What’s the latest trend in having babies? Something called “freebirth.” Basically where a woman chooses to go through childbirth – what some call the most painful and potentially frightening experience of a woman’s life - with no drugs, no midwife, and no medical help. According to MSNBC, the freebirth movement is gaining popularity. It’s legal, as long as the delivery is not “assisted” by an unqualified partner, friend or husband. In other words – you have to do it totally by yourself. Why? Having non-medically-licensed assistance opens the gates to criminal prosecution if anything goes wrong.
To a lot of people, the idea of giving birth alone, with no one around to help if things go wrong, is nothing short of madness. Doctors, friends and relatives are often fiercely critical of what they see as a selfish, reckless, and even irresponsible approach to childbirth. Dr. John Crippen, from the British National Health Service, points out that giving birth is the most dangerous thing a woman will do during her life. He even thinks a baby born this way should take legal action against its mother! As he puts it, ‘why should a baby who sustained avoidable brain damage because of his mother’s negligence not take action against her?’ Iif a baby were to die during a freebirth, Dr. Crippen argues that the mother should be prosecuted for manslaughter. Of course, his views are pretty extreme.
On the other hand, Freebirth enthusiasts say that women have been having babies without medical intervention for centuries, and don’t understand why it’s being frowned on. Supporters also claim that fearmongering by doctors keeps more women from successfully delivering their own babies at home and having one of the most wonderful, intimate experiences of their lives.