Lake Bell had a second home birth after complications and her baby almost died

There are certain celebrities who aren’t hustlers but who promote their stuff and seem like genuine people. Lake Bell is that type and I always find her interesting in interviews. She’s on Bless This Mess with Dax Shepard, a comedy on ABC which wrapped its first season and has been renewed for a second. I am only hearing about now, I need to pay more attention to network shows and/or they need to promote them better. Lake was on Dax’s Armchair Expert podcast when she revealed that her second child was a home birth and that he was born with the cord around his neck and almost died. This was her son Ozgood (that’s his actual name), now two, and she also has daughter Nova, four, with her husband of five years, tattoo artist Scott Campbell. Lake also had a home birth with Nova, who was also born with the cord wrapped around her neck but the midwives turned that around a lot quicker. Ozgood had to spend 11 days in NICU and they thought he may not be able to walk or talk due to lack of oxygen.

The actress, 40, opened up about her labor experience in a new episode of her Bless This Mess costar Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. Bell, who welcomed her second child with husband Scott Campbell in May 2017, recalled the “egregious up and down” of giving birth to son Ozgood at her Los Angeles home.

“We had two home births. The first was with [daughter] Nova in Brooklyn. I felt very empowered … the home birth was this amazing primal bonding,” [Bell] said. “When my daughter came out, she had the [umbilical] cord wrapped around her neck, and it was very scary. She was on my chest and she wasn’t breathing. The midwife gave her three lifesaving breaths on my chest and my husband was there. She came to life and we saw it.”

Bell added, “I felt very empowered by that experience,” and wanted to do it again.

However, her second home birth didn’t go nearly as smoothly.

“I got pregnant again, and this time we’re in L.A. and I said, I want a home birth again. We had him at home. I was huge, he was 11 lbs. The same thing happened, I was at home and he had the cord wrapped around and he was on my chest,” Bell shared. “He was not coming to. Now you’re in really f—ing life and death. Your child is there and the entire room is trying to resuscitate him and they can’t. The paramedics are on their way, he’s still there. This person you don’t know.”

Bell continued, “The paramedics come in, the cord is still on so he has oxygen through my blood. They cut the cord and Scott ran out half-naked [with their son] and I was naked after my seven hours of laboring.”

Shortly after their baby boy was born, the midwife told her she had to be induced to birth her placenta.

“I was looking at my phone as they were sewing me up and I get a little video from Scott: little Ozzy just barely taking breaths with the oxygen mask and I just passed out. Because I was like, ‘He’s alive,’ and then I just passed out,” Bell remembered.

The star said her son was “in the NICU for 11 days,” adding, “He was hypoxic, he was without oxygen for longer than the four minutes that is associated with being okay. … We were told that he could [have] cerebral palsy or never walk or talk. That was our reality. … Children’s Hospital Los Angeles saved his life…

Looking back on the “most egregious up and down of [her] entire life,” Bell said there was a period of time when she felt guilt.

“I took it on because I insisted on having a home birth. I’ve dealt with that since. You could blame the midwife, you could blame yourself, but ultimately the result is the only thing that matters,” she said. “I’ve gone through therapy and was medicated for a year-and-a-half. I did wean myself off but I was on antidepressants to help kind of regulate. I barely take Advil but I was like, this is absolutely imperative in order for me to function.”

[From People]

I would never criticize her for having a home birth again. She may have thought that she had such a hard time with the first that she would have an easier birth the next time. It was brave of her to admit that she went on antidepressants and that she’s struggled coming to terms with everything. Dax really gets his celebrity friends to open up on his show. Thank goodness Ozgood’s health is fine and it all turned out ok. She said he met all his milestones early and that was a relief. The name she picked for her kid does seem bizarre to me though as I’ve never heard it before. Do they just call him Ozzie?

Their dogs are cute too!

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155 Responses to “Lake Bell had a second home birth after complications and her baby almost died”

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  1. elimaeby says:

    In that group shot with the dogs, what in the late 90s fugness is going on with their shoes? They are both too young and attractive to be wearing the “I give up” parent shoes.

    • lassie says:

      Having kids wrecked my feet. They grew a size and flattened out so heinously they look like flippers. Seriously, when I walk barefoot in the summer, my flat, sweaty feet create suction every time I step.

      God bless comfortable post kid shoes.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      well, that’s a bit harsh. the first thing to consider is that they’re not on a red carpet or at the Met Gala. they’re sitting on what looks like their front or back porch/deck, so shoes don’t really matter. I mean, do you wear your Louboutins when you’re hanging out at home?…I wear flip-flops (summer) or wool clog/slippers (winter), myself.

      second, I’d hardly call either of those shoes “I give up” parent shoes. his are clearly walking/hiking shoes and hers are just sandals. kinda dated 90’s looking sandals, true…but they’re not Jennifer Garner-level uggo.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        What what!I wear my birkenstocks all year long-just add socks in snowy weather 😉

      • whatWHAT? says:

        my Birks finally quit on me after 25 years…and I just couldn’t see spending over $100 on a new pair that I’d only wear at home.

        my original pair I wore ALL THE TIME…when I was a hippy-dippy college student and post-college. 🙂

        the flip flops I wear are Sanuk and the soles are made from yoga mat material so they are SO COMFORTABLE. my sis was like “how comfortable can flip flops be?!” and after she tried mine on, she didn’t want to take them off. HA!

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Ha!My daughter tried on a pair of Sanuks just today,my husband got a pair last year-He loves them.Now she and I will be buying for sure.

    • kgeo says:

      I think the black and white makes them look weird. I kind of like her platforms, and he’s wearing salomon, which are great hiking/running shoes. Besides, the 90s are back, so these aren’t so much ‘I give up’ as they are pretty on trend.

    • Joanna says:

      Yeah, those are some fugly shoes. I have size 10 feet. Every shoe I try is either stilettos or ugly comfortable shoes like Clark’s. I can’t find work dress heels. They either don’t fit or the heel is 4 inch and uncomfortable when I put them on or there’s the super comfortable ugly shoes. Why can’t I have style and comfort?!!!

    • I was like, “I want those shoes!” To each his own fug, I guess.

      My baby had the chord wrapped around her neck six times… vaginal delivery wouldn’t have been an option. I was rushed to surgery, and the vibe was super scary, for a moment there. She’s a beautiful, almost two year old, tiny tornado now, and I’m kind of glad that I didn’t have any big ideas about the delivery, aside from knowing which hospital we were going to. I probably should have thought more about it, though.

      My feet and back got wrecked by pregnancy, and none of that has gone away!

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Yeah I don’t judge her or anyone else for how they choose to deliver their children,but complications the first time tell me(former nurse)to beware the second and so on.
        Like you Lady Princess my daughter was born with the cord wrapped around her neck .She was delivered after 17 hours of hard induced labor,the whole time I knew my contractions were hard,but I don’t think I was correctly hooked up to the monitor,they kept saying the contractions were minimal -almost sent me HOME!Well,after all of that time the doctor finally said cesarean and when she was delivered she wasn’t breathing,I could hear them doing CPR.Thankfully she drew breath quickly and was and has been just fine,mine is 16,and I remember age two very well!It goes soooo fast!Enjoy your beautiful two year old tornado!!

