The cult of homebirth kills babies; 5 deaths in the last few weeks

Homebirth reaper

In many respects, American homebirth is a cult. There is an extensive misinformation campaign promising spiritual benefits; the widespread deleting and banning in homebirth groups means that women are trapped in echo chambers; deaths and disasters are hidden; and women are encourage to ever more dangerous births by a chorus of “supporters” who disavow responsibity when a baby dies. That goes double for the cult of unassisted birth (no midwife).

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#888888″ ]Encouraged by a private Facebook group to avoid medical care and disregard doctors? Please think again.[/pullquote]

That’s why so many babies die at homebirth.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about 7 homebirth deaths  in one week, one the result of undiagnosed congenital anomalies that might or might not have been treatable in a hospital. There have been at least an additional five homebirth deaths since:

1. Baby Girl Penelope. The mother was planning a UBA2C (unassisted birth after 2 C-sections). She went past 40 weeks (by her own estimation) and ruptured membranes at 43 weeks.

Right through nearly 44 weeks, multiple people encouraged her including Ruth Rodley. You may remember Ruth as the group administrator who callously dismissed the 7 dead homebirth babies in one week as “hickups.”


At 44 weeks she noticed decreased fetal movement. At the hospital the baby was found to be dead.

Penelope’s mother was receiving support from at least two groups run by homebirth advocates … until her baby died. Then she was accused of being a “troll” and making up her story.

2. Baby Girl Miranda Ruby. She died during an attempted UBAC. Her mother had a history of 3 previous successful VBACs. This time her uterus ruptured and her baby died. She is blaming the castor oil. It happened 7/26 in addition to the previous 7 deaths that I wrote about occurring during that week.


I have so much regret and shame. Just when I think I couldn’t possibly known this would happen I beat myself up about it all over again. I can never have more babies myself no not that anyone could replace our beautiful Miranda Ruby.

In the wake of Miranda Ruby’s death, she received the following expressions of “support:” One commentor told her that it was her decision to take castor oil that caused her uterus to rupture and killed her baby; another commentor insisted that there was probably something wrong with the baby that would have killed her later anyway. Both are terrific examples of the way that denial keeps homebirth advocates from learning anything from even the most disastrous outcome.

3. A baby died in UC attempt in Winston NC. Seen in a local homebirth group. No further details are available at this time.

4. Baby Girl. Her mother runs a Facebook group called Rewilding Mama. She had no prenatal care. Water broke at 37 weeks on 8/30, and the baby was born 2 or 3 days later. She died the next day. The mother is being investigated by Child Protective Services.


I am devastated. I lost my sweet daughter after a little less than 24 hours… I am being investigated for my daughter’s death and my son has been placed in foster care.

5. Baby boy. Mother was planning HBA3C. She was 42.2 and the perinatologist had recommended to delivery weeks before; she stopped going to appointments. She was being encouraged by a small VBA3C Facebook group. The mother noticed decreased movement and went in; the baby was dead and the mother opted for repeat C-section.


There was also a case of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE, brain damage) as a result of attempted homebirth.

Baby Jarrett. Attempted homebirth in Georgia with cord prolapse and oxygen deprivation. The baby was transferred to Tallahassee for cooling therapy. Parents were told that prognosis was grim and permanent brain damage (HIE) would likely result.


Thinking about homebirth? Encouraged by a private Facebook group to avoid medical care and disregard doctors? Please think again. I really don’t want to write about you and your dead or brain damaged baby in future installments of homebirth deaths.