Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freebirth FAQ

Fierce Mamas support the choice to freebirth! We have been persecuted for it, sometimes very publicly, so it is essential that we keep talking about it to make sure women understand it as a valid birthing option.

We need audience participation to do this well!! Please post your questions about freebirth in the comment section here. Over the next few days, 3 freebirthing women will answer your questions; we will reassemble the entire thing to create an FAQ here on Fierce Mamas. No question is too big or small, although I will be deleting questions of the disrespectful variety ;)



  1. What are the best books, blogs, websites, other resources you read before or since you UC'd?

  2. What was the most helpful information in your journey which you would want any mom considering it as a choice to know?

  3. What are the risks involved for a VBAC mom interested in freebirthing her second child? Is an ultrasound to determine placenta placement necessary?

  4. How do you handle the social pressure from well meaning in your life who have no appreciation for your perspective and those who insist on being afraid on your behalf?

  5. @netgyks, I think you might like this

    My question: what do you consider when deciding whether to allow someone in your birthspace? I know some UCers like to go it solo, others with partners, and others still with larger support systems. What did you consider when deciding this, or did you leave it to the day to decided based on what felt right at the time?

  6. What kind of safety/back up plan, if any, do you use when freebirthing?

    Do you have to have a pretty extensive knowledge of pregnancy and birth to UC? It almost seems to me like only doulas, child birth educators, etc choose to freebirth. What about your average Joe(lene, I guess!)?

    Are there any statistics available on how many babies "survive" freebirth? (I realize you are probably cringing at my use of the term "surviving freebirth" but that's only due to my lack of a better term. I think you probably know what I mean). I'm just curious because when I first learned about the infant mortality rates in Europe, vs Canada and the US, I was surprised to learn that rates are higher in countries where babies are born primarily in hospitals. I'm curious about infant mortality rates in UC situations. My thoughts are that they are much lower than most people would expect and I'd love to be able to accurately share this with a few... unsupportive friends.

    Are there any women who simply shouldn't birth unassisted? Such as someone pregnant with twins, high blood pressure, breech, etc?

  7. The thoguht of a freebirth for my second child is very appealing: I can visualize myself birthing my child at home in peace and quiet but then I am stumped when I get to the umbilical cord. Do you need special sterilized scissors? What do you do?

  8. Ugh, I just typed a big long reply and it disappeared

    Here is a link to stats:

    Twins or breech are not a hindrance to birthing unassisted. High Blood Pressure doesn't have to be. I know a mother who is diabetic who successfully birthed unassisted. I know another UC mum who was able to treat herself for shock easily during birth. Some birth solo, some with friends, some as couples.

    You can have a lotus birth and not cut the cord at all, or you can tie off the cord (finger length from navel, tie it, another space, tie again and cut in between) and then cut with scissors sterilised by boiling in hot water for the required time (can't recall what that is, my husband does it, you can search for those details).

    A lot less is actually needed than you might realise, at a birth. A drop pad, warm towels, plastic sheet, something to hold the placenta in, change of sheets. Or for a water birth even less. Ties and scissors for the cord, comfort things such as music, pillows, etc. A suction bulb for baby but it's unlikely you will need them.

  9. Ok now to try and respond to the previous questions (I already typed all out and lost, sigh).

    Social Pressure: Only tell who you trust, don't bother with anyone else. If people do comment, smile and tell them thank you and change the subject.

    Birth Space: Whoever you want, no one more no one less. You are not obligated to have anyone there. It all depends on what you want.

    You don't need to be an expert but it helps to research things you might need to know (cord, breech, etc).

    Laura Shanley's book Unassisted Birth is my favourite but others are great too, Marilyn Moran's books, Check out Pleasurable Birth,, read birth stories!

    Back up Plan: Whatever you want really. You can have something or something minor, it all depends on what you want. Some want a midwife or doctor just in case, others don't. If you do go to the hospital, don't tell them your UC plans. They don't take kindly to that and you don't need the harassment.

    Most helpful information is to trust your body and your ability. Nothing else is more important than that.

    I know mums who have UCd after caesarean. No problems, but go with your instincts.

    Anything else please do email me at I may have missed something my toddler is demanding my attention :)

  10. I have a sort of unrelated question. I would like to submit something to the blog - and I can't figure out where to do that. How do I go about doing that? Thank you! Love the blog!

  11. Tegan, you can submit to us by emailing it to
    Can't wait to see what you've written- thank you!

  12. Oh I'm excited about this one! I love Freebirth! I've had two and wouldn't have it any other way!