      • It does! I want to hold onto all of it, but they shoot up like sunflowers!

        I’m not sure how long my labor was… I got to the hospital in the early afternoon, and around midnight the docs decided to rush me back for surgery. They said that her heart rate dropped whenever I pushed… and it was the cord, wrapped so many times around her neck. I couldn’t have given birth naturally, and we’re both very lucky to have been in a hospital, where they knew what to do, and could act quickly.

        She was also quite small, under five pounds, and had to stay in the NICU. She was healthy and full-term, but I’m a small person myself, and the docs told me that she ran out of room to grow. Everyone kept saying I wasn’t very big, but it felt like she was going to pop through my belly button!

        And, thank you! I do, and don’t, look forward to 16! Have no idea what raising a teenager will be like.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Sixteen is just as sweet and fun as two,you will do just fine!😊

  2. Lisa says:

    That sounds horrific. Glad the outcome turned out well and he hit his milestones.

  3. A random commenter says:

    After the first home birth with complications, she should have been in the hospital for delivery. Piling on her doesn’t do any good, but she arrogantly ignored the risks and her poor son would have had to pay the price.

    • Gail says:

      Totally agree. It was a great risk that she and her husband were foolish to take IMO.
      Glad it all turned out well for sure.

    • Puffy says:

      My thoughts exactly. I’m not really following her thought process.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, I agree, and it sounds like she knows this and dealt with her guilt for a while. I’m glad her baby turned out to be OK.

      11 pounds is a BIG baby. I think I would have gone to the hospital to have it just in case they had to do an unplanned cesarian. my sis was in labor for like, 8 hours when her OB said “yeah, you’re done dilating, I think…we should probably cut you open” because her baby’s skull was large and her hips…well…aren’t.

      • Millenial says:

        I’m honestly surprised she found a midwife to deliver that big of a baby at home. Most qualified midwives would say “nope” because they don’t want something bad to happen or the liability that follows. And I doubt it was a surprise the baby was that big. A good midwife can feel your baby in your stomach and give a good estimate.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Agreed. The moment it was noticed that the baby was that big, the birth plan should have changed. Especially once you notice the cord around the neck. It’s ok to change your plan, it’s ok to have a kid at the hospital, it doesn’t make you weak or a bad mother. The midwife seems irresponsible for not telling them that plans should change ASAP

      • Charlie says:

        My daughter was expected to be that big, and my OB told me to be prepared to need a C-Section because the complications were just too great. She was a month early, 8 pounds, and I am forever grateful to my doctor and the hospital staff who brought her safely into the world.

        Home births are great, but only if you are responsible about the decision you’ve made.

      • raptor says:

        In the US, most homebirth midwives aren’t very well qualified at all.

        I don’t really blame Lake for being seduced by the idea of a second homebirth. Survivor bias is strong, and natural childbirth advocates continually tell people who are pregnant that their bodies are “made to give birth” and if a baby dies, it was probably unavoidable and would have happened in a hospital anyway. There’s a lot of pressure and false reassurance involved in these situations.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        Charlie – a month early and 8 POUNDS?! Wow, full term would have been HUGE!

    • minime says:

      I really have problems with the “not here to criticize the second home birth”. Sorry, she had problems in the first home birth and the way she describes it’s “I felt very empowered by that experience”. At what point? When they were resuscitating her daughter at home, without any of the modern medicine that can actually help if anything goes wrong? I’m all for it’s a woman’s body, so it’s her ultimate decision whatever happens with it, but at the point of birth it is already another person’s body and health that it’s at stake. Can’t there be a happy medium? That’s a huge baby, I’m also surprised that any midwife would accept to do that at home. Where I live it would be impossible to find anyone that would accept that.

      • A random commenter says:

        I actually was here to criticize but didn’t want to go overboard lest I be accused of mommy shaming.
        1. She made a reckless, foolish decision and she should thank her lucky stars daily for the medical teams who saved her son’s life. She could have had a university-trained midwife lead her birth in a hospital or birthing center but instead went with a lay, practical midwife with no admitting privileges, from the sounds of it. I am aghast that she made this decision.

        2. Mom guilt is real, but Lake didn’t exactly choose the wrong brand car seat or forget to put a hat on her kid before going into the sun. She ignored medical science to feel “empowered.” She deserves every lick of guilt she’s felt.

      • Turtledove says:

        “Bell added, “I felt very empowered by that experience,” and wanted to do it again.”


        Look, I really and truly am all for moms trying to have the kind of birth experience they want. *I* was really, really terrified about giving birth and wanted to be in a hospital as that made me feeler safer. I realize that home births can be very safe too…and that hospital births come with their own set of issues at times….but my anxiety was abated by birthing in a hospital, and I ended up needing an emergency c-section so in my particular case, it was a good call. (I was also 39 and considered more of a risk to begin with.)

        But what I don’t get here is “my first baby could have died…couldn’t wait to do THAT again.” Sorry. I can’t NOT side-eye the @#$% out of that. That sounds so incredibly ignorant. Want to empower yourself? Go run a marathon.

    • Dani says:

      Exactly! My first had the cord wrapped around her neck and ended up having to be vacuumed out in fear of her dying inside me. Horrible experience.

    • Gina says:

      Totally agree. Way to many woman still die during childbirth and children too!! The hospital has the equipment and staff to deal with these situations.
      Home births are way, way to risky.

    • Safina says:

      11lbs! I would have chose a hospital birth on that alone. It does sound like her deicions took a very serious toll on her mental health. I’m so glad everyone is safe and thriving!

    • molly8047 says:

      Totally agree on this — on one hand piling on does not help, on the other hand there is no wiggle room on this incredibly bad decision, and I’d hate to have anyone considering a home birth to somehow think that would be a safe scenario…. and what the hell with that midwife even agreeing to delivery when the first birth had issues!

    • Selena says:

      That is pure ignorance. The risk of a cord being wrapped around a babies neck (nuchal cord) is no greater after it has happened during previous births. It is a fairly common occurrence 10+% and midwives usually just remove the cord as soon as the babies head has cleared the pelvis. We actually check for it as a matter of course. It is not a big problem, most Mums would not even be aware of it. People think that the baby needs to breath and relate a nuchal cord to strangulation, this is simply not the case. You really need to educate yourself before offering an opinion on something you know next to nothing about.

      • A random commenter says:

        You must be British. Your midwives are not our midwives. Don’t think training you received applies here. Homebirth midwives in the US are typically certified professional midwives, as in laypersons. A frickin Duggar became one! Without having attended university! A CPM simply does not have the education, training, or resources to deliver any baby, period. In fact, I believe they’re illegal in many states for that very reason. Any competent provider here would caution a woman who’s had one birth requiring resuscitation to deliver with an MD or CNM/CM, and they work in hospitals or birthing centers in this country.

  4. Enn says:

    That sounds terrifying. I’m glad her son is okay!

  5. greenmonster says:

    As soon as I read the name Ozgood, my mind started Ozgood Something the 3rd… And then it finally dawned on me Osgood Fielding III was the name of Jack Lemmon’s admirer in ‘Some like it hot’.
    I’m glad her son is fine.

