Lisa Barrett presided over a 5th homebirth death

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I have received information that Lisa Barrett presided over a 5th homebirth death. The baby boy was born on May 31, 2009 and died due to brain damage on June 2, 2009. This was the mother’s second homebirth with Lisa Barrett. According to the mother:

Sunday at about 8:40 pm our son Ian was born at home. He didn’t breathe at birth despite our midwives’ best efforts. We went to hospital with him where he was put on a ventilator to help him breathe while they worked out what was wrong with him. Long story short, he had severe brain damage and other problems that the doctors reckon happened weeks or months ago, or even at conception. It’s just one of those things that’s out of our hands. He died this afternoon (Tuesday) at about 2:00 in my arms at Flinders medical centre with Darrin & Caleb in attendance as well.

Several days before the birth, the mother, Melissa, had posted that the baby was breech:

… Mine’s breech at the moment, I’m sure he/she will turn anyway, but even if that doesn’t happen, breech babies still come out in one piece most of the time. And my midwife is a big believer in that too, babies come out whatever way they’re positioned and there’s usually a good reason they chose an ‘unfavourable’ one if it turns out that way.

Barrett presided over the homebirth of the mother’s first child (story on Barrett’s website).

The mother continues to support unrestricted access to homebirth. Only 3 months after burying her baby, she attended a pro-homebirth march protesting proposed regulations for homebirth:

And the legislation, if/when it goes through, will NOT stop me birthing at home next time. Yeah there’s a few publicly funded home birth programs, but I wouldn’t qualify for them now because one of my babies died. Never mind that Ian was damaged long before his birth, and in the unlikely event I had another baby with the same issues, there’s nothing the almighty ‘they’ could do about it anyway…

Of note, Barrett presided over this homebirth tragedy, an apparent breech birth, only a month after the death of Jahli Jean Hobbs, a breech baby who also didn’t breathe at birth and died shortly thereafter.

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