A doula calling herself “rosie posie” on facebook (which is obviously not her real name) got into some trouble in a birth worker’s group recently (the group has everyone who identifies as a birth worker, from photographers to nurses and possibly some OBGYNs). A birth worker was discussing a mother with risk factors and what she should do. Rosie Posie suggested Unassisted Childbirth, or Freebirth as it is sometimes called. Someone sarcastically replied “sure, and we could just start a donation website for their child’s brain damage!” Rosie’s response is below:
“Brain damage? I’ve attended over 20 successful unassisted home births as a home birth doula, and I had mine unassisted. She could esaily find an affordable and experienced doula whose able to recognize signs of distress if needed.”
This is, of course, rubbish. Even home birth midwives are notoriously poor at spotting fetal destress outside of brachycardia (low heart rate). All the other people in the group call her out on it. The next claim she makes it horrifying:
“I have experienced a stillborn death. You openly discuss with the client that you are not a midwife nor are u responsible for anything that happens. Homebirths are 100% on the parents and they also need to be aware of signs. The doula is there for extra support, help with the kids help with theh usband help around the house and gentle guidance. Its not illegal unless you are impersonating a midwife. Im surprised at the lack of faith in homebirth in this group”
So she says she has seen “over 20″ unassisted childbirths and had her own. Let’s be charitable and say it was 29, and hers made a 30th. That would mean the death rate she has observed is 1 out of 31 babies born unassisted dying. That is *astronomical* in the world of perinatal mortality statistics, even more horrendous than the 1/200 breech home birth mortality rate that gave MANA pause. Of course that didn’t make MANA condemn home breech attempts or anything, but they at least knew it was a terrible statistic that they would have to say something about, even if it was just weasel words.
Rosie goes on to explain more about her theory about her responsibility for her clients (in light of the outlandish safety claims she makes about freebirth):
“Meh. I’ve heavily discussed with a lawyer. my contract is pretty solid and ive never ran into these issues. If youre firm about the amount of support you can and cannot provide and the families sign on the dotted line they dont really have a case. Theres no harm in encouraging anyone to learn how to recognize the signs in labor. Ill keep doing me and attending awesome homebirths. There are doulas offering home abortions for christs sake you dont see anyone suing them when something goes wrong (again something i have experienced)
Another poster calls her out on her craven indifference to the lives of women.
It was refreshing to see people being called out in an NCB space about a lack of safety and concern for clients. The thing is that Rosie’s past and future clients will likely never see this exchange, and since she used a fake name there is no way to let anyone know about it beforehand. How many doulas and midwives have said something equally outrageous online without their clients knowing?
Everyone is so eager to put the blame on parents and families that hire a doula or midwife, but almost no one in their ranks is willing to make a system to hold them accountable.
Rosie quit the group later because she thought it was too closed minded.
It was hard to tell if a post had been deleted, but there seemed to be multiple responses to Rosie about the specifics of a doula performing abortions, they all mentioned purchasing Cytotec off of the internet and administering it to moms who were miscarrying early. I assume Rosie deleted a post in order to absolve herself of being investigated for practicing medicine without a license because the responses I saw do not make sense without such a comment. Leave a comment if you have more information.
Rosie has the kind of attitude that I imagine Rowan Bailey did before they were arrested for the death of a child during a home birth. She too had no idea what she was doing but was confident enough to stay a fatal course anyway. That is what is so disarming about natural child birth types- the confidence. It is hard to think of someone being so confident about if a child will live or die without being on the right side of things, but they aren’t. They are too stupid to know they are too stupid to be delivering children. The dunning kruger effect is alive and well in NCB circles.