  6. Agirlandherdog says:

    Her daughter is rocking a very seventies kid vibe in that photo. I feel like I had that exact same haircut and outfit.

  7. Lucy says:

    I’d rather have my baby in a hospital because I don’t need the “primal” experience of having a home birth and my baby ends up in the NICU for over a week because he almost died. What she did was just stupid and selfish.

  8. Rapunzel says:

    Sorry, but I will criticize. Home births are irresponsible AF. Care about yourself and your baby enough to have proper medical facilities available.

    Sorry but this pisses me off to see people have home births with midwives. My grandma had that with my mom. It was necessity because her island didn’t have any hospital. Her cousin had eleven kids that way. And guess what? They all moved away from their island so their daughters didn’t have to deal with such nonsense. So their daughters could have safer birthing experiences.

    Why do people insist on being backwards? These ridiculous home births are just a slap in the face to women in places that can’t have otherwise, and wish they could.

    • Millenial says:

      I had a midwife hospital birth. However, the practice I went to was also a birthing center, but you had the option to hospital birth. I took a lot of classes with the crunchy types who choose this stuff and It’s not necessarily backwards, as much as it’s a significant distrust of OBGYNs and hospitals in general. With c-section rates hovering around 33% and the highest maternal death rate in the “first world” I can see where they are coming from.

      • choupette says:

        Agreed, Millenial. Not my choice, but I understand the impetus for it.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Millenial- GTFOH with this “distrust of OBGYNs and hospitals” That’s just privileged nonsense that shouldn’t come out of anybody’s mouth. There are an enormous amount of folks in the world who would kill for those OBGYNs/hospitals, and who die due to lack of them. Go switch places with them if you’re that worried about C-section rates and the like.

    • Nahema says:

      This is a very naive opinion. People in the US often think that home births are stupid and risky but here in the UK, they’re quite common, as are midwife lead births without much, if any pain relief. Only women deemed at risk or with a history of serious complications would have a consultant lead birth.

      On various pregnancy & parenting forums, US women seemed perplexed by this ‘backwards’ attitude. Why would you suffer and put yourself at risk when you can just go to hospital and have an epidural?

      Well maybe because birthing is ultimately a natural process. Countless studies have shown that the majority of women without risk factors will birth successfully without intervention and both mothers and babies recover faster.

      Uncomplicated home births can be particularly good for recovery and bonding.

      Hospital births where an epidural is used is far more likely to result in some form of intervention, including c-sections. More risky for mothers and babies and also with a far greater recovery time.

      Just because it’s not how it’s usually done in the US, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way to do things. Money is to be made out of the medicalised process of pregnancy and childbirth in the US.

      • Carey says:

        You can’t compare home births in the UK to be home births in the United States. Home births in the UK are overseen by midwives who are University trained and they are fully integrated into the medical system.

        In the US, you have two classes of midwives. One is CNMs, certified nurse midwives, who are university-trained and practice mostly in hospitals. Then you have CPMs, certified practical midwives, who do not train at universities and are not integrated into the healthcare system. They have no hospital privileges.

        The majority of Home births are overseen by CPMs who are dangerously under qualified to provide emergency care. If the birth goes well then all they need to do is catch the baby. If the birth goes sideways, they are not equipped to provide life-saving care.

        In the first birth story above, Lake describes the nurse giving life-saving breaths while the baby was on her chest. That is not correct. If the baby needs CPR, the baby should be on a firm surface while being treated. The fact that they treated the baby while still on her mother’s chest is a sign that they didn’t know what they were doing.

        Anyway, long story short, the risks of a home birth in the UK are far lower than the risks of a home birth in the US with unqualified practitioners.

      • Zee says:

        You don’t have to have an epidural in the hospital. And yes, in the UK you don’t see an OBGYN unless there’s a complication. But that doesn’t mean you should go and do it at home, especially if you know the risks. Bonding will happen whether you’re in the hospital or not. And people in the UK who have a home birth are the ones who have chosen it that way or who live too remotely to justify going to a hospital for a routine pregnancy. Giving birth although a natural process is incredibly traumatic to the body and a very real number of women still die from it because they don’t have access to proper medicine and hospital care. But hey, her life her child.

      • anneliser says:

        You know what else are all-natural? Tobacco and asbestos. Please google the naturalistic fallacy and look up comparative statistics on infant death rates between homebirths and hospital births in the U.S. (Spoiler alert: the baby is about twice as likely to die in a homebirth, and I think the risk of several orders of magnitude greater for having a disability such as cerebral palsy.)

        The U.K. has a fully nationalized healthcare system, so they may well have in place protections for homebirth that make it a less risky option than it is in the U.S., but just because something is “natural” doesn’t make it “good” or “safe.” Prior to the modern era, childbirth was a leading cause of death for women and babies.

        I had two easy vaginal deliveries in a hospital and was thrilled silly to get an epidural with both of them, but you do you.

      • Kerfuffle says:

        “The majority of women without risk factors will birth successfully”

        The problem is that minority are babies. They’re not numbers, they are people’s babies that can have catastrophic results if something goes wrong.

        There are serious issues with the US healthcare system and that absolutely includes our maternal-fetal medicines. But keep in mind that the issues with home births are about the potential for an emergency. Look at Lake’s story: her son was without Oxygen for more than 4 minutes. That’s a long ass time. She’s very lucky, but there are a lot of families that haven’t been.

      • BorderMollie says:

        Naturally, childbirth is deadly in 1-2% of cases, and it’s higher for the infant. Please be careful about dispensing advice like this.

      • Jocey says:

        I’m part of the small minority who have normal, totally uncomplicated pregnancies, carry to full term, and have uncomplicated labor, and yet have babies who need some extra help after birth. My first had to stay in the NICU for a bit for monitoring and antibiotics because of meconium aspiration. My second was having trouble breathing and needed cpap and ultimately to be intubated for a short time. I’m SO glad I was in a hospital setting for both of their births. It was scary enough having them both whisked off to the NICU down the hall; I cannot even imagine having to call and wait for paramedics to arrive.

        I know not everyone trusts hospitals/doctors, but personally I think the answer is to push for changes in how hospitals handle uncomplicated pregnancies rather than to just throw out the whole idea of being in a hospital where parents and babies alike have immediate access to lifesaving services if they end up being needed. I think it varies a lot by area in the US, but the providers at both hospitals where I delivered respected my autonomy as a patient and worked with me to make sure I had a safe experience that was in keeping with my goals and desires.

      • Mgsota says:

        @Nahema… what about all of the “not known” emergency type of things that can happen? My baby was born, full term, healthy weight, with an undetected heart defect. If I was at home, most likely she would have died or suffered long term effects from the oxygen deprivation…but, thankfully I was at the hospital.

    • broodytrudy says:

      Co-sign 100%. I can’t with people having home births. I’ve talked about this before i think, but i considered it, and thank god i got talked out of it because while i had a healthy pregnancy, i hemorrhaged after giving birth and would have died had i been home. They might be common in other countries where people are closer to the hospital, or where that level of medical care isn’t possible, but people have to understand that in the US it’s not uncommon to be 40+ minutes away from a hospital and often clinics aren’t equipped for an issue like that. If something goes wrong, that’s a death sentence.

