‘Counting On’ Fans Are Concerned Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar Aren’t Getting Josie the Help She Might Need

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have always believed in having as many kids as God would allow them. But when Michelle became pregnant with the couple’s 19th child, it would prove to be a long road ahead. Michelle went into very early labor and ended up giving birth to their daughter, Josie, and just 25 weeks. Now, fans are concerned that Michelle and Jim Bob are relying more on religion than proven methods to make sure their daughter stays healthy.

The Duggar family
The Duggars have 19 kids. | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Michelle and Jim Bob do not believe in birth control

When Michelle and Jim Bob were first married, they were using birth control because they weren’t ready to start a family. However, Michelle ended up getting pregnant while taking it, and the couple lost the baby. From that point on, they felt that children were a gift from God and that they should not be prevented in any way. Since then, the two have stopped using birth control and don’t believe in it; hence why they ended up with 19 kids. But there has been some speculation that some of their children are using birth control now that they’re married and moved out.

The couple gave birth to Josie at 25 weeks — and had a miscarriage after her

Michelle’s 19th pregnancy was not easy. She went into labor at 25 weeks, much earlier than the 38-40 weeks it takes for a baby to fully develop. Michelle had pre-eclampsia, which affected the birth, and Josie was born weighing less than two pounds. After spending many weeks in the hospital, Josie came home, and today, she appears to be doing much better than she was a decade ago. But after Josie, Michelle became pregnant once again. However, she and Jim Bob lost their 20th baby to a miscarriage. After that, they did not try for any more kids.

Fans are concerned Josie isn’t receiving the help she might need

Now that Josie is growing older, fans are still concerned that her development isn’t where it should be — and that Michelle and Jim Bob aren’t doing the right thing to help her out. Josie, undoubtedly, had some developmental delays since she was born so early. But fans are concerned that Michelle and Jim Bob have relied on prayer rather than the medicines or therapies from which their daughter might truly benefit. 

Josie recently performed the Star Spangled Banner at the family’s church.

“[I think] think that Meech Just “prays” for Josie. I don’t think they believe in early intervention or any types of therapies,” one user wrote on Reddit. Another user laid into the way Michelle and Jim Bob parent their kids. “[Josie’s appearance] also could be due to the fact that she did not receive proper prenatal care as a fetus… Did not receive proper medical care as a preemie… And has all around is [sic] malnourished due to the Duggar’s canned diet.”

The Duggar family puts religion above anything else

Fans might have a point when they say Josie isn’t always receiving the proper care. Michelle and Jim Bob obviously love their daughter, but they value religion so much that it’s possible they rely on prayer for things such as Josie’s development. The family lives entirely for God, and they might choose to follow God’s path for Josie rather than rely on medicine or therapy to make sure she’s at the level she needs to be. However, Michelle and Jim Bob don’t speak too much to Josie’s development, so it’s unclear how well she’s doing for her age.