10 Scary scenarios that should not be happening in unassisted childbirth

Nov 5, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Image: Julia Wheeler And Veronika Laws/Photodisc/Getty

Not everyone is on-board with home birth. Home-birthers often have a wacky, granola reputation. The next level up from the home-birther is the free-birther — the mom who chooses to forgo medical assistance during childbirth and let nature take its course.

I'm quite familiar with birth judgment after having a home birth with my second son. Little did I know that every time unmedicated birth and home birth are brought up on the internet, a fight is sure to follow. I don't begrudge a woman for how she chooses to get a baby out of her body. But as a reckless, home-birthing idiot, even I recognize that there is a line where unmedicated birth can go too far, outside the realm of medical help.

The unassisted childbirth movement refers to DIY birth or freebirth. Even though freebirth sounds all kinds of YOLO, most women have a specific natural birth plan. These women intentionally choose to birth at home or in another non-hospital setting without a doctor or midwife, many times following a bad hospital experience.

The Unassisted Birth/Freebirth Facebook community summarizes the movement as, "Unassisted birthers/Freebirthers believe that birth is a natural occurrence in the life of a woman which works best without interference."

I am behind unmedicated birth if that's what you're into, but purposely kicking all medical help to the curb seems like a bad idea if you don't have an M.D. after your name. I had a positive home birth experience, attended by a midwife and several students. In light of what I saw firsthand, there's no way I can get behind freebirthing.

Here are 10 examples of women (and one dad) who maybe should have thought twice about unassisted childbirth — but I’ll let you decide for yourself:

*UC = Unassisted Childbirth

1. I just can't understand why people don't think this is a good idea.

Free birth 1

Photo credit: mothering.com

2. Should we keep this baby off the grid or what?

Free birth 2

Photo credit: mothering.com

3. Please, please, please do not try preemie birth at home.

Free birth 3

Photo credit: huggies.co.nz

4. Just me, myself and I.

Free birth 4

Photo credit: mothering.com

5. You lost me at kitchen scissors.

Free birth 5

Photo credit: mothering.com

6. Fry up some placenta to stop dat bleeding.

Free birth 6

Photo credit: 30bananasaday.com

7. Who stitched up the tear?

Free birth 7

Photo credit: mothering.com

8. Is this bad?

Free birth 8

Photo credit: mothering.com

9. This book will answer all your medical questions! As long as you order it offline from this random but totally trustworthy person I've recommended to you.

Free birth 9

Photo credit: ldsfreedomforum.com

10. All roads lead to Ricki Lake.

Free birth 10

Photo credit: wholewoman.com

More on birth

How birth extremists are giving the rest of us a bad name
Why I’m having a home birth
Born in the Wild takes natural childbirth to the extreme

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