A blisteringly stupid guide to postpartum hemorrhage

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Sadly, this is not satire.

Freya Kellet is a self-proclaimed “birth keeper, coach and mentor.”

I’m all too familiar with the ignorance, arrogance and privilege of natural childbirth advocates, but Freya sets a new standard for idiocy with her ‘Radical Guide to Postpartum Hemorrhage.’

Postpartum hemorrhage is your ally??!!

Hemorrhage is one of the most common reasons why women fear birth.

But, what if everything you know about hemorrhage is based in cultural misconceptions?

Cultural misconceptions??!!

Our body speaks in blood. A language of crimson and dots. Bleeding in birth is an expression of our bodies innate wisdom. not of pathology…

Hemorrhage is not a mistake in the female design … Hemorrhage during birth is a physiological response to a predictable constellation of events — intervention, observation and disturbance to motherbaby. Hemorrhage is a woman’s body speaking in blood, screaming a great and bloody NO to violation and control…

Not exactly.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) causes over 80,000 maternal deaths each year.

It accounts for more than 45% maternal deaths in low income countries and almost 10% of maternal deaths in high income countries.

It is estimated that around the world one woman dies of postpartum hemorrhage every 4 minutes!

Moreover, the countries with the lowest intervention rates in birth have the HIGHEST rates of death from postpartum hemorrhage. But Kellet is clueless.

She thinks hemorrhage is an ALLY!

There are no mistakes in nature…

Hemorrhage does not occur randomly, it is extremely predictable and is the result of interventions and disturbances in the birth process…

Hemorrhage is the ancient ally of women.

Hemorrhage creates a holy blood boundary to boldly remind people of the importance of protecting undisturbed, wild birth.

My favorite part of this fatally stupid nonsense is Kellet’s suggestions for “treatment.”

Some women use the power of intention to resolve excessive bleeding by speaking to their uterus. You could try telling your womb that she needs to stop bleeding NOW …

If there is a sense that the mother is not present (spiritually, emotionally) some support people try boldly calling her back in into the room …

How well does Kellet imagine that works when the mother is unconscious from hypovolemic shock?

Where did Kellet learn this idiocy? From other equally clueless birth keepers, Yolande Norris Clark and freebirth advocate Emilee Saldaya.

What I really want to know is this: exactly how gullible do you have to be to believe this crap?

Apparently very, very gullible!

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  • Mel

    Excessive blood loss during pregnancy absolutely sucks.

    My body and Spawn’s placenta worked together to destroy most of my red blood cells and platelets when I developed rapid onset severe pre-e with HELLP syndrome at 26 weeks pregnant. The majority of the damage, I presume, was done over a few days before anyone realized anything was wrong – and I was completely intervention-free.

    A whole lot of medicine and good luck gave me enough platelets to be awake for the C-section when Spawn was born.

    I didn’t need any blood transfusions because my uterus managed to stay relaxed while Spawn was being delivered and clamped down hard once he was out. I am quite certain, though, that at no point did I tell my uterus to clamp down nor did anyone recall me to the room. And yet – it did.

    The sucky part for me was the extended recovery period. I became exhausted during mild exertions like changing my tiny son’s diaper in his isolette. Walking from his bay to the bathroom to change for skin-to-skin left me sweating and panting; it was exactly 46 steps away. I remember sitting on the toilet to catch my breath before undressing, catching my breath after getting dressed, and flopping into a chair back in the NICU; that was one week after delivery. I needed a wheelchair to get from the parking lot to the NICU for the first two weeks after he was born. The third week, I needed help going over the interior bridge between the outpatient building and the inpatient building because it was too steep for me – but I could manage the rest.

    That sucked – and I didn’t have a newborn who needed to be cared for 24/7 since he was in the NICU – and I was able to sleep a lot more than the average new mom.

    • PeggySue

      That sounds really tough. And that’s WITH medical care. I can’t imagine anyone surviving in that situation with nothing but affirmations.

  • Rivkah Rainey

    So I think the author must’ve been writing this as a satire. No.? Cuz no one can be this dumb

    • rational thinker

      Sadly it’s not satire. There are people who believe this crap and spead it to others as gospel.

  • rational thinker

    “If there is a sense that the mother is not present (spiritually,
    emotionally) some support people try boldly calling her back in into the
    room …” Wow. This is some dangerous bullshit. So in this situation it is just moms fault for not being spiritual enough? I always thought that when someone was non responsive after bleeding they were in shock and about to die.

    • MaineJen

      I think this is when the midwife starts barking at you to “Stop bleeding!!” and maybe wafts some cinnamon candy under your nose.

      I mean, good grief. If you had any doubt that these people are not medical professionals, wonder no longer.

      • PeggySue

        This is just terrifying as well as disgusting. Criminal neglect.

        When I was an on-call hospice chaplain I was at times called to bedsides of people “experiencing spiritual distress,” and invariably the person was experiencing terminal delirium, often attributable to obvious physical issues such as pain. Delirium is suffering for the patient and the patient’s family, and casting it as “spiritual” keeps the patient from getting appropriate medical care. Drove me nuts. Kept telling them, assess what’s going on medically and respond appropriately, if the problem is spiritual it won’t respond to the medical intervention, but start with the obvious first. You’d be amazed the woo chaplains who would come in and start doing Reiki or Therapeutic Touch Open Spiral or whatever, never noticing that the patient was lying on a tangled bunch of wet sheets, or clutching the bedrails with deeply furrowed brow, or (my fave) actually smiling and giggling in a conversation with someone we could not see, and therefore not in need of any intervention at all.

        But to let someone bleed out while you’re yelling at them? that’s torture as well as neglect, and I have no words.

