Natural Childbirth Group Shuts Down After Full-Term Baby Dies

Natural Childbirth Group Shuts Down After Full-Term Baby Dies January 31, 2019

A Facebook Group is shutting down following the death of a full-term infant. Ten Month Mama, a group for expectant mothers who believe going over 40 weeks gestation carries limited risk, shared the statement to the group. The mother that lost her child was 45 weeks pregnant, and the group encouraged her to trust her instincts instead of listening to medical advice.

Earlier this week, we shared the story of Sara. We changed Sara’s name to protect her privacy. Sara was a member of the Facebook group and over 44 weeks pregnant.

For weeks, Sara used the group as a way to sort through her long pregnancy. At 43 weeks, she told the group her midwife wanted to induce her. Despite the recommendations made by the midwife, she refused to believe her baby was in any danger.

Her midwife said that her amniotic fluid had decreased, the placenta could become insufficient, and her baby had grown too big. In the group, she shared these concerns. Many told her that “placenta aging” is a myth. Several shared their experience of delivering healthy babies post 44 weeks.

Women suggested numerous methods to induce her labor naturally. Some suggested that she try castor oil. She admitted that she already tried the oil three times.

Then at 44 weeks six days, she went into labor. Her water broke, and she returned to the group to share the news. The women told her to keep going, take a bath, take a nap, and continue with her planned unassisted birth. She remained at home until early the next morning when meconium burst down her legs.

Then and only then, she went to the hospital. By the time she arrived at the hospital, the doctors told Sara that the baby died. When she updated the group, the women offered condolences and said some babies “just die.”

Following the death, I wrote an article highlighting the advice Sara ignored from her midwife and the advice she trusted from strangers in the Facebook group. While I did not overtly name the group, the movement “Ten Month Mommas” was named.

“Ten Month Mommas” are not a single group or page on Facebook.  There are several pages and groups dedicated to this philosophy. Midwives and birth charlatans write books about the benefits of going over 40 weeks. The philosophy is broader than Facebook, but large groups of women congregate there to share their experiences.

However, the groups received a lot of pushback after I published the article. After receiving a flood of member requests and attacks from outraged readers, one group decided to shut down their support group.

In a post uploaded today, the group admin said that for safety reasons she needed to close the group. Surprisingly, the reason for the closing is not related to the member’s stillbirth but rather the “people” that did not respect the body autonomy of members.  The admin appeared more upset that someone shared screenshots of the death rather than the death of the baby.

The group only contained 240 members. However, the corresponding Facebook Page has 3,800 likes. An admin of the page says the page will remain live.

Women have the right to do as they wish with their bodies. But groups and pages like “Ten Month Mamas” provide bad advice to vulnerable women. The page consistently shares fear mongering posts about the danger of inductions and medical interventions. Additionally, they push the idea that calcifying and decaying placentas are not harmful to the baby.

None of the content they share is supported by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, or American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Sources provided by the page are often natural childbirth proponents who balk at proven scientific data.

A minor victory is claimed in the war on pseudoscience with the closing of their support group. However, the page remains, and new groups will pop up from the dust.

Anytime someone dares to expose these groups for the consequences of their advice; they are never concerned about the deaths of the babies. These groups are always angry that people shared the unfortunate and preventable death with the world.

While the groups would love to keep the deaths hidden, there are hundreds more that are dedicated to making sure these stories are known. Women deserve to know all the information when making choices on birth.

If these stories remain hidden, these groups can flourish and grow. These stories will not stay hidden any longer. Women deserve to know that babies die as a result of this advice.

Read the original story about Sara here.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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  • sdsures

    Bad idea, since the placenta – the fetus’s nourishment – degrades after 40 weeks. That’s its normal lifespan. Deliberately going beyond 40 weeks when there are safe resources available to have the baby at a safe time, is stupid, selfish and deadly.