      While it’s nice to think of having a home birth, birth is a risky process that for thousands of years women and children died from. Being in a hospital can greatly reduce that possibility. We advanced in medical care for a reason.

    • Nic919 says:

      My sister in law was at the hospital with her first, but with a midwife and she had excessively long labour which resulted in an emergency c section. She only found out a few years later that a doctor could have helped her sooner but the midwife did not want to give up control. Luckily my nephew was mostly fine, although he does have to take some physiotherapy because the delivery affected his leg development a bit. This was due to the extremely long labour. Nothing very serious, but she swore off midwives after that. My niece was a scheduled c section and her delivery was swift and a much more enjoyable experience.

      At the time my sister in law was under 30 and had no obvious risk factors which is why she went with a midwife. But now knowing the ego battle that happened with the midwife and the doctors, I would never recommend one to any woman. Especially not for a first child. And of course she was told about the conflict between the midwife and the doctors after the two year limitation period, otherwise legal action would have been strongly considered.

    • Marigold says:

      Came to make the request that we not lump all midwives together. I had a midwife hospital birth. She had years and years of advanced education behind her (CNM). They aren’t all backwoods Duggars and it’s not irresponsible to use one.

      • Mle428 says:

        Marigold, I also had a midwife hospital delivery. She’s the reason I didn’t have a c-section. She was able to think outside of the box when my son had cord compression and wasn’t tolerating my initial pushing. The crash team came in just in case, but his heart rate recovered and I was able to deliver him without any problems.

      • Trashaddict says:

        Likewise, hospital birth with a midwife. But I took a few things into account. I knew my mom had easy deliveries and I had hips like hers. I didn’t have any chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity. I knew by ultrasounds that my babies were healthy. My babies were not overly large. And my midwife was a formally trained CNM with lots of experience under her belt. She got me through the second delivery with really bad back labor and I delivered on all fours. Sounds crazy but she understood it was what my body wanted to do and a lot of doctors would have insisted on keeping me on my back (and by the way hospital beds are NOT ergonomic for a 5 foot female!).
        I would not have delivered at home if you paid me a million dollars. But there are good and players in every profession – mine was a good ‘un.

    • S says:

      Home births are all part of the exact same anti-vax trajectory. “Natural” isn’t always better. Yes, women had home births for thousands of years, blah, blah, blah … Also natural is how prior to routine hospital births, 1 in 10 women died in childbirth, or from complications thereof. And 1 in 6 live births didn’t live to see age 6. That’s “natural.”

      If you want to give birth without drugs or machines in a birthing center with a hospital nearby, just in case, knock yourself out, but it’s plain old irresponsible, ESPECIALLY after first birth complications, or with a large baby, to give birth at home. (And, yeah, unless she also avoided all doctors during her pregnancy, they knew that baby was big.)

      Also, and this isn’t an issue for celebrities, but it can be for normal folks, home births are harder to document, and in the current political environment, people of color are finding even legal birth certificates rejected for things like passports and voting IDs if they were born at home.

      I say this not to pile on Lake Bell, but because people do get ideas from celebrities, of the “if they did it, why can’t I?” variety.

      • Carey says:

        it just occurred to me that with a baby that big Lake may have had gestational diabetes and not known it. Some of the crunchy midwives won’t test you for it because if you have GD then it risks you out of a home birth. Or they have a philosophical objection to women being exempted for medical risks. Either way, it sounds like she got terrible care.

      • Coco says:


        Absolutely! I continually tell people how dangerous pregnancy and childbirth are and how lucky we are to live in a time where medical advancements have drastically lowered maternal and baby mortality rates.

        Visit an old cemetery and you’ll see grave after grave of women and babies that died during childbirth. My grandma had an emergency c-section with my Mom after three successful vaginal births due to distress and my Mom had an emergency c-section with my little sister because the cord was wrapped around her neck and she had placenta previa. Her doctor said if she’d come in an hour later my sister would have died and possibly my Mom would have too. When things so sideways in childbirth it can happen so quickly and you need a medical team there. My first flipped at full term and his head was stuck at an awkward position and I needed a c-section to get him out. I was able to attempt a VBAC (success!) with my second last month and I had to go in early in case of uterine rupture, very very rare, but when it happens they have minutes to get the baby out. He needed NICU care and I’m so glad we’ve made the advancements we have so that I could be here today with two healthy children.

        That’s wonderful if one’s able to have a successful home birth but with everything I’ve seen I can only recommend going to a hospital because the risks are too great to leave to chance.

      • anneliser says:

        Yup, exactly. Nothing is more natural than death, but I’d just as soon not hasten it for either myself or my loved ones.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “Home births are all part of the exact same anti-vax trajectory.”

        I totally agree.

    • S says:

      dupe sorry.

    • Kerfuffle says:

      The move toward home births is in response to very, very serious issues with the US healthcare system and that includes the birth industrial complex. Everything is screwed up. You have risk factors giving birth at home. You have risk factors giving birth in a hospital. People essentially weigh both, and decide what to go with.

      • Milkweed says:

        Totally agree.

      • Coco says:

        Unfortunately, the risk factors for giving birth at a hospital are higher rates of medical interventions and/or c-sections and the risks for giving birth at home are higher rates of death. I completely agree that there are areas within in the health system to improve, especially surrounding birth. I’d rather risk a c-section over putting my life or that of my baby at an unnecessary risk because we needed immediate medical care and there was none available to us at home.

      • S says:

        @Coco, Yep. There is no statistical analysis you could use in which “weighing the risks” between a home and hospital birth, didn’t favor the latter by a mile.

        Yes, the rates of intervention in the U.S. are arguably too high, as are our maternal maternity rates. But both are minuscule when compared to the risks of a home birth. Distrust of modern medicine is not a logic-based reason for avoiding its statistically beneficial care. A distrust, by the way, that’s only been allowed to blossom, ironically, thanks to the effectiveness of modern medicine, which has made us as a society forget how truly horrifically dangerous pregnancy and birth used to be, since we no longer see it in our everyday lives. (Ditto for preventable diseases.)

        As @anneliser says above, more succinctly and brilliantly than I: “Nothing is more natural than death, but I’d just as soon not hasten it for either myself or my loved ones.”

      • Kerfuffle says:

        @Coco: the greater the number of medical interventions, the great the risk of things going wrong. That is an unfortunate fact. Are you not aware that you are opening yourself up to serious medical risk when having a C Section? An Epideural?

        Personally, I would not advocate for a home birth, but I think it’s VERY important to realize that there are still significant risks with a hospital birth as well. Statistically, women’s pain is minimized by healthcare providers, and there are countless stories of less than stellar healthcare provided by hospitals when women give birth. I was lucky enough to give birth in the highest rated hospital in the state for birth, but what about women who aren’t as fortunate? Again: hospital births carry risks as well. C sections carry risks. Significant ones. It may be a small fraction, but that small fraction are still women and babies. Especially here in the US, we have serious, serious issues with our healthcare system, and that INCLUDES the birth industry. Home births are an offshoot of that.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Kerfluffle- birth industrial complex? Sorry, not buying it. You wanna argue that intervention happens too much? Fair enough. But the answer to that is not to go the opposite route and abandon life saving technology.

