2015: This year in homebirth deaths and disasters

Homebirth reaper

As the end of the year approaches, it is time for the grim task of recapping the deaths and disasters from 2015. The toll of homebirth deaths and disasters, most presided over by homebirth midwives, is, above all, a shocking indictment of the second, inferior class of counterfeit American midwives known as CPMs (certified professional midwives).

The list is, unfortunately, longer than ever.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#000000″]4 maternal deaths; 21 infant deaths; 9 babies who sustained brain damage.[/pullquote]

She trusted birth … and it killed her. Now her children will pay the price. (December 31, 2014).

Maria Zain, a prominent Malaysian-British advocate for unassisted homebirth, left 6 children motherless, including her newborn, after her 4th unassisted homebirth.

How to rationalize your baby’s near death at homebirth

Nacia Walsh’s story of the homebirth of her emaciated, compromised baby, How My Homebirth Saved My Daughter’s Life. Nacia is not merely ignoring the fact that her homebirth midwives nearly killed her baby, but is delusionally praising them for “saving” the baby. Be sure to check out the birth photo of the baby who looks like a 3rd world victim of starvation.

So many homebirth deaths I can barely keep track

A baby who died at homebirth in Florida 12 weeks ago, unexpectedly born dead.

A baby who died in Texas 6 weeks ago, unexpectedly born pulseless.

A baby who died in Phoenix last week whose mother, a doula, had a previous HBAC. I have not been able to establish whether the caregiver knew that the baby was dead before birth or was not expecting it.

A baby who died in October after his mother labored at The Farm and was transferred to the hospital for failure to progress. On arrival at the hospital, fetal distress was noted and the mother had an emergency C-section. It was too late. The baby could not be resuscitated.

A mother who died in December in Texas after postpartum transfer from homebirth. The baby was born lifeless but surived after cooling therapy to mitigate brain damage from lack of oxygen at birth. The mother died despite days of heroic efforts to save her life at the hospital.

Yet another mother dies at homebirth

Another Texas mother died at homebirth after suffering an amniotic fluid embolus. Would she have survived had she been in a hospital? That’s hard to say because amniotic fluid embolus has a 50% mortality rate. But we can be sure that she would have had a better chance at survival and the baby would have had a much better chance with an immediate C-section.

Update on one March homebirth death and report of a second death

A Connecticut mother played Russian Roulette and her baby lost. She attempted a VBAC at home. Her uterus ruptured and the baby died. The mother survived.

Homebirth death watch

Two separate homebirth deaths.

One took place in Michigan. It was the “standard” homebirth death: 42 weeks gestation, careless monitoring, followed by inability to locate the fetal heart rate, followed by the frantic trip to the hospital, followed by ultrasound confirmation of the death of the baby. The mother gave birth shortly thereafter, but the baby was already dead. Almost certainly this baby would be alive today if the mother had chosen hospital birth instead of a homebirth midwife.

The second death took place after a labor followed avidly in the a HBAC support administered by Meg Heket who runs the website Whole Woman, among others. The mother was attempting a UBA3C (unassisted homebirth after 3 C-sections). It’s not as though she didn’t understand that babies can die. She had already lost 1 infant to SIDS and had multiple miscarriages.

The mother labored on and off with ruptured membranes and a breech baby for five days. After noticing that she hadn’t felt the baby move in hours, she went to the hospital where they confirmed that the baby was dead.

Jill Duggar Dillard risks her baby’s life at homebirth

What kind of mother claims she “rocked” a birth that nearly killed her baby?

Ashley reported:

…I totally rocked by HBAC with my cesarean baby by my side and then about an hour later, my new love began having breathing issues. He has meconium aspiration syndrome and we have been admitted to the nicu. We are likely to be here for a week or more so he can fully recover…

I will share the birth story once we’re home again. It was so amazing and empowering!

In response, Selena explained:

This is what happened to me in Jan. My hbac went perfect, but little man had breathing issue because of meconium, so to the NICU we went for 5 days…

And Amanda chimed in with:

I had my second HBA2C in birth pool on March 24. He aspirated fluid when he was born and we spent his first 4 weeks in the NICU…

Another unassisted birth, another brain damaged baby

The mother reported:

I free birthed her but she got stuck in the birth canal. I birthed her head but could not get her shoulders out (she was 11lbs 9.5oz with linebacker shoulders). After 4-5 minutes I called paramedics who took about 2 minutes to get there. I got her out before they got there but she was unresponsive. They cut the cord immediately against my wishes. We should have killed that guy. Anyways, she was recovering under cooling therapy for 3 days to limit organ damage and has been recovering since…

Baby girl got her MRI yesterday. There appears to be no damage to her cerebrum (higher learning) but there is damage to her Thalamus/Basal Ganglia area (deeper brain that handles body functions like blood pressure, temperature control, libido, etc… She is not swallowing spit or choking … Smetimes I feel remorseful when the what ifs come but it could have happened anywhere.

Latest homebirth harvest of death

April 28:

A mother and her baby died after she collapsed during labor at a private clinic in Unity, Wisconsin. According to information on a community message board, she was transferred to the hospital where an emergency C-section was performed but it was too late to save either of them.

