Free Birth Society Announces Death of Another Baby

Free Birth Society Announces Death of Another Baby February 4, 2019
GoFundMe

Free Birth Society leader Emilee Saldaya announced the death of another infant via a GoFundMe Campaign. The announcement comes after Saldaya moved the group off Facebook following the tragic loss of a baby in October. Despite the move off Facebook, Free Birth Society appears to be continuing to harm expectant mothers around the world.

On January 18, Emilee Saldaya created a GoFundMe titled “Support the Bereaved Barnes-Brooks Family.” Under the story, she penned a letter to her community outline the death of the baby.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the tragic news that Candice and Adrianna’s son passed away in the process of labor last Tuesday, January 8th. After a very challenging attempt at a vaginal delivery, Candice had surgery Tuesday night.

She spent a week in the hospital and just recently returned home. The road of recovery for Candice and Adrianna is going to be long, and requires the love and support of their family, friends, and community.”

The announcement revealed few details regarding the relationship between the mother and Saldaya. However, an Instagram post shared by Free Birth Society January 20, 2019, provided a few more details.

On January 15, 2019, Free Birth Society posted about the loss of the infant. Emilee said the mother was a part of “our extended community.” Additionally, she said the mother was extremely sick following the labor.

Free Birth Society offers a paid membership to women that wish to join their virtual community. Members can apply for entrance into the group via the Free Birth Society website. New members must complete an application, provide a copy of their driver’s license, and pay an application fee of $108.

If the mother joined the online community, her infant’s devastating loss would be the second connected to the group. In October a mother shared her labor and the death of her baby Journey Moon in Free Birth Society’s Facebook group.

Following public backlash from the publicity of the death, Saldaya took her group off the social media site. The group moved to a membership-based platform only a month later.

While the group has attempted to remain tight-lipped and reclusive from prying eyes, the public announcement indicates advice provided by Saldaya and Free Birth Society continues to impact mothers and children negatively.

With so much scrutiny on Saldaya since the October death, questions remain about why she would formally announce another death. Saldaya distanced herself from the October death and never opened a GoFundMe account for the bereaved mother.

Why this mother is getting the kind of attention from Saldaya remains unclear. Saldaya offers coaching packages to expectant mothers. However, there is no indication the mother hired her.

No matter the connection the evidence is clear. Only three months after the tragic loss of Journey Moon, Free Birth Society adds another death to their resume.

In her closing sentence on the GoFund me, she wrote,

“Please keep these dear mothers, and their precious son, baby, in your heart and prayers. It is in tragedies such as these, that our human family must gather to surround each other in love and support.”

If her community supported informed consent and allowed women access to unbiased information surrounding birth, the group could support women becoming mothers to living babies.

Instead, the group prohibits assistance talk, provides biased and fear-based literature on obstetrics, which results in women taking dangerous risks to deliver babies unassisted. Thus the group uses their energy to grieve instead of helping mothers raise children.

Another baby dies due to the advice provided to a group that says they are all about female empowerment.

There is nothing less empowering than a mother burying her child.

 

*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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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • firebubbles310

    I am still so confused by this group. They are willing to pay money to not go see a doctor or midwife the entire pregnancy? Kinda backward. I wish these women would see that birth doesn’t need to be an experience, as long as mom and baby are healthy, it is a success. There are bad doctors out there who push intervention to speed things along, but having this treatment is what our ancestors could have only dreamed of.

  • RudyTooty

    From the GoFundMe page: They’re raising funds….
    specifically to raise funds to hire a postpartum bereavement doula

    In other words, so a self-appointed “expert” (ie: another layperson) can make money off the loss of this baby.

    JFC. These people SUCK.

    This is a fucking fundraiser for one of Emilee’s FRIENDS.

  • Jim Jones

    Nature expects many babies to die off. That’s how evolution works – “survival of the fittest” etc.