        I have nothing against midwives, if properly trained, and I get wanting that. What I don’t get is saying “f– you” to important life saving hospital machines and staff.

        You talk about how risky c-sections are. Let me break it down for you. All pregnancy is risky. Even vaginal births. End of. You don’t want to deal with that, don’t get pregnant. I”m sick and tired of these “naturalists” treating pregnancy as something equivalent to a lanced boil and refusing to acknowledge that it’s a serious medical condition that can end your life if you aren’t careful. And should be treating it as such. You wouldn’t stay at home with a holistic healer if you thought you were having a heart attack, and you shouldn’t stay home when delivering a baby, which is frankly, as serious as a heart attack.

      • entine says:

        Older, overweight women leads to more risky pregnancies. Also, almost every baby after the first one gets bigger and bigger. Things to consider , and that is why C-sections are more common. As far as I understand, people in Europe have a healthier weight and care more about their health in general, and the follow up in the system is better.

      • Coco says:


        All medical procedures carry risk. I agree that more medical interventions in a hospital setting lead to a higher chance of c-section. And like any medical procedure, there is the risk something can go wrong. Research mortality rates in a hospital vs home births and it’s a no brainer. I’ll take my c-section scar any day. As my Grandma told me while I was recovering, if this had been 100 years ago I probably would have died. It’s similar to people equating the potential side effects from vaccines to the mortality rates from awful diseases. I know when my kids get their shots there is the small chance for a side effect, some even life-threatening, but I’ll take that over the very real dangers and high mortality rates we’ve never had to experience because of vaccines.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I have a college friend that was actually studying to become a midwife/doula…and as she got deeper into her studies, she realized how many risks were involved and how many women were unaware.

      She said that the Ricki Lake movie “The Business of Being Born” was incredibly misleading and full of lies. When she first saw the film she really believed in what it was preaching, but after she researched, she felt serious betrayal.

      • Kerfuffle says:

        I think that midwives have a very valid place in the medical system – they give more personal care for one thing. But I’ll also add, they can also deliver in our hospital down the street, and working with a midwife does NOT mean that you cannot also have pain interventions. But not all midwives are created equal. Those midwives have much better qualifications than say the Duggar girl that studied to be a midwife.

        Ultimately, the Business of Being Born had a good fundamental point: there are serious issues with how women give birth in the US. A lot of medical interventions happen out of fear of lawsuits, or a doctor’s preferred choice of just speeding things up, instead of letting the body at least have an opportunity to take its natural course. Women are also left to the mercy of the doctors’ own natural biases (race, creed, etc). But I don’t think that the answer is more home births. It’s to fix our broken medical system.

  9. Eliza says:

    When you have a difficult home birth they tend to recommend the next is in a hospital. I’m not sure I’d title it empowered to see my baby on my chest, not breathing, being resuscitated. That would scare the crap out of me for the next one. A large baby (11lbs) also has risks if the shoulders can’t pass, as well as blood loss for the mom. Her midwife should have prepared her better for knowing it would be difficult at home.

    I’m glad everything worked out. Mom guilt is real. I’m hope the family is in a good place now.

  10. Faithmobile says:

    This happened to me also with my second baby, only the cord wasn’t constricting the airway and the midwife was able to unwrap the cord as I pushed. It was scary but I gave birth to healthy 10.5lb boy. I picked my midwives(3) carefully and was ten minutes from the hospital. After two homebirths I would not recommend it for everyone, some midwives are more skilled than doctors and vice versa-do your homework!

    • Originaltessa says:

      I respect your choice, etc. etc., but being ten minutes from a hospital may as well be six hours… if your baby isn’t breathing.

      • Millenial says:

        I had a crunchy midwife birth in a hospital instead of a birthing center, mostly due to what my husband has shared with me about hospital transfers. Every baby in the county is born at the hospital he works at (about 7k babies a year). He says the average “transfer” during an emergency situation takes close to an hour. Even if that’s an overestimate, if you are hemorrhaging or your baby isn’t breathing… well.

      • Stacy Dresden says:

        I was not a high risk pregnancy but my surgeon said if I was ten minutes away at the midwife center, I would have likely died.

      • anon says:

        The baby doesn’t have to breathe instantly, especially if the placenta is still attached. How do you think they were getting oxygen in the womb? Don’t cut the cord and you have extra time for the baby to adjust to breathing air.

      • Lila says:

        The scariest moment of my life was when my son was born a deep, truly disconcerting purple (cord wrapped around his neck). In the weeks post partum, I’d have terrible dreams about it. The thing that helped me calm myself when waking (besides the fact baby was OK) was the image of 4 nurses running into my hospital room about 15 seconds after they called the code.
        I know a lot of families and something I’ve come to realize is how much more precarious getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and safe delivery and recovery are than we tend to think of it all. I couldn’t imagine having my second outside a hospital after the fright my first gave us!

      • S says:

        @anon … No, babies can not “breathe” through the umbilical cord after birth. That’s … Not how physiology works. At all.

        Simplified explanation: Amniotic fluid is expelled from fetal lungs during delivery, so all babies needs to breath actual air. There is no “safe” amount of time for an infant to be without oxygen, with or without its cord still attached. (A water birth can happen because the last bit of fluid isn’t expelled until you bring them into the air, but it’s not like babies can be born and just stay in the tub and be fine as long as they’re still attached to mom; We’re talking >30 seconds of delay.)

        These are dangerous delusions to operate under.

    • Eliza says:

      Home isn’t for everyone. If the cord was wrapped around your 1st, I think you would have at least paused to consider options for the second even if you settled away home again. Lake says it empowered her. Such an odd comment.

  11. toro says:

    i will judge her for you. she is a f*%%cking morron

  12. Sayrah says:

    Wow, I can’t believe she went for a home birth a second time after her first child needed resuscitating. I really can’t believe she is being honest about it. I mean, good for her for her honesty. Maybe other parents will think again before doing it. Cord issues are so common. I had 3 full term births in the hospital and 2/3 had a cord issue. The doctors and nurses took care of everything and we were in a hospital for goodness sake if something went wrong. Someone should redo the business of being born with a more honest look at what can go wrong.

    • Kk2 says:

      Agree- good on her for being honest about it, knowing how she will be judged. Sounds like she has already judged herself harshest of all. It was dumb but I have empathy- There’s a lot of marketing and pressure though the natural and home birth movement. Many smart women get suckered in! Her first midwife handled an emergency situation so she probably felt ok about it.

  13. Lala11_7 says:

    I love Lake as an actress….

    But that decision to have a second home birth after the difficult first one?

    That is horrifying to me….

    • lucy2 says:

      Me too. After those first complications, and with a baby of that size, a hospital would have been the wisest choice. I’m very glad everything is ok, but they got lucky there.