        • rational thinker

          My husband has a history of joining bad churches and a couple were cults, one I had to fake join for two years just to get him out. Anyway years ago he was staying at a christian mens home (this one was not a cult) and he was walking past the bedroom of a middle aged man. He saw the man lying on his floor shaking and he did not respond when my husband called his name. So what did my brainwashed husband do? He knelt down next to the man on the floor and started praying over him to banish the demon from his body.
          He had been taught that demons are responsible for major health problems and you have to pray them away and Jesus will heal them. He genuinely believed this.
          The real miracle that day was that someone else came walking down the hall 30 seconds later and saw the man on the floor and my husband next to him trying to rid him of “the demon”. He knew the man was diabetic and was probably having a seizure and he called 911. The man got help in time and survived.

          • PeggySue

            Thank heavens the man’s life was saved! Did that make any impression on your husband? I cringe at thinking of all the people who have suffered at end of life because of that “demon” belief, and all the families whose grief has been complicated by believing their loved one was captured by Satan at the end of life, when it was a seizure.

          • rational thinker

            At the time I dont think he realized how serious it was. When he first told me about it he kind of laughed it off like it was funny that he thought it was a demon. My husband does have serious mental health problems bipolar being one of them and he wont stay on medication. Every time he takes his meds and starts doing well one of those people will tell him its a sin to take meds and he has no real mental health problems it is just satan trying to trick him. Then he stops the pills and eventually has a mental breakdown. Then Im the one who has to deal with it not them. After 20 years im getting fed up with this never ending cycle.`

          • PeggySue

            Goodness. I am so sorry to hear this. It sounds awful for both of you. It’s a horrible cycle, and this sort of “theology” makes my blood boil. They’re not really trying to help him, they are helping themselves stay comfortable by refusing to challenge those ignorant beliefs. They’d rather see him suffer than see him do something outside their worldview and have a more positive quality of life.

          • rational thinker

            The worst part is he should have learned his lesson over and over again but he doesn’t. The worst story of medical neglect was in the first/worst cult he was in. There was a 20 year old kid who asked if he could go to a dentist or doctor because of a toothache. They told him no and sent him to his room and made him write/copy chapters of the bible before bed time. They told him there was nothing wrong and the pain was because of guilt for not praying enough. When everyone woke up in the morning they found the kid dead in his bed from a tooth abscess. This was at a Teen challenge facility. My husband spent 8 years there. They had a basically slave labor thing going on there they brainwashed him so much that he was afraid he would die if he left. They knew we had two young children that I was raising alone, they barely let him even call us on the phone and when they did they would have someone listen in on the call, and if one of us said something they didn’t like they would disconnect the call.

            I recognize a lot of the same brainwashing tricks in the natural childbirth industry. Echo chambers are probably the best tool for brainwashing. Its just disgusting that the person who often pays the price for these beliefs is almost always an innocent baby who was just trying to be born alive.

          • PeggySue

            An innocent baby of whatever age. A person who is dependent on those in control for even the most basic of needs. I wish that Teen Challenge facility had never existed. Eight YEARS? No wonder your husband has such trouble resisting that kind of authoritarian approach. How ingrained his fear must be, and how deep the trauma. And to exploit kids in such a way… the Bible says some things about that, and not good things.

          • rational thinker

            He is very much institutionalized. He never stays home for long. The longest he has been able to stay home was 3 years in one stretch. In the past 20 years together he has lived with me and the kids a grand total of maybe 6 years. He just keeps going from program to program and he is not living with me at the moment either.

  • Montserrat Blanco

    I work outside the OB ward, and have not seen an obstetric emergency in two decades. I still remember vividly an abortion hemorraghe I witnessed during my medical training. The girl, in her late teens, was shaking despite the warm environment and I had the vivid recognition that life was just running out of her body. There was blood everywhere. Everybody was running, getting blood, getting a line going, getting drugs, etc. Thankfully some blood units and the drugs made the trick and she lived to tell the tale and is probably enjoying her life more than twenty year after the event. She was dying in front of me and she needed a lot of quick and expert care to keeper her alive. I do not want to imagine the result of an event like that outside the hospital, telling to the womb to stop bleeding.

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      My mother experienced a placental previa and ruptured uterus(both apparently side effects of severe, un-diagnosed endometriosis) with her 3rd pregnancy. I was 4 and we lived with my grandma. My mother started hemorrhaging in the middle of the living room. My grand parents dragged her to the car and my grandma drove like Mario Andretti to the hospital, 3 miles away. Thank FSM for speeding grandma’s and Csections. My mother lost her uterus but got a healthy baby boy in exchange. I hate these woo-woo, Nature is best idiots. Nature is beautiful, but it doesn’t give a crap if you live or die.

  • JDM

    Loving (well, “loving”) logical fallacies as I do, I appreciated Kellet’s classic construction and use of a false statement layered over the true grain of sand, like a pearl. The part of her statement, “Hemorrhage during birth is a physiological response to a predictable constellation of events” is certainly true, just as hemorrhage after a stabbing is a physiological response to a predictable constellation of events. As is obvious when you change “birth” to “stabbing”, the fact that it’s predictable or even expected does not mean intervention isn’t needed.

  • StephanieJR

    I think I’d rather have a conversation with a flat earther than this bint. This might be the worst bullshit I’ve ever heard.

    • Seriously. I can smile, nod, and think of what great dinner conversation I’ve just acquired when I hear most lunacy, but stuff like this that minimizes–encourages–death is horrifying.

  • MaineJen

    Typo alert!

    “Moreover, the countries with the lowest intervention rates in birth have the HIGHEST rates of death from postpartum *depression*.” Should be “hemorrhage”