Couple slammed over home birth video
A VIDEO showing a mother giving birth to her baby in a water bath at home, surrounded by her husband and with their dog nearby, has been slammed by health experts as "dangerous".
The video, shared on the popular Australian Birth Stories Instagram account, shows the father delivering his own baby. It has since been removed from Instagram.
"So many young women are told not to consider homebirth for their first baby," the account admin wrote. "I believe your very FIRST experience of birth is the most important one to plan to have at home."
The mother in the video Jessie Goetze said "wanting to be in control of my body" is the reason she decided to have a home birth.
"This sets you up to have a positive obstetric history," she said.
"I knew that if I felt safe and supported in a loving environment, that the birth would be easy. And it was - easy and pain-free."
But Obstetrician Dr Michael Gannon, a former president of the Australian Medical Association, told The Daily Telegraph the video was "dangerous" and said it "beggared belief" that someone would promote giving birth in the bathtub next to a family pet.
A study published in the Medical Journal Of Australia in 2010 comparing every single birth in South Australia between 1991 and 2006 found that babies delivered in home births were seven more times likely to die from complications than those born in hospitals.
But while home births and water births are increasing in popularity, they still make up a very small portion of total births in Australia.
According to a 2015 Australia's Mothers and babies report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, almost all births in Australia occur in hospitals, in conventional labour wards.
In 2015, 97 per cent (296,602) of mothers gave birth in hospitals, while 1.8 per cent (5491) gave birth in birth centres. A very small number, 0.3 per cent (910) gave birth at home or in other settings. Regardless of place of birth, 98 per cent of babies were liveborn.
Outside of Australia, several women have gone viral thanks to videos of them giving birth in unusual settings.
Mum-of-six Sarah Schmid, 36, from France, delivered her youngest son via a slide in her back garden last month.
Millions of people have watched the video of her giving birth.
Ms Schmid has had all six of her children - Johanna, 11, Jonathon, 10, Emanuel, eight, Elisabeth, six, Konstantin, three, and, Kiran, one - outside of hospital.
She was inspired to adopt "free birthing"- when you give birth outside without any medical assistance - after training to be a doctor and seeing people deliver babies in the wards.
The experience put her off giving birth in a medical setting
"I studied medicine to become a doctor, although now I am a full-time mum," Ms Schmid said at the time.
"There I watched people giving birth in hospital and I thought, 'I can't do this. It isn't relaxing.' It made me realise I wanted to give birth without intervention."
Having her baby outside helped her to "relax best".
"I can look up to the sky, feel grass under my feet and focus," she said.
"I found it stressful in hospital. I found the forest very relaxing, so I thought it was the best place for me to have my baby. My waters broke around 11pm and I walked to the forest at 1.30am and he was born around 3.30am."
In 2016, 43-year-old mother-of-four Simone Thurber shared a video of herself giving birth in a stream, completely unaided.
The video of Ms Thurber giving birth has been viewed a whopping 52 million times.
Simone didn't have any pain relief or a midwife or doctor with her.
"I didn't put the video online to make a statement. I simply thought a few people would be interested in what it would be like to give birth in nature and to inspire women that if they wanted to, they could have a child outside a hospital," she said.
"My first three girls were home births but I have always wanted to have a baby in nature.
"I am not a hippy dippy mum but I wanted my fourth child to be born away from beeping machines and a hospital environment.
"Let's face it, women have been giving birth in the wild for thousands of years but the thought of a modern women squatting in a creek and giving birth horrified many people even before I gave birth and shared the video."