      I was kind of bummed she hasn’t written or directed another film, In a World was very good, but I looked it up an apparently she’s co-created and written the show she’s on. I haven’t watched it yet because I’m kind of burnt out on Dax after listening to a bunch of his podcasts.

  14. DS9 says:

    She felt empowered by nearly losing her child the first time and wanted that experience again?

    Oh, uhm…. well…

    I’m glad they are doing well now and I’m saddened to hear how much she had to go through to come close to a new normal after making such a … decision. I wish her babies the best of health and her as well.

    And that’s the nicest I can be here.


    • S says:

      Exactly. I’ve watched my newborn be given oxygen by a team of doctors and nurses and I can tell you it was the farthest thing from empowered I’ve ever felt … But I definitely wouldn’t trade their life saving care for holding my baby on my chest instead. What the heck?

      There is way too much mom guilt given out, about way too many things, so I hate to feel like I’m dishing more out, but electing to put your child’s life at legitimate and serious risk, and framing it as a brave decision on your part, is somewhat infuriating.

      Also, as much as I like Bell as an actress (In a World and Man Up are both hugely under-rated) and a lot of other people on the show, particularly Pam Grier, Bless This Mess is, well, a mess of a show. Perhaps it will find its rhythm, but saw a few and can’t believe it was renewed, as it’s painfully unfunny.

  15. birdonce says:

    that type of complication is not one that predicts future risk for complications – that she had two babies with cord issues is just badly coincidental. Most home birth midwives have oxygen, basic meds. Data has not shown increased risk from home birth and mush lower rates in invasive interventions. It’s a reasonable choice.

    • Megs283 says:

      The Mayo Clinic disagrees with you: “research suggests that planned home births are associated with a higher risk of infant death and seizures than are planned hospital births.“

      • S says:


        No matter how uncomplicated, or healthy the mother, home births are ALWAYS more risky than a hospital birth. Sure, many times things turn out OK, despite that risk, but why take that chance?

        I was once actually told by my OB/GYN, only half kiddingly, that I was born to breed. Fertile, wide hips, ridiculously easy births. I’ve never been in active labor longer than 4 hours, even with my first, and, by the third, it was basically, felt a twinge, headed to hospital, was holding my daughter 45 minutes later. (So, yeah, I’ve had natural childbirth, and highly recommend the epidural, as even the easiest birth is still pushing a watermelon through a soda straw.)

        And, despite all that, stuff still goes wrong. My oldest needed supplemental oxygen at birth. He’s 11 now, too smart for his own good and totally fine. I had him in my arms in 10 minutes, and it was a total non-issue long term, but had that not happened in the hospital, even if we’d been “just” a few minutes away? Who knows what the outcome is.

        I compared the home birth fad to anti-vaxx sentiment above, because I think it comes from the same “we know better than modern medicine” place. I’m not dissing women who make a different choice for their birth plan, or want to have a doula or midwife to do their delivery if possible, but do that in a hospital, or a birth center with an OB/GYN on staff, and equipment in case of an emergency. (Also, I know that in some other countries, home births are more medically sound, with better trained personnel overseeing them, and therefore safer than here in the U.S.)

        Bell has a level of wealth and fame, and lives in a city that caters to both, so she’d have been easily able to have whatever kind of birth she wanted (for many women, I know that’s not the case) within a much safer environment, where her infant could have been given the care he ended up needing in seconds, or perhaps avoided needing it at all. I hope everything really is OK, and her guilt sounds gutting, but I just don’t get the decision. At all. And to talk about it as “empowering” strikes me as incredibly dangerous.

    • Lady D says:

      Having a baby is risk enough on its own. Why go looking for trouble with something so fragile?

      • LadyT says:

        Agree 100%. Pick a hospital or center and Dr or midwife that’s going to let you do it your way, with the safety of having intervention right there at hand. During birth and bonding I had one focus and one focus only and it was NOT what room I was in. I just don’t get it.

    • Arizona says:

      If my kid needed to be resuscitated the first time, I wouldn’t take any additional risks with the second. I also would find the experience terrifying, not empowering, so that’s me.

  16. Jb says:

    We’re still trying to conceive but I can already tell you IF we’re lucky enough to get pregnant I will want all medical devices and professionals available to me, why risk it? Homebirth doesn’t sound appealing to me at all and just plain scary

  17. JP says:

    I understand the appeal of a home birth, but I would only choose that option if I lived VERY close to a hospital- minutes literally decide the outcome in a bad situation and I would not chance the health of the baby if something went wrong. I was lucky enough to deliver in a birth center on the campus of a wonderful hospital. There were only two rooms and they looked like bedroom suites with giant tubs. In hindsight, i think it was all the perks of a home birth with none of the risk or clean up!

    • Megs283 says:

      I would never pick a home birth. Try holding your breath for minutes…and imagine that’s your baby, born struggling. It just doesn’t make sense to deliver at home.

  18. pyritedigger says:

    She’s rich enough to afford the best “birthing suite” offered at an LA hospital. Agreed there is no point in piling in on her, but after the first nearly fatal birth why on earth didn’t she choose to have her midwives help her deliver at a medical facility in case of complications? This is an option! She must inhabit some very woo and goopy circles of rich LA women, where having anything other than a home birth would be looked down upon.

  19. Isa says:

    But what are the odds of having two babies with the cord wrapped tight enough to cause oxygen deprivation? I would never have a homebirth, but I feel like this couldn’t have been predicted based on the 1st birth.

    • Annabel says:

      But surely having an 11lb baby is a risk factor in and of itself? I had an elective C section, because after doing a lot of research it struck me as the best of two frankly fairly ghastly options. (I have zero regrets—recovery wasn’t that big a deal and I felt an instant deep bond with my daughter regardless.) Anyway, there was a woman next to me in the recovery room who’d had a non-elective C-section, because her baby was 10lbs.

      • Isa says:

        It is, but there’s no way to tell. That was something I faced when deciding whether or not to go for a VBAC, and there’s no way to accurately predict. I never got the growth ultrasounds bc they can be wrong by a pound or two either way. With my last, my doctor felt my belly at 37 weeks and predicted an average sized baby. He came a few days later and weighed 8 lbs 10 oz. Full term he would’ve been around 10 lbs. My girls are normal sized, but apparently I grow big boys.

  20. Ali says:

    Can you imagine if the baby had died or sustained any permanent damage? I’m sure social services would have been called, she would have been prosecuted for negligent care or endangering her kid’s life.
    Honestly I think she was imprudent. There’s no excuse for what she did.
    I guess this is what she calls “empowerement” huh.

    • Trashaddict says:

      I hate to say it, but this kid is still pretty young yet. He’s made his milestones but they really won’t know until he’s older school age, if any more subtle damage was done. I really feel for moms who want to have this experience at home – less exposure to hospital germs and risk of c/section, having some privacy and comfort, and the majority of babies are healthy. As a parent, I’m pretty sure she’s guilted herself more than anybody else can, and that’s hard for any parent. But that little person just doesn’t have the resilience of an adult, when things do go wrong. I do hope if she does this again she’ll at least consider the hospital.

  21. PlaidSheets says:

    I’m fairly certain having the cord wrapped around the baby’s neck once doesn’t predispose the next birth to the same issue.

