Duggar News: Jessa Seewald Reveals Her Birth Plan for Baby #4

Jessa Seewald is getting close to her due date. The Counting On star expects to welcome her fourth child sometime this summer. Jessa, along with her husband, Ben Seewald, announced that they were pregnant in February. While she’s kept this pregnancy pretty quiet, Jessa finally sat down to answer some questions. In a youtube video, she revealed this birth will be different from her other three.

Jessa Seewald is planning a hospital birth

Jessa may be a seasoned mother at this point, but she’ll be doing something for the first time when she gives birth later this summer. She announced that she would be welcoming her fourth child at an area hospital. The decision is a new one for Jessa, and she is pretty nervous. The seasoned reality TV star said she’s worried about not being free to move about while she labors. Previously she has labored and given birth at home. Her decision to deliver her children at home has raised concern with Duggar family followers in the past.

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While Jessa might be experiencing her first hospital birth this summer, several of her sisters and sisters-in-law have opted to labor at medical facilities. Joy-Anna Duggar gave birth to her daughter, Evelyn Mae Forsyth, in a hospital last year. Abbie Burnett, Lauren Swanson, Kendra Caldwell, and Jinger Vuolo have all opted for hospital births, too. Abbie is married to John David Duggar. Lauren Swanson and Kendra Caldwell are married to Josiah Duggar and Joseph Duggar, respectively.

Jessa Seewald claims she has decided to have a hospital birth due to her medical history

Jessa claims she decided on a hospital birth this time around because of her past experiences and medical restrictions in Arkansas. In a YouTube video, she stated she would be happy to try another homebirth if midwives in Arkansas were allowed to carry and administer Pitocin. Pitocin is a drug used to treat and manage postpartum hemorrhages, a complication that Jessa has dealt with twice.

Jessa Duggar surrounded by Josh Duggar and the rest of the Duggar family on the set of 'Extra'
The Duggar family visits ‘Extra’ at their New York studios | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Each state creates its own rules and regulations regarding midwife licensing. The type of procedures they can perform varies by state based on the training required to become licensed practitioners. Arkansas recognizes licensed lay midwives. According to a journal entry in Birth Issues in Prenatal Care, licensed lay midwives in Arkansas can assist in homebirths but cannot prescribe any medications. They are allowed to administer some medical interventions under the order of a prescribing healthcare provider. Pitocin is not on that list of interventions, though.

Jessa has needed medical transport after two of her three home births  

In the past, Jessa has chosen to give birth at home with the assistance of a midwife. Her youngest child, Ivy Jane Seewald, was born at home after a sudden change in her birth plan, but things didn’t go smoothly. Jessa had to be transferred to an area hospital by ambulance when she experienced hemorrhaging after the birth.

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Jessa’s medical emergency with Ivy was nothing new, though. She experienced the same issue following the birth of Spurgeon Elliot Seewald, her first child. Michelle Duggar, Jessa’s mother, was on hand for the birth and called an ambulance. Mother and child were transported to the hospital for medical care. She didn’t experience the complication with her second child, Henry Wilberforce Seewald. 

Jessa has never revealed what causes her postpartum hemorrhaging, but uterine atony is the most common culprit. According to Healthline, uterine atony occurs when the uterus does not contract immediately following birth. The heavy bleeding it can cause can be life-threatening without immediate medical intervention.