As most of us in the unassisted community know, there was a Facebook group called Free Birth Society. Initially, it was an awesome radical group full of empowered women. In due time it turned into an environment that allowed ZERO mentioning of assistance and anyone who suggested it for any reason would be removed.
We’ve given it some time. We wanted to wait until things blew over a bit but it’s time to speak out. There are things that need to be brought to the surface. The hot topic that has been invading the free birth community needs to be discussed. A baby has died and it has everyone up in arms, especially those who do not agree with this way of birth.
Truth comes out
Let’s be real here – unassisted birth is typically safe for an educated woman. There are though times where things go wrong. Sometimes emergencies arise. It is each birthing woman’s choice to stay home despite seeing signs, it is her right to refuse medical care where it might be beneficial in an emergency. She can legally allow her baby to pass and deliver a stillborn baby at home.
That is a choice all mothers have; the right to autonomy. Most of us in the unassisted birth community do not feel this way though. Most would prefer an alive baby over a dead one. Majority of the free birth community members are not “die-hard”, most will seek help in the case of emergency. We take time to become educated on signs to look for that could be revealing a complication.
Free birth is intuition led
There was recently a mother who was in the Free Birth Society group who was in labor for multiple days, experienced many signs of complication such as meconium stained waters, lack of fetal movement, an unnatural pattern of contractions, going on nearly one week of labor. Something was very wrong here and this mothers intuition began to speak to her. She knew something was off. This is when she took to FBS, made a post explaining her situation, asking for advice.
Let’s stop there for a moment. Free birth is intuition led, it is NOT a suggestion led. A woman who is freebirthing takes on her own responsibility for her birth. She should be tuning into her body while tuning out the outside world. The LAST thing a woman in labor, delivering unassisted, should be doing is reaching out and allowing others thoughts and suggestions to flood her mind.
When this happens, her intuition begins to become skewed. She is no longer as connected to her experience.
Let’s also mention that it is unsafe to ask others for their advice regarding a birth occurring involving someone else’s body. What might have been perfectly okay in Sarah’s labor might cause fetal death in Lisa’s labor. The best person to know what a woman should do next is the educated woman herself.
Your intuition is speaking
This woman knew something was wrong or she wouldn’t have reached out. Her intuition had to have been speaking to her. The issue here is that this mother was not completely clued up on signs to look for. She wasn’t aware of the danger that is involved when you reach out to ask strangers for advice. She was not prepared for an unassisted birth. Had she of followed her intuition an simply headed into a medical facility, even she admits things would likely be different.
The post the birthing mama made in the FBS group was a scary sight to see. So many people commented that she needed to head in for assistance. Many informed her that what was happening was a medical emergency and things were NOT okay. Each of these comments were removed by admins. Each person to suggest assistance was swiftly removed from the group. Those who wanted to stay had to sit down, shut up, and watch it all unfold.
A fellow member in the group was nervous for this laboring mama when she saw this post. She reached out to the creator of this group, Emilee Saladaya. She expressed concern to Emily regarding this situation. Emilee admitted she had been in contact with this woman for days and that she was okay despite all of the presented warning signs and photos of meconium-stained waters. Emilee’s words were: “Yea she good”.
The screenshots of this conversation were in the hands of only a very small amount of people. They weren’t released until much later. The screenshots are shared below.
Emilee birth experience
Emilee previously planned an unassisted birth. As she shared in the podcast of her birth story, she decided to head into a hospital to be checked and evaluated to be sure things were well. Her choice to attend the hospital was unnecessary medically, she did this for peace of mind. She then signed out AMA and delivered her child unassisted at home.
It is interesting that someone that had transferred herself, would refuse to suggest transfer to a mother who apparently NEEDS it. It is almost as if she regrets going to a hospital herself, so she’s made it her mission to be sure no other women do the same. Which is quite harmful as no 2 births are the same, even from the same woman.
On the 6th day of labor, the birthing mother had not felt any fetal movement in some time so she headed into the hospital to deliver a sleeping baby girl. Come to find, this woman had a terrible urinary tract infection that infected her and baby.