  • Tawreos

    It is so sad that “I read on the internet…” is held in as high regard as “Medical professionals say…”. It is almost as sad as the continued death of kids because their parents believe in woo over the word of experts.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    None of the content they share is supported by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, or American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Hell, a lot of their content is not even supported by CPMs (lay midwives), and certainly not by the ACNM. That’s how far out there they are – not even consistent with the standards of homebirth midwives.

  • Tara

    I just dont understand what the hell is so wrong with being induced? i’ve been induced 4 out of my 5 labors and pregnant again. same pain as my spontaneous labor.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Heck, lots of women end up begging the OB to induce them at the end of their pregnancies because they are tired of being pregnant (and miserable)

  • FFS – SMH

  • Anj Fabian

    One killer birth group down, many more to go.

    The predators will find other groups so they can continue to persuade other women to risk their babies and their health. Odds are good that the worst of them are in multiple birth and pregnancy groups.

    (If you think I am talking about you, I am. If the bloodstained shoes fit, ….)

  • Sarah

    As a registered midwife who provides evidence-based care, often in hospitals, I resent the statement “Midwives and birth charlatans write books about the benefits of going over 40 weeks.” Neither I nor my colleagues would write such a book or encourage the care plan this woman chose. There are many types of “midwives”. Please don’t tar us all with the same brush.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Sarah, while I recognize that there are good, quality CNMs out there, the profession has a major problem, stemming from the leadership.

    If you are to resent anything, it should the charlatans who tarnish the good name of midwives. To a far too much extent, CNMs sit back and allow the CPM cranks to run around pretending to be midwives. Why? Why do CNMs put up with clearly unqualified loons pretending to be their equals? I know in my profession, we take a very hard stance against those who don’t reach up to our standards. But instead, you have the leadership of the ACNM having close ties with CPMs, sharing the stage with them on the basis of “sisterhood.” It’s nonsense.

    So if you don’t like being lumped in with the garbage that is within the profession of midwives (and make no mistake, it’s not just CPMs, there are also CNMs, albeit fewer, that are charlatans), you need to get your profession to stand up to it. You have bad apples that spoil the whole bunch. The solution is to get rid of the bad apples, not to just complain that not all the apples are bad.

    There are CNMs who have tried to fight this, I know. And they have run into total resistance. Which is a reflection of the problem within your profession.

    There are good midwives. If you don’t like being tarred with the same brush as the charlatans, then get rid of the charlatans. They are your problem, not the one with the brush.

  • Sarah

    I am in Canada so we don’t have the same variation in midwife designations. I agree that there needs to be more oversight and regulation for those who call themselves midwives south of the border. The difficulty for me is that due to our proximity, Canadian women may see “midwives and charlatans” and extrapolate it to the registered midwives elsewhere. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for precision in writing and for some distinction to be made between types.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    And I don’t think it is at all a problem as long as charlatans taint the field.

    You are in Canada. Why aren’t you HOWLING MAD about the bullshit midwifery that is going on in the US? You realize these morons point to YOU to claim that home birth is safe and midwifery is good? Despite the fact that they to a way too large extent don’t have nearly your training or expertise? But hey, you are in Canada so it’s not your problem, and don’t blame you, right?

    The article is clearly written about an American system. She refers to the CDC, AAP and ACOG, which are all American medical organizations.

    BTW, looking at the statement you quoted, what is wrong with it? Do you disagree that midwives write books about the benefits of going over 40 weeks? It doesn’t say all of them do, it just says there are those that do. If you don’t write books like that, it doesn’t apply to you. Doesn’t make it wrong.

    Again, if you have a problem with that statement, then your problem is with the midwives who write books like that, not with Katie’s comment.

  • swbarnes2

    If this group had remain extant, people would be able to read what happened to this pregnancy. Breaking up the group erases the story. So some other 10 month momma will again say she had no idea placental insufficiency was a thing. That group will break up, and it will happen again.

  • Lizard

    That was my aunt, just with scheduling a C-section instead.

    OB/GYN: “Would you like to schedule it for tonight or Friday?”
    Aunt: “You take this baby out RIGHT NOW.”

