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🤔What on earth is free-birth?🤔

Free birth is an unassisted birth. Either in your home or somewhere else you choose - where you feel safest, away from any medical professionals (like a midwife etc).

An unassisted birth or free-birth is different from an unplanned home delivery before your health professional arrives or unplanned delivery on the way to hospital or birth centre. This is called ‘born/birth before arrival’.

❓But do I have to do it alone? ❓

No, absolutely not.

You can have anyone there that you want as a support person.

It is VERY important to note that doulas are NOT healthcare professionals, so having a doula present at a free birth, still makes it a free birth.

The only thing that a person CANNOT do if they are not a midwife or appropriate healthcare professional is act as one. It is a criminal offence to have someone who is not a registered doctor or midwife to perform medical checks and functions.

This does not include ‘catching’ the baby though.

Your partner, or chosen support person may catch the baby and help you place them onto your chest, but cannot perform any medical procedures, like an episiotomy (cut to make the vagina wider).

🩺 Is it legal? Do I have to have traditional care? 🩺

Yes! It is your body, your baby and your choice.

You can choose to decline any care that you are offered and decide that you don’t want.

You can accept care, and then change your mind and decline it.

No one can make you accept care unless it has been ruled that you do not have mental capacity to make decisions.

👶 Will I get social services? 👶

Some health care professionals may threaten to refer you. But they should not do this just because you have decided to not accept medical care. Legally you are allowed to decline medical care, and not be penalised for this. A referral should only be done if an assessment has been completed showing your child is at risk of significant hard after birth.

If a referral is made social services then decide if they will accept the referral. If they do, an assessment will be completed to see if any action needs to be taken.

☎️ What do I do when my baby is born? ☎️

Within 36 hours of your baby’s birth, you must notify either: - your local hospital, - your local Integrated Care Board or - your Local Authority.

You can do this by calling them.

✍️📝 How do we make it official? 📝✍️

By law, you must register your baby’s birth within 42 days, with the Registrar of Births and Deaths in your local area.

You can find out how to do this on the government website.

The legal mother or birthing person can take them to be registered, or if the parents are married, either of them can go.

If you have had an unassisted birth, may need to provide evidence to prove your baby was born in that specific area. Your evidence could be a statement from someone present- like your doula, or letter from GP confirming their registration with them. Those who have not had a free-birth will have had a form filled out by their health care professional and sent to the registrar.

Contact me today to create your personalised birth plans!

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