Who’s responsible when a baby dies at freebirth?

Responsibility a cloud word on sky

The internet is buzzing with the latest story of a woman who let her baby die at a freebirth.

Freebirth is the bizarre practice of giving birth without a medical professional of any kind because “nature.” Women who choose freebirth seem to have no knowledge of childbirth; if they did, they’d know that the day of birth is the deadliest day in the entire 18 years of childhood. They have no knowledge of history; if they did, they’d know that birth attendants exist is every time, place and culture because childbirth is dangerous and attendants improve outcomes.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Having a right to do something does not make it the right thing to do.[/pullquote]

As is typical for freebirth, the mother was ignoring multiple risk factors that placed her baby at even higher risk:

  • The mother was 42 weeks.
  • She labored for five days.
  • She was leaking meconium.
  • The amniotic fluid had a foul smell.
  • She only sought medical help after she no longer felt the baby moving.

Her labor started on October 1.


So the surges keep coming every day, but still no baby. Just making me more and more tired and my body ache everywhere. Nothing I could do would ease the pain but I tried so hard to stay positive.

My water broke the evening of the 4th and was discolored. Since I was 42 weeks I thought it was normal. But as the days went by it got more foul smelling and turned a sick poop color which was constantly leaking and the baby stopped moving on the 6th.

I woke on the 7th with so much pain and pouring meconium that Chris and I agreed it was time to transfer.

Not surprisingly, the baby was dead.

Or as the mother said:

Journey Moon M. was born as a sleeping angel on Oct. 7th at 8 lb. 13 oz.

That sounds much nicer than the truth that the baby died a preventable death from Group B strep infection (as per the autopsy) days before birth and macerated for days —both before and after birth — in foul smelling, infected meconium.

Whose fault it is that Journey Moon is dead? The blame lies with her mother and the members of the freebirth Facebook group that encouraged her every step of the way. As is typical with the irresponsible, narcissistic outlook of women who choose freebirth, the mother insists this was a random event.

I posted an article recounting the baby’s death on my Facebook page and another freebirth aficionado, Sarah Tuck, swooped in the berate me and my readers.

You women are so fucked up. Stop being stupid assholes and actually care about your sisters in this world.

Who is Sarah?


I have two masters degrees and tons of experience in trauma counseling, midwifery, education, etc.

Not exactly.

Sarah is an assistant/apprentice midwife with Harvest Moon Women’s Health. She has a background in photography and education… Sarah has a Bachelors Degree in Photography/Art and a Masters Degree in Childhood Education. She began coursework the The Ancient Art Midwifery Institute in 2015. She is trained with several midwifery schools doing hands on workshops. She has worked with 6 different midwives during her past 12 months as an apprentice. She has been to mostly home-births and also birth center and hospital births as well. She is CPR and NRP certified. She is currently working with D.H. and is getting close to reaching 30 births! She is also trained as an herbalist, doula, nutrition counselor, preconception counselor, Thai Massage, and has been working in women’s health for 4 years. And she takes amazing birth photos!

Sarah is a birth photographer who actually thinks that attending courses with the clowns at Ancient Art Midwifery Institute has made her knowledgeable about childbirth.

Sarah the birth photographer is horrified that anyone would dare hold this freebirth mother to account. She fails to understand that just because a woman has a right to have a freebirth doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do or that other women should support it.

How can that be?

Free speech offers a good analogy. The first amendment guarantees the right to free speech, but that doesn’t mean that anyone is required to agree with or support the substance of that speech.

Consider the 1977 case of the American Nazi party vs. Skokie, Illinois. Nazis wanted to wave swastikas and march through Skokie, a town settled by large numbers of Holocaust survivors:

[T]he necessary implication of the Supreme Court’s 1977 NSPA decision … is that a group’s request to engage in a parade or demonstration involving public display of the Nazi swastika is a symbolic form of free speech that is at least presumptively entitled to First Amendment protections. In other words, the Court’s decision implies that First Amendment protection would not be denied to use of the swastika …

But just because the First Amendment protects the right to wave a swastika flag in front of the citizens of Skokie does not mean that doing so is worthy of agreement or support. That Nazis who sought to march were evil people who didn’t care whom they hurt. They are not entitled to or worthy of respect.

Similarly a woman’s right to control her own body means that authorities cannot prevent her from having a freebirth, but that doesn’t make it a moral choice or worthy of support. It remains an ignorant, narcissistic, immoral choice that should be condemned.

In keeping with the narcissism of freebirth, Sarah insists:


Ha! You’re just jealous because we had fucking amazing births and feel empowered enough to take you all down! Home birth is on the rise and we are not getting any more silent. Nor will we go away.

Hilarious! Sarah imagines we envy her when in truth we are disgusted by her. Home birth is on the rise? Well, yes, if you mean that it has gone from a fringe practice that leads to preventable infants deaths to a slightly more popular fringe practice that leads to preventable infant deaths.

To the extent that I feel anything at all for women who choose freebirth and their babies, I feel pity. Imagine having a mother so selfish and narcissistic that she is literally willing to risk your life for her own “empowerment.” No child deserves that.

Women who let their own babies die at freebirth have a right to do so, but that doesn’t change the fact they are responsible for their immoral choice and its deadly outcome.