  • Contractions of Fate

    Well done, Katie. I first saw you on Non-Seq Smoking Nun with Kyle. You do good work exposing these dangerous charlatans. It’s a pity they cannot be held responsible and imprisoned for their deadly advice. Some sort of aggravated manslaughter with contributory negligence.

  • Syzygy

    In god, and other bullshit, we trust.

  • Thanks for finding me here!

  • Lia Berquist

    That’s actually scientifically inaccurate. The Placenta is the only organ in the body that is born independently of the rest of the body. It has a life cycle just as any of our organs do. It does “die.” But it does not have a definitive, hardlined expiration date. It begins to decline at early term, but under normality, does function as it should right up until the baby is born. It’s a VERY complex organ and NO science has proven that it “degrades” after 40 weeks or malfunctions in any way. It can begin to calcify. This normal and, again, under normality it will trigger the baby to begin labor. For a page that accepts God as a divine designer, it’s curious that you would question this beautiful design. How do you suppose women populated the earth prior’s to ultrasounds and even gestation calculators (40 weeks didn’t come about until 1850 AD)? And it’s also curious that one would JUDGE another so blindly – especially during such a time of need.

  • Lia Berquist

    You mean as you are doing here?

  • Lia Berquist

    You might want to study the endocrine system and importance of labor with regards to the development of the fetus as it transitions to an infant. Also, childbirth is natural and it works. It was designed by God. And the process works and has since the beginning of time. If it didn’t, we would have perished as species. Inductions are wonderful when they are medically indicated and they do save babies. But they are also overly “prescribed” and many many women suffer trauma from frighteningly fast and aggressive deliveries. Just because you’ve done something multiple times and it worked for you does not mean it works for everyone – or that it is safe. People drove cars for decades without seat belts.
    They drove them for more decades without airbags. And now they text and drive. Just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we SHOULD.

  • Lia Berquist

    many “natural childbirth” groups – not sure about online (which should NEVER be a location for life or death medical information) – teach about INFORMED consent and how parents can participate in their own care. Unatttended births are never indicated. Since the beginning of time, women have chosen to deliver with an attendant. The fact that some women are now choosing to deliver alone is a tragic reaction to the over medicalized childbirth. IF everyone would just leave the natural process alone until there is truly a complication, women wouldn’t fear a doctor or CNM attending their birth. Why is everyone judging on this group?

  • Lia Berquist

    Shocking. Who says you know what is best for another human being’s care? And you’re casting a blanket over an entire group of people based on a very select few. What happened to respecting liberties?

  • Lia Berquist

    No mother can every say that unless she is not receiving Prenatal care. And if she’s not receiving care, that’s the BIGGER issue. Perhaps this particular mother wasn’t. We don’t know if she had a mental illness, a financial situation, or fear that was driving her decisions. Shouldn’t we be weeping for her? And we also don’t know that NO ONE in the group was encouraging her to get appropriate care. To you point, no one knows the whole story.

  • Tawreos

    I listen to medical professionals and I don’t cause the death of kids so I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. Judging by your other comments you are a woo peddler of some sort. That is not going to go over well here. Neither is showing up a month after the conversation is effectively over and spreading idiocy in the hopes that people won’t challenge you on it. Go back to where your brand of crap is appreciated, because this is not the place for woo.

  • Contractions of Fate

    “Ancient Alien ‘theorists’ claim!”


    Citation needed, you retarded buffoon.


  • Contractions of Fate

    My education and degrees tell me that this retarded crap is very bad for the health of a pregnant woman and her baby, you scientifically illiterate Woo Meister.


  • sdsures

    Looks like she went back and deleted all her posts.

  • Sounds almost like Jill Duggar Dillard. waiting too long and going to the hospital once meconium started to come out. That was her first pregnancy and like 3 days labor. That child lived and she had a second, in which she waited too long again at home before getting professional help for her 2nd emergency C-section and Jill holds a so called degree as a Midwife. I wold not trust her to deliver kittens.