The Duggars are all in favor of home births, although Michelle didn’t actually deliver all of her children at home. However, Jill, Jessa and Anna aspire to deliver their babies from the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, these home births don’t always go as planned, as evidenced by tonight’s episode of Jill and Jessa: Counting On.
Fans of the Duggars are very familiar with the concept of home birth, as they’ve witnessed Anna successfully deliver multiple children. Michelle has also delivered several kids at home, and she believes that this approach to childbirth allows for a much faster recovery. However, home birth is accompanied by numerous risks, the chief of which is the lack of proximity to life-saving equipment. According to several Duggar critics, the risks of home birth outweigh the rewards. These concerned viewers believe that the Duggars are putting others at risk by using their television show to promote home birth.
The delivery of Spurgeon Seewald certainly made for an interesting episode. Fans of the show enjoyed seeing Jessa (who previously received praise for her commitment to remaining active while pregnant) try to kick-start labor by power walking with her siblings. The delivery was long and exhausting, but its aftermath was even more terrifying. Jessa bled way more than anticipated and was forced to visit the hospital.
Many fans found the scene featuring Jessa’s childbirth emergency very disturbing, but for different reasons. While several were concerned about Jessa’s health, others felt that she was paying the price for her decision to pursue home birth. According to these critics, it would have been much better for Jessa to spend the entirety of the delivery at the hospital. A few especially vocal individuals took to Twitter to claim that, by advocating for home birth, Jessa had (in addition to putting herself and her baby at risk) put dangerous ideas into the heads of viewers, who may be more likely to pursue home birth after seeing it featured on Jill and Jessa: Counting On.
Although many critics have spoken ill of Jessa’s decision to deliver little Spurgeon at home, others believe that it is important for her to retain control over the birthing experience. If the hospital is deemed necessary, it is always an option — and it’s an option both Jessa and Jill decided to pursue. The series did not necessarily glorify home birth, as it showed the very scary situation in which the new mom found herself. After seeing the final episode of Jill and Jessa: Counting On — and a few previous home birth situations on 19 Kids and Counting — viewers should have a good idea of the risks that can accompany a home-based delivery.