‘Counting On’: Duggar Family Followers Can’t Understand Jessa Duggar’s Obsession with Home Births
Jessa Duggar decided to take to YouTube to share her birth stories. The mother of three went through each of her three deliveries and was honest about the fact that she enjoys the concept of giving birth at home. Followers, however, noticed a few discrepancies in the story about her third delivery, and many believe she is fibbing. Whether she’s lying or not, one question remains; Why, exactly, does Jessa seem obsessed with home births, even after she’s experienced complications?
Followers believe she never intended to head to a hospital for her third birth
Jessa has insisted that she planned to head to the hospital for the delivery of her third child. Instead, she ended up giving birth to her first daughter, Ivy Jane Seewald, at her family’s home in Springdale, Arkansas. According to Jessa, Ivy’s arrival was a bit of surprise, and her midwife was out of town, forcing her to have another home birth. Followers are calling nonsense on those statements.
Several Reddit users insist that Jessa may have manipulated the situation to ensure she had a home birth instead of a hospital one, regardless of her husband’s wishes. Many note that a midwife would have likely offered Jessa an alternative plan when they headed out on vacation, and none of those alternative plans would have involved laboring, unassisted in her home.
The midwife, who has not been identified, has never spoken out about the situation, and likely never will. Regardless of how the birth happened, Jessa did end up needing emergency care after she began to hemorrhage. It was not the first time that a homebirth attempt ended in an ambulance ride for Jessa. During her first labor, Jessa needed assistance when she began to bleed heavily. Her second birth, with her youngest son, Henry Seewald, did not have the same complication.
Why is Jessa obsessed with having homebirths?
Home births are common among the Duggar women. While Michelle Duggar had the majority of her children in a hospital setting, she did attempt home births on more than one occasion. The family has never directly discussed why they choose this method of bringing children into the world. Those who have left the Institute of Basic Life Principles, the controversial ministry that the Duggar family is associated with, believe the family’s religion plays a part. They suggest the ministry’s former leader, Bill Gothard, promoted the practice.
Duggar family followers mainly believe that the IBLP is the reason behind Jessa’s interest in homebirth, too, although several of her family members have chosen to labor in hospitals. Jinger Duggar, for example, picked a hospital birth when she was pregnant with her daughter, Felicity Vuolo. Kendra Caldwell, Lauren Swanson, and Abbie Burnett all decided to deliver their children in a hospital setting, too.
Jill Duggar and Joy-Anna Duggar have both attempted home births, though. Jill tried two home births. Both ended in emergency c-sections in a hospital setting. Joy-Anna also required an emergency c-section after a long labor with her son, Gideon Forsyth.
How common are homebirths?
Jessa may be committed to the practice, but home births are not particularly common, although the method is on the rise after falling out of favor with expectant mothers for decades. According to The New York Times, 98% of all children born in the United States are born at hospitals or in birthing centers.
In 2004, less than one percent of all babies born were born inside the home. Twelve years later, nearly two percent of babies in the United States were delivered at home. While the jump may seem insignificant, it is a pretty massive jump, all things considered. Several medical journals advise against the practice, citing that home births carry double the risk of neonatal death.