascinating insight into three women’s experiences and reasons for taking this unusual route.  For some women they just feel “in tune” and “in control” of their lives and bodies and feel no need to seek a professional who may interfere with the process and their wishes, for others like Janet Fraser www.joyousbirth.info it is a reaction against what she calls “birth rape” (birth interventions done against the woman’s wishes) at a previous birth;  for others it may be unintentional and that the baby just comes faster than expected www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/apr/30/father-delivers-baby-youtube-clips

Obviously as a midwife I would not suggest that women give birth without medical aid; however I do understand that for some women birth is a private, intimate affair and I certainly understand that women who have been subjected to any violence whether that be sexual abuse, “birth rape” or any other emotional challenges may find intimate examinations extremely difficult.

I have encountered women who are unable to labour in my presence, and who wish absolutely minimal intervention.  I have also heard of women wishing to give birth alone but who have allowed a midwife to sit in the next room just in case help is required.  I believe this to be far preferable to giving birth alone and would be willing to support a client in this way www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk.  Women should remember that it is an assault for any medical professional to do anything to them against their wishes; this includes measuring blood pressure, the administration of any drug or intimate examinations.

I have recently learnt that Janet Fraser gave birth to her last baby without assistance and that sadly this baby did not make it.  It is unclear whether her baby had died in utero and whether medical help would have saved her baby, but it does highlight the dangers of unassisted birth.

Further information and support can be obtained from:

www.sheilakitzinger.com/birthcrisis.htm
www.unassistedchildbirth.com

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6 Responses to "Freebirthing / Unassisted birth"

[…] Original post by gommon […]

[…] consider watching the beautiful births on this film, perhaps together with the unassisted births https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/freebirthing-unassisted-birth as they powerfully show the variety of births, but at the same time show that childbirth is a […]

Hi,

i’d just like to say that Val helped me have the natural, minimal assisted home birth i hoped for. She is a wonderful midwife who has been sensitive and supportive of my needs throughout the pregnancy and birth.
Thankyou Val

[…] have previously written about Freebirthing https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/freebirthing-unassisted-birth/ and whilst certainly not condoning unattended birthing I do understand the reasons that some women […]

[…] Freebirthing / Unassisted birth May 2009 5 comments Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)I Haz Blog for iPhone App Reviews! And case reviews! LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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