Jill Duggar Dillard risks her baby’s life at homebirth

Seaton Road Accident

Jill Duggar Dillard is giving us all a lesson in how planning a homebirth is like risking your baby’s life by not buckling him into a carseat.

The odds are in her favor that everything will turn out fine, but, of course, the odds would be in her favor that not buckling him into a carseat would turn out fine. That doesn’t make either one a good idea.

Dillard, one of the 19 and counting Duggar children, is a birth junkie.

Back a few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend 12 weeks of childbirth classes with my 14-year-old friend, who was a single mom. Through these classes, I learned how to coach her during the birth of her child. Although I had attended two of my siblings’ births, being able to work as an active part of my friend’s birth made me interested in learning more. I became friends with a doula/labor coach who worked in the area, and started going to home and hospital births with her. Soon, I became her assistant, and through that, I came into contact with other local midwives. Over the course of the next several years, these midwives would call on me periodically for help at home births.

Now Jill is studying to be a pretend “midwife” (CPM) and will be attended by an equally poorly educated, poorly trained pretend “midwife.”

What’s the difference between a CPM (certified professional midwife) and a real midwife? The CPM credential was made up by a bunch of women who wanted to be midwives but couldn’t be bothered to meet the internationally accepted requirements for midwifery. Real midwives, like those in the Netherlands, the UK, Canada, Australia and the US, must have a minimum of a university degree in midwifery. US certified nurse midwives (CNM) must have a nursing degree plus a masters in midwifery, making them the most highly educated midwives in the world. In contrast, CPMs are the least educated midwives in the industrialized world. They are required to have only a high school diploma, a course of unmonitored self-study that can be completed at home, and attend only 40 births (approximately the same number that I attended in my first week of residency training).

Jill could have trained to be a real midwife, but that involves college, and that, apparently was just too hard.

I had been considering attending nursing school for a while, but the timing of it all wasn’t working out … Eventually, through my work with the local midwives, the door opened for me to enter into a distance-learning midwifery training program in Texas. This program, after about 3 1/2 years of schooling, would give me the education I need to become a licensed, Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).

An “education” that is considered to be so poor that is unacceptable in the Netherlands, the UK, Canada and Australia. The training is as deficient as the education. All other midwives train within hospitals to learn to recognize, manage and prevent life threatening obstetrical complications. CPMs don’t bother with any of that because they are self-proclaimed “experts in normal birth,” which is about as useful a pretend meteorologist who is an expert in sunny weather and must call a real meteorologist to figure out if it might rain.

What do CPMs do when a life threatening complication occurs at homebirth?

They transfer the mother to the hospital where there are real medical professionals with the equipment and expertise to save lives. That, of course, is like transferring your baby to the hospital after the car crash that ejected the baby through the windshield because you couldn’t be bothered to buckle him into a carseat. We don’t think much of mothers who can’t be bothered to buckle their babies into carseats. That’s negligent or crazy or both. Now consider that the chance of a baby dying in childbirth is actually HIGHER than the chance of the same baby dying in a car accident.

Dillard is now nearly 2 weeks past her due date. We know that with every day that passes, the risk of stillbirth goes up. That’s because the placenta often has trouble meeting the oxygen and nutritional needs of a baby growing beyond full term. The baby could simply die spontaneously, or could die during labor, because contractions can stress a healthy baby, let alone one with a failing placenta. Insisting on homebirth at this point is like driving with a baby unbuckled, on an icy road, knowing that the road will get icier still with each passing day.

We all know mothers who have done that and everything has turned out fine. That’s why Jill Duggar Dillard’s son is likely to be fine, too, even though she is casually risking his life at homebirth.