Spreading like wildfire
This story spread like wildfire. Every medically minded page stated flocking to the story wanting to share what was happening in the “careless free birth community”. All of the fearful, disempowered, and uneducated, mainstream folk were trying to make it their mission to be sure this event stained the free birth community and gave us a bad reputation. Which, let us call it how it is for a second – more babies die in a hospital purely at the hands of the medical staff that was there to “protect” them. Babies have ahigher risk of death in a facility than at home. You won’t catch the “pRo sCieNcE” mainstreamers stating this fact though.
Emilee and the free birthing mama were verbally and virtually attacked due to this event. They were called names and ridiculed by many. Emilee took to FBS to create a post trying to deflect the situation, claiming she had played no part, that she had a very limited conversation with birthing mama and that she did not give her any advice. The birthing mama also made comments stating that Emilee was not at fault and that Emilee didn’t advise her to stay home.
Let's recap everything we know
Let’s recall back to the screenshots. In those screenshots it proves Emilee to be a liar. How could she have known there were screenshots of proof taken? They couldn’t have. The select handful of women who had these screenshots, all chose not to share them right away. They were kept secret for some time.
Once released, the mainstream article writers flocked to it. They had the proof Emilee was a liar and wanted to continue to stain our community making us look irresponsible and uneducated.
I will also add, once these screenshots leaked, Emilee and her crew decided to “go after” (verbally) the woman who she shared the conversation with. Almost as if it was the woman that played the role of the “bad guy” for exposing the fact that Emilee lied.
Most unassisted birthing women are educated.
Most of us have common sense and aren't reckless.
The most important thing to remember is one experience cannot define an entire community of people. That’s like saying “There is a man who killed someone in Pennsylvania. All men in Pennsylvania are killers!” Where’s the logic?
Meanwhile, Emilee was still being virtually attacked, as was the Birthing Mama. Emilee decided it was time to shut down all 4 of her FBS groups. (Including the 3 sister groups). Emilee and her co-partner, Yolande had been planning a paid membership group. They planned to create a group that required paid membership to capitalize on freebirthing women. There were no groups thus far that charged admission.
Of course, there weren’t – that is incredibly dangerous and asking for complication.
Requirements for the new group
They took this opportunity after a fetal death occurred affiliated with their group, to shut down shop and begin charging others to be a part of a community on a platform outside of Facebook. Here are the details about the group, feel free to form your own opinions, I don’t even have to spell it out.The cost to APPLY is $108. This would be charged yearly if you desired to be in the group.
You can imagine how that group will end up being. Solely women who look up to Emilee and Yolande and are hoping to be “taught” free birth. They will be given discounts on the courses they plan to teach – YIKES. The strongly educated women in our community will not be there. They do not need to pay money to have a community, nor do they desire to. We can see it now – a complete shit show.
When money talks
These women have grown to revolve around money. They are out to make money, not educate and empower other women. Emilee herself decided to create a free birth course after many suggested it might help other women. Absolutely! A course helping to educate women on the basics of free birth as a starting point for research sounds like an AWESOME idea. Guess how much she charged for the basic knowledge course? $600!!! Like, WHAT??!! #Moneyhungry
They are a threat to our free birth community as a whole. Free Birth Society is harmful and putting mothers in harm's way. They aren’t role models to look up to by any means. They also are not the definition of our community. Most freebirthers are refusing to associate with Emilee and Yolande as well as FBS. Many are speaking out against them, trying to warn our community of the dangers that surround FBS.
What freebirth really is
Freebirth is safe for the educated woman who understands the physiological birth process, knows the signs to look for, and trusts the process, her body, and baby. We should not be allowing this to instill us with fear. New or speculating free birthers should not be turned off by this uneducated and unfortunate situation. If one has fear, the next step is to document that fear and research it until you are 100% solid on that topic and no longer have fear. Fear has no place in a birthing woman’s heart and mind.
Remember, free birth is not for everyone. If you choose unassisted birth, be educated. Be prepared for your birth before the birthing day. Do not reach out for advice during labor, this is incredibly reckless. More often than not, things go off without a hitch. Sometimes we can experience complication though. If at any time you feel something is wrong, handle it as YOU see fit. If you feel a transfer is necessary, act on your intuition. There is no shame in yielding an alive baby.