The community message board noted that there was a stillbirth at the same clinic in the previous week.

May 27.

Apparently this was an unassisted homebirth. The mother noted on Facebook:

He seems to be having shallow/grunty breaths … when should I be concerned? His little face is quite bruised so I can’t tell if he’s purplish looking because of that, or the breathing?

She took him to the hospital where he subsequently died due to brain damage and organ compromise.

June 14:

From a Facebook HBAC group:

Just wanted to post quickly in here that I got my HBAC!!!

We’ve been in the NICU due to our sweet son not breathing for some time after he came earth-side. Please keep us in your prayers.

According to subsequent posts, it appears that the baby sustained permanent brain damage.

Homebirth hell: 5, no 6, no 7 dead babies in one WEEK!

July 23 Baby Boy C.

Born in a CPM attended birth center. Birth announcement removed from the birth center’s page. Cause of death unknown.

July 24 Baby Boy C.

Died of massive hypoxic brain injury.

July 25/26 Baby Boy

Unassisted pregnancy, unassisted birth after a previous premature birth at 30 weeks. Baby died during labor.

July 26 Baby Girl E.

Attempted unassisted homebirth. Stalled at 9 cm. Mother’s friend crowd sourced advice on Facebook. Ultimately transferred to the hospital with a live baby. Baby appears to have died during further labor.

July 27/28 Baby gender unknown

Grand multip attempting HBAC. She had had multiple previous successful VBACs. Transferred for abruption. Mother developed eclampsia with seizures. No fetal heartbeat on admission to the hospital. Emergency repeat C-section for a baby that appeared to have been dead for at least an hour.

July 26 Baby Girl A

Born at home before noon after what appears to have been an HBAC. Baby immediately transferred to the hospital “due to complications of labor.” Baby died before midnight.

The 7th homebirth death on July 30 was the result of major congenital anomalies.

He’s a spastic quadriplegic as a result, but she’s glad she had a homebirth

Mother #1 writes:

Had this brave little chickie at home 6/1 … And didn’t go quite as planned. She was born unresponsive. No oxygen to her brain for unknown amount of time. Straight to the hospital (I was still naked in the ambulance!) then transferred an hour and half away where my fought [for] her life… Collapsed lung, spiration, heart problems, seizures, brain damage, low blood sugar … Just to name a few! Today she’s doing better than anyone said she would. She’s perfect… Currently only on feeding tube. And guess what… She was 9lbs, 90z and I didn’t tear!!!! And still, i’m glad I had her at home!

Mother #2 responds:

Congrats! We too had unexpected complications with one of our births, a severe placenta abruption. He suffered lack of oxygen for an extended period or time and was life flighted in where they cooled him for 5 days. He is now 2 1/2 and has severe spastic quad cp (cognitively unaffected) but we are so glad we had him at home too…

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Maura and her no good, very bad, nearly deadly Bali homebirth

Without modern obstetrics, both Jessa and Jill Dugger would probably be dead

It all worked so perfectly … except for the part where the baby couldn’t breathe

The mother wrote:

Please keep my little daughter … in your thoughts and prayers. Two hours after an amazing homebirth this morning @42+1, my very bonnie 9.8 lb little girl suddenly developed breasthing problems and MW had to call an ambulance and we raced to the city hospital. She’s being well looked after in NICU (and looking like the most enormous baby surrounded by tiny prems), but we still don’t know what’s causing her very laboured breathing:-(

Followed by:

She’s doing OK, looks like she got fluid (may have been from her overly vigorous but slightly uncoordinated first breastfeed) on her lungs or possibly and infection. Just cuddled her and rocked her to sleep, and expressed her some colostrum…

Still in amazement that this lovely bonnie girl came out of my vagina! And I didn’t need stitches! It all worked so perfectly.

Nicola’s noxious narcissism: when the birth is more important than the baby

Nicola chose homebirth for her second baby because she wanted a “wonderful” birth. The birth was not wonderful for the baby, though.

But i was very unlucky, my baby was born not breathing 40 minutes away from hospital from which he has sustained serious brain injury and will live with serious life long disabilities.

Now I will spend the rest of my life wondering whether I should have gone against every instinct in my body and done as I was told by people I didn’t trust. If I had done that would my son have arrived safely??

Carmina also chose homebirth. According to the GoFundMe page:

T. was born on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at home by mid wife. At some point during his birth two things went drastically wrong. He inhaled meconium which filled his lungs and the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, cutting off his oxygen.

The midwife was able to rescusitate him after approximately 13 minutes, however, it is unknown how long T. had been cut off from oxygen intake, or at which point he inhaled the meconium. For the first 40 minutes of his life, he was not in Doctors’ hands as he was in route via helicopter to the Hospital.

He suffered severe brain damage.


I no longer write about every homebirth death or disaster of which I learn. There are simply too many.

I wrote posts about:

4 maternal deaths

21 perinatal deaths

9 babies who sustained brain damage

Think homebirth is safe? So did the mothers in these 34 accounts.

Think homebirth is safe? Read the 34 stories and think again.