    However, knowing what could go wrong first-hand should compel most reasonable people to a hospital birth. My daughter had the cord around her neck, and I was rushed into a c-section. I am forever grateful for the nurse who caught the heart rate issue and stuck to her guns about getting it checked out.

  22. Lizzie says:

    i’m sorry but she is an idiot trying to have an 11lb baby at home after having complications during her first birth. how do you feel empowered by getting incredibly LUCKY during her first birth?

  23. Cee says:

    Jesus, I think my blood pressure dropped. Thankfully the kid is healthy. I can’t even imagine going through that trauma and the guilt afterwards.

  24. Aang says:

    In the native community there is a great distrust of doctors. Babies are still snatched from their mothers and put into foster care to this day, for reasons no white baby would be taken. It is worse in Canada than in the US. A recent history of forcible sterilization of Native women still traumatizes some communities. When I gave birth I was middle class, living off reserve, and married to a white man. I had no reason to fear that I would be profiled. I still chose home births. The midwife I used had delivered some of my cousins, was a medically trained CNM and I trusted her more than I trusted an unknown OBGYN. There is a movement to train native women as midwives, to deliver native babies on native land. Native women from Canada are going to Guatemala and Belize to train with Maya midwives. I won’t criticize that movement given their history with western doctors.

    • Léna says:

      I am emphatic for this movement, it comes from trauma. But Lake Bell is not native American?

      • Aang says:

        I was just explaining a scenario where home birth might be preferable. I have no idea who this person is.

    • Milkweed says:

      That’s so f* up.

    • HK9 says:

      @Aang-I’m Canadian and I’m ashamed to say you’re completely correct. More power to you and the Midwives that are being trained.

  25. Nicegirl says:

    Very scary. Glad the baby is doing well

  26. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    I want to weigh in without sounding judgy and critical (I have a couple of ‘home birther advocates as friends), and we always get into it in a laughable way, but on a serious note something went horribly wrong with one of their friends following a home birth. I guess my problem comes with any smugness wafting my way. If a woman chooses no drugs or to deliver at home, it’s a choice. Fine. But if she pulls a holier card out of her ass about her choices, all bets are off lol. Bell doesn’t sound like that, but after first complications…

    We would’ve died had I attempted to pop open my first ten-pounder at home. And let’s discuss the desire to do this chaos at home? Really? What’s so awesome about being home and creating a ridiculous mess OR having it spic-and-span for all the frakking people coming and going? Oh no. No no no. I want drugs on a pump. I want nurses coming and going. I want my baby when I want him and in the nursery when I need a breather. And when it’s all over and sleepless nights are to begin, I want to be rolled out of that hospital and watch it disappear in the rearview mirror lol.

    • shrugs says:

      I have always wondered about who cleans up after a home birth! And most of them do it in a tub for unknown reasons so who gets to empty a huge tub full of gore after you’re done? I’m in Brooklyn in a neighborhood of crunchy home birth types so I just picture some sucker dragging a kiddie pool out to the curb and dumping it out in a storm drain

  27. feen says:

    glad that someone is finally speaking out about the horrible side of home births. everyone wants to share their amazing home birth stories where everyone is healthy and alive but conveniently most don’t share the stories about how a home birth didn’t go as planned. i’m an obgyn so i see the horrible side of home births all the time. i would never let anyone i love give birth at home. have an unmedicated birth in a hospital, where a team can save mom or babies life in seconds rather than 45 minutes it takes to get an ambulance and to a hospital.

  28. shrugs says:

    I don’t understand the cognitive dissonance that goes on with home birthers. They are the ones who distrust doctors and avoid everything during pregnancy to make sure their precious babies aren’t exposed to dangerous chemicals, and yet during the most critical and risky part of the process, they’re just like “meh.” As a scientist it drives me nuts that so many people cannot judge the relative risks of different behaviors.

    And if we want to talk natural, childbirth was the leading cause of mortality in women before modern obstetrics became widespread! Still is in developing parts of the world! UGH.

    • A says:

      Humans in general are just really bad at rationalizing risk sometimes. It’s the reason why people can have anxieties around flying, but not around driving, even though fatal automobile accidents are more common.

  29. Casey says:

    Sitting here thinking of poor women all over the world who would give their right arm to give birth in a hospital, with doctors, nurses, and a sterilized room.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Exactly right. And immigrants to my country, Canada, are usually first in line for vaccinations.

  30. JB says:

    TMI warning. My son and I would both be dead if we had a home birth. He was also resuscitated (in the hospital). I had what’s known as a “crash” c-section – baby out in less than 4 minutes. Friend tried for home birth but had to transfer to hospital for lack of progress (days). She ended up with a hospital delivery and a 3rd degree tear (imagine it or google). She was in pain for a year & needed a surgery. Every body and baby is an individual and every woman (and partner) get to make these decisions. However I see US home births as far less medically safe than hospital births. UK system is completely different.

    • Joanna says:

      Wow, that’s awful! I’m glad everything turned out okay for you and your son.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Glad for you and your boy,my daughter was emergency cesarean delivery,so grateful she was quickly cared for by doctors and nurses.
      And ugh,that third degree tear..Yeah I googled it,your poor friend.Glad she and baby are alright.

  31. Nancypants says:

    The second home birth was a bad decision BUT I love Bless This Mess.
    It’s one of my favorite newer shows.
    A city couple moves to a farm in Nebraska.
    Funny and a good cast and Lake writes, directs, acts, produces the program.
    She just makes bad baby delivery decisions, bless her heart.

  32. cate says:

    total nonsense to take such a major risk to your child’s health. oxygen deprivation is tragic. only a privileged person would brag about this meanwhile poor women die here and all over the world, and they would kill for access to modern medicine and facilities to save them and their babies. this is gross and irresponsible.

  33. nikki says:

    I know people want a natural experience, but many hospitals now are more patient centered, so shop around for a practice that is more accommodating. But childbirth can be very risky for even very fit mothers and their babies, and you are terribly naive or foolish if you insist on a home birth in the U.S. I was a healthy young mom in a hospital, but my son would have died or had brain damage had I not had a sudden emergency C-section. As it was, he was in intensive care for a week, since he had the cord around his neck and breathed in meconium. PLEASE DON’T DO A HOME BIRTH!!

  34. Coco says:

    posted at wrong place

  35. blinkers says:

    There’s a lot wrong with the way that hospitals in the US treat women while they’re giving birth. It’s beyond sad when no choice is a “good” one when it comes to something essential like childbirth but that’s where we’re at here.

  36. Tanya says:

    My grandmother had 13 kids, all at home. 11 survived. From what I understand, that’s a fairly common “natural” survival rate.

    She lived in rural Asia. At some point, someone funded a health clinic that delivered babies. The mortality rate went way down.

  37. S says:

    Women who give birth via C-section are no less “bonded” with their babies, nor are women who have an epidural less “empowered” than those who forego pain control. (Remember all the inspiring stories of men who decided to “empower” themselves by having a vasectomy sans anesthesia? …Neither do I.)

