Ruth Rodley’s master class for homebirth advocates on lying to themselves and others


Ruth Rodley feels sorry for herself.

In Saturday’s piece I quoted her brutal dismissal of the 7 babies who died at homebirth last week as “hickups.”


…she is so anti homebirth, that she will find ANY story about homebirth that may have had a little hickup [sic] and totally throw it out of proportion. There may have been a few deaths, BUT please be aware that we know even in the hospital that wouldn’t have been avoided. it was out of anyones control …

Ruth contacted me privately. I offered her the opportunity to write whatever she wanted in response and promised to post it unedited and in its entirety. Ruth declined, declaring that I would find her response in her Facebook group.

Here it is:

Ruth Rodley 8-2-15

There is a lot of stuff going on about me right now so let me clear something up… I didn’t say that dead baby’s were hiccups, I meant that some of the home births just had a hiccup, everything was fine in the end. I also didn’t know this was for the whole country, I didn’t even know about these stories. Of course I don’t want babies dying, I also don’t force mums to have homebirths, I can’t make someone go to the hospital if they don’t want to.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#43556d”]Just get out of the hospital… go for a walk hand in hand with your man… have a little kissy time.[/pullquote]

There are a few obvious discrepancies between the two posts:

  • Ruth acknowledges that she didn’t know about the deaths; despite that she assured women that they were unavoidable.
  • Ruth acknowledges that she didn’t know about the 7 deaths; despite that she assured women that there were only “a few.”
  • I’ll let you decide for yourselves whether she referred to dead babies as “hickups.”

I want to draw your attention to this phrase:

I also don’t force mums to have homebirths, I can’t make someone go to the hospital if they don’t want to.

It is the all purpose excuse wielded by those who encourage women to risk their babies’ lives … and it’s a lie.

As a commentor on my Facebook page pointed out in regard to homebirth advocates:

Every time they’re cornered on the safety issue they immediately switch over to “it was their choice…”. Yeah, it was their choice – because you told them it was safe, dummy!”


For example, we can see how both Ruth Rodley and Meg Heket attempted to manipulate Rachel, a young woman at term planning a hospital VBAC, less than two weeks ago.

Heket Rodley 7-22-15

Rachel has been having contractions on and off for days. Heket instructs her:

So say it with me now “when I go to the dr tomorrow I will NOT NOT NOT have any VEs [vaginal exams].”

But Rachel wants to have a vaginal exam to determine her progress. No matter.

Ruth tells her:

well just remember… that even if you had one done and were told you were say 3-4cm… that could totally change by tomorrow. so my thoughts would be, why get one if it might make you feel self doubt, when BOOM you could suddenly be in full blown labour tomorrow of the next day

Rachel details her concerns over the next few days, but is repeatedly assured by members of the group that she should wait for labor to start.

Ultimately she goes to the hospital because of regular contractions and is told that she is 2 cm dilated, whereupon the group members tell her to leave the hospital.

But she doesn’t want to leave the hospital. She feels comfortable there and thinks that the staff is treating her wonderfully. She also loves her OB. No matter.

A fight breaks out in the group with some women insisting that Rachel should leave the hospital because she is increasing the risk of another C-section merely by being there and others saying that Rachel should do what she prefers.

Ruth weighs in with this gem:

Heket Rodley 3

ok, istead of going home, just get out of the hospital… go for a walk to help things along, just on’t stay there and keep their fingers OUT of your vagina. it’s only going to increase the chances of infection.. go for a walk hand in hand with your man… have a little kissy time xx

Fortunately Rachel ignored Rodley and stayed. The baby had a deep heart rate deceleration that eventually recovered, followed by no variability on the tracing and decreased fetal movement. Rachel’s doctor recommended a repeat C-section; she trusted him and agreed.


Heket Rodley 4

She could have died. I listened to my heart and my gut and said yes to the section. And she was coated, plastered in meconium. Her lungs, her eyes, her mouth…

Had Rachel listened to Ruth and left the hospital, her baby may very well have died.

What would have happened then? Ruth would have whined that she “can’t make someone go to the hospital,” despite doing everything in her power to keep Rachel from going to the hospital in the first place and then encouraging her to leave when she got there.

Ruth is lying to herself and lying to her followers when she insists that she has nothing to do with the deaths that occur as a result of heeding her advice.

Ruth Rodley knows nothing. Meg Heket knows nothing. They are cuckoo clocks that reliably sound, “Don’t do what your doctor recommends!” at regular intervals despite having no idea of the facts of each individual case. Then when women follow that deadly advice, they blame the women for listening to them.

They have a name for this type of behavior: emotional abuse.

This isn’t about homebirth and it certainly isn’t about babies. It’s about women like Ruth and Meg being “queen bees” in their domain and it doesn’t matter who died as long as they maintain that status.

Rodley and Heket are not alone. There are many others who engage in the same form of deadly emotional abuse because they love the power they have over other women, literally the power of life and death.

They are ignorant, they are self-absorbed and they are not your friends no matter how often they tell you they are.

These women encourage co dependent relationships, defined as:

a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

Rodley, Heket and their ilk support relationships that enable their followers’ immaturity, irresponsibility, and poor decision making.

They don’t support; they destroy babies and they destroy mothers’ lives.

And when disaster occurs, do they feel sorry for the women who listened to them?

Oh, no, they only feel sorry for themselves.