    Humans don’t like that and seek to conquer it. We even have a method, not perfect, but good enough.

    We call it modern medicine.

  • Jennny

    These stories move me to tears…and I don’t know the system in the USA, but I’m pretty sure that if it happened in the Uk, arrests and prosecutions would be made for murder – and rightly so too.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    “Free birth” means that they give birth without any intervention, right?

    But now, when mom is in trouble, they run to the hospital to get her fixed.

    Total and utter douchebags.

    And the whole concept of having to PAY to be a part of a group that encourages members to risk their children at the altar of free birth is beyond deplorable.

  • andrea

    Maybe. Some of the midwife woocrap is enshrined in NHS as policy (ie, “guardians of normal birth”). That said, UK midwives are better trained than your typical American CPM, and probably accordingly less likely to get into a scary situation in the first place.

  • Mel

    Ah. That answers my question because most hospitals have lists of funeral homes who will provide funeral and burial of stillborn infants for free or at a greatly reduced costs.

  • Mel

    In the US, a woman’s bodily autonomy includes the right to make any choice that involves an unborn infant until that child is born. That’s why home births gone wrong are prosecuted either under a birth attendant practicing outside her legal medical scope OR failure of a parent to seek medical care for a born child who becomes distressed.

    I get the urge to protect infants from maternal craziness during labor and delivery – but I’ve run into too many people who have idealistic views around maternal sacrifice for the good of their children. NY and VA both passed laws that loosened abortion restrictions after 24 weeks for non-viable infants and severe maternal illness exacerbated by a pregnancy with a non-viable infant. Friends of mine who were ‘pro-life’ were going bonkers – and informed me that my ‘birth story’ of hoping that I’d not suffer a massive complication prior to my son receiving enough prenatal steroids to survive was not the same as statistics….or something like that. Oddly enough, these people were neither medical professionals, nor degree-holders in college -level math and science , nor parents of preemies or medically complicated kids – but they took great umbrage at the idea that they somehow understood the situation less than people who lived through the situation.

  • the comparison of non-viable pregnancies to viable and otherwise healthy fetuses doesn’t hold weight. As a pro-choice advocate, I support a woman’s autonomy. However, I don’t support charlatan’s pushing an agenda that is against all scientific studies, medical associations, the world health organization and CDC. If we as women want to truly be pro-choice – we must be pro-informed consent. Women that free birth is sold a lie by people that are selling them a product, a dream, or a service.

  • B.E. Miller

    Google “Followers of Christ, Peaceful Valley Cemetery”. In Idaho and Oregon, there is a group of Christians who believe in faith-healing only. They pray over their sick kids, and many of the kids die. In Oregon, the parents are jailed for medical neglect, but in Idaho, faith-healing is not against the law. So faith-healing parents in Idaho remain free.

    That’s sort of how it goes in the US. States have different laws so punishment for the same ‘offense’ can vary widely.

  • B.E. Miller

    “In the US, a woman’s bodily autonomy includes the right to make any
    choice that involves an unborn infant until that child is born.”

    Not exactly the same everywhere, I’m in Texas. If you had a non-viable fetus, you might have a LOT of trouble getting an abortion. And we have our share of “pro-life” advocates, who seem to think that such cases are simply the parent “not having enough faith” or “if they would just pray harder”.

    Which I’ve never understood. How does one “pray harder”?

  • RudyTooty

    Yes. I have friends who lost a newborn (congenital anomaly). There was no fee for the funeral service. The funeral home basically said: “We don’t make anyone pay funeral expenses for a newborn.” Because even though their business is taking care of the dead – this is one scenario where it feels impossibly cruel to charge for it.

    Reflecting on this, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a midwife returning her fees when a baby dies under her care. They cite the ‘contract’ that says all fees must be paid in full by 36 weeks, no refunds…but her business is in delivering ALIVE babies. A refund would be quite appropriate. And the very least, the absolute least, that she could do.