    Risking your own and your child’s life by electing a home birth isn’t heroic. I don’t want to pile on to Bell, who seems to already feel a lot of guilt for her decision, but can’t help but be agape that she continues to speak as if her risky choice, and the serious consequences that resulted because of it, are still, somehow, the more enlightened option.

    Just like anti-vaxxers, it’s a dangerous belief to evangelize.

  38. Sofia says:

    Ten bucks says she doesn’t vaccinate her kids.

  39. Tiffany says:

    Lake and Scott are trust fund kids with a ton of money and no sense.

  40. prettypersuasion says:

    I think women who choose home births are making it all about THEMSELVES instead of their BABY. I’ve had three births to four children and I didn’t give a flying fuck about MY experience, I just wanted my babies to be okay. Which is why I had them in a hospital with pediatricians right there in case the babies needed help. Births are not less ~empowering~ in the hospital.

    • anon says:

      Some people genuinely fear doctors and hospitals. Women with low risk pregnancies don’t need to deliver in a hospital especially if they don’t feel safe and comfortable.

  41. Aenflex says:

    I’ll take advanced modern medicine any day. Sure, women used to have babies in caves and thatched huts, and the live birth and survival rates were probably abysmal. To me this homebirthing trend is akin to the anti-vaccination movement; a ridiculous and potentially dangerous eschewing of science and modern medicine.

  42. Cheryl says:

    Having a Home birth is like jumping out of a plane with a parachute, but no back up chute.

    Yeah, most of the time the first parachute opens and everything is grand. But, Lord, when you need that backup ‘chute and there ain’t one there….

    Please give birth in a hospital. I don’t care if it’s just with a midwife or an NP or a doc, but be able to go to c section quickly if baby’s heart rate drops and doesn’t come up, or have people around to help with a pediatric resuscitation if need be.

  43. Scal says:

    I picked my ob practice for both of my deliveries because it’s attached to the best children’s hospital in the city with a level 4 NICU on the same level as labor and delivery. Went all natural with the first, ended up being induced and had to get a epidural. I got to leave with 2 healthy kids, and no one checked my birthing papers on the way out the door to see if I had the “right” kind of delivery.

    Babies don’t care about your birth plan or what mom wants or thinks. Work towards avoiding unneeded procedures, but also understand that sometimes that they are necessary even if you’ve had a textbook pregnancy.

    • Em says:

      YES. Thank you for being informed, responsible, and educated about the risk of complications during birth and smart to choose a hospital with a NICU. Midwives are not trained for these circumstances and it’s often too late when they realize that sh#% has hit the fan.

      • Scal says:

        To be fair my ob practice also have Certified nurse midwives available but they deliver on the same hospital floor as those going the more ‘traditional’ route and have access to the same resources/nursing staff. Best of both worlds for those that want to go that route and the only way a midwife would have ever made sense for me. At home birth with some fly by night? No thank you.

  44. A says:

    This is so rough, omg. It’s also one of the reasons why I don’t think I’d ever do a home birth. I like the idea just fine, and it does sound kind of nice to not have to trek to the hospital, but complications like this scare me, and I’d always be nervous about it. I’m glad her son is doing okay, and I hope she looks after herself as well, because it’s so easy to spiral into blame. So many people have home births with no complications, it sucks that she had to deal with so much, twice.

  45. Em says:

    I’m sick and tired of watching mothers put themselves and namely their children at harm with these idiotic home births. It’s criminal. I’ve seen too many complications including fatal/long term outcomes with babies in the name of “home/water births.” There is a reason modern medicine exists and with it has come improved outcomes for babies and mothers. This would have been dealt with expertly by an OB.

    • Trillian says:

      You realize that water births are perfectly safe, often easier on child and mother and of course you can have them in a hospital?

  46. Em says:

    I’ve seen babies with cerebral palsy, death, anoxic brain injury, and necrotic limbs as a result of this negligence. It’s just criminal. This needs to end.

    • Earthbound says:

      Yes let’s criminalize women for having their babies where they choose, sounds very woman friendly. Sounds like Trump would approve too.
      You and others ignore all the babies and moms damaged sometimes up to to death by hospital practices and protocols – sometimes preventable as well.
      But when deaths and damage happens in the hospital it’s just a-ok. It is just how it is right? And certainly tracks upon tracks are covered.
      But in the home? Supposedly birth risk is always preventable if it happens at home. Nope nope nope.

      Also our maternal and infant mortality sucks. Also we have socio economic and racial disparities that make hospital births a scary choice for some women AND their babies.
      Not to mention a womans emotional mindset affects her birth but hey let’s MAKE women birth under conditions we say are safe, screw her wants, preferences, shes just being an entitled selfish jerk.

      I’m a black woman on state healthcare who had licensed midwives deliver my second baby at home, and my first baby was neglected in the hospital “safer” birth choice with my first.

      Women and babies can be damaged for a variety of reasons and home birth with licensed midwives and low risk patients is not riskier for moms and babies.
      I chose homebirth to keep myself and baby safe, not to feel “empowered”. It was the best choice for my baby and I, and my midwives are second to none. I had hour long prenatals with them as opposed to five minutes with my Ob. My midwives showed up for me. And kept us safe.

    • Joanna says:

      I agree, it’s ridiculous! That just shows how privileged we are in the US. There are people in 3rd world countries who would do anything to have vaccines or a hospital birth for their baby. Why would you want to go backwards? No wonder some people think Americans aren’t very smart. We take so much privilege for granted. I wish one of these home birth supporters could talk to a woman in Africa who’s walked 5 miles to see a doctor. And then tell that woman in Africa that they’re choosing a home birth. And I wish I could watch. Just so I could see the African woman’s face. We’re so privileged and choose to be ignorant. SMh

  47. SURFCHICK says:

    I will judge a home birth, it’s stupid. ANYTHING can happen. No no no.

  48. Shana says:

    I would criticize her for choosing home birth. And as an MD i think all of those doulas should be legally prosecuted for advocating home births without having any medical background. It’s asinine

  49. White Lady Problems says:

    Home birth is the epitome of selfish, privileged entitlement. Put your baby’s life at risk just so you can feel “empowered”? FOH with that bullshit. Birth injuries can show up years later–who knows how he will do in school, etc. from the lack of oxygen. I really, really hope not but it can happen.

  50. Andrea says:

    Everyone failed to discuss that the US has some of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates amongst the industrial nations and 60 percent of those deaths are preventable. Maternal death rates are rated 136th in the world: countries like Kuwait and Serbia fare better than you US with less maternal death rates.

  51. Trillian says:

    Wow, some of the comments here are really something. Way to go on governing women’s bodies and their medical choices. Do you realize how many hospital births end in complications? And many of them BECAUSE of the hospital environment and all the medical intervention?

    A home birth in of course not the answer to everything and of course there are factors against it, but if all is well and a qualified midwife is present, it’s a perfectly fine choice. In Germany, a midwife HAS to be present for a hospital birth, a doctor CAN be.

    Maybe if hospitals made some efforts to make the delivery rooms look less clinical, didn’t insert needles for no good reason and offered more freedom for the laboring women to choose their positions, women wouldn’t feel a need to escape all that.