Unassisted birth advocate Meg Heket has a revelation


Will wonders never cease?

Homebirth advocates are scrambling to address the hideous death rate at homebirth.

First Midwives’ Alliance of North America executive Melissa Cheyney, CPM acknowledged that MANA’s own data shows that home VBAC (HBAC) has an appalling death rate, far higher than she expected. Of course, she has known about this for 5 years and only got around to mentioning it now.

This information was acknowledged by Jen Kamel of VBACFacts, and by the Lamaze blog Science and Sensibility. Henci Goer, in her inimitable style, clarified in the comments that it’s only a few dead babies.

I would add, too, that the increased likelihood of vaginal birth at home should weigh into the equation in this population. Women with no prior vaginal birth may be at slightly increased risk of perinatal loss with planned HBAC compared with women planning hospital VBAC, but they also may be much more likely to birth vaginally, thereby avoiding the serious and life-threatening risks of accumulating cesareans for the mother, baby, and any future pregnancies.

See the advantages of letting your baby die at homebirth?

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#C30507″]To support group members without honestly counseling them about the risk of death does not absolve Heket and Rodley of responsibility for dead babies.[/pullquote]

Now unassisted birth advocate Meg Heket has had a revelation. Heket, you may recall, is the sister of Janet Fraser (My dead baby was not as traumatic as my birth rape). She is also a co-administrator with Ruth Rodley of a number of homebirth and unassisted birth groups. No doubt you remember Ruth. She’s the one who, in the wake of 7 homebirth deaths in 1 week, referred to the death of a baby as “a little hickup.”

Stung by the response to her heartless comment, Ruth subsequently offered this:


I would like to publicly apologise to all the ladies from groups helped admin who lost their babies. I am very sorry for your loss and I’m sorry if what I did or said contributed to this. You have lost someone precious to you and I am sorry.

In the month since those 7 deaths, there were 5 additional homebirth deaths as well as a case of baby who suffered brain damage at homebirth. Even Meg Heket is shaken up.



Please, PLEASE, please, PLEASE contact CARE PROVIDERS  when concerning medical issues arise. We cannot assure you that everything is okay…

… we cannot tell you that you are ok because we’re only people on facebook.

Who could have thought that Meg was giving medical advice when she posted this comment and similar comments?


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

Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled that Heket and Rodley are now offering disclaimers. But they should not think that washes off the copious amount of blood that is already on their hands. Many babies have died already, not merely from their medical advice, which they dole out at the drop of the hat; they’ve died from their “encouragement” as well. Most importantly, babies have died because Heket and Rodley have steadfastly refused to acknowledge that unassisted birth and home VBAC are deadly stunts with appalling death rates.

If we are to take seriously their pious, self-serving claims that they don’t want to bear responsibility for the endless stream of homebirth deaths that occurs in their groups, they must publicly acknowledge that they cannot support anyone who doesn’t understand that unassisted birth and home VBAC unequivocally and dramatically raise the risk of perinatal death.

Unassisted birth and home VBAC are stunts on the order of bungee jumping off a cliff. If an adult is informed of the death rate of cliff bungee jumping and wants to do so anyway, he or she has made an informed decision. If a woman is informed of the high death rate of unassisted birth and home VBAC and wants to undertake one anyway, she has made an informed (though often selfish and heartless) decision. But to “support” and “encourage” these stunts without honestly counseling women about the risk of death does not absolve Heket and Rodley of responsibility for the deaths that result.

Heket and Rodley are not alone, of course. There is an ever growing pile of tiny dead bodies and people like Melissa Cheyney and Henci Goer (not to mention Ricki Lake and Ina May Gaskin) bear responsbility for those deaths. They are drenched in blood and no amount of disclaimers will change that.