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.
Buy Katie Joy a cup of Coffee.
Individuals wishing to help Katie with her expenses can become patrons. Patrons gain exclusive access to stories, new projects, and future books.