Jessa Duggar’s home birth has spurred questions about whether home delivery is safe. Jessa gave birth to a healthy baby boy on November 5, but she was rushed to the hospital in a flurry of confusion after mom Michelle called 911, telling the operator that there was “a lot of blood,” reports Hollywood Life.
Jessa and the baby — whose name has yet to be revealed — are reportedly doing “great,” according to husband Ben Seewald, following the scary incident.
The 911 call, obtained by the Daily Mail, reveals an apparently calm Michelle Duggar explaining that everything did not go to plan as Jessa gave birth. After the beautiful baby boy was delivered, her mother explains that Jessa started bleeding more than normal.
In the audio, Michelle Duggar tells the 911 dispatcher that Jessa “is bleeding after birth.” Her mother also warned the operator that “[w]e need [Jessa] to be checked out.” Since Michelle has given birth at home and assisted her children with their own home births, she likely knows when there’s trouble.
Jessa’s sister, Jill Duggar, who is now the proud mother of a seven-month-old, according to People, tried giving birth at home with Michelle’s assistance and also required a hospital visit after her home delivery went awry.
During the incident, Jessa was described as “alert and awake,” but Michelle also explains that Jessa lost a lot of blood, according to Hollywood Life. Michelle Duggar can be heard telling the 911 dispatcher that there “was quite a bit of blood when the placenta detached, but [the] uterus is hard now.”
Jessa is then told by her mother to “[h]ang in there” during the call while they massage the uterus to help Jessa out. The dispatcher then asks Michelle Duggar if Jessa is still bleeding. She tells the operator that Jessa is “better now, just a lot of blood.”
Michelle Duggar then assures the dispatcher that Jessa is “talking” and her “color is good.” She also lets the dispatcher know that the newborn is “doing wonderful.”
According to Hollywood Life, Michelle Duggar is then given instructions to help Jessa, which include preserving the afterbirth in a towel so doctors can check it out.
Jessa Duggar’s scary home delivery experience leads to questions about the safety of delivering outside a hospital, reports She Knows. According to the website, home births have been increasing since 2004 but still comprise a small amount of births in the United States.
The Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health reports that typically a home birth does not require hospital interventions and usually all goes as planned.
But the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagree, claiming that home births are dangerous, particularly because of cases like Jessa Duggar. She Knows reports that according to these medical groups, the safest place for a baby to be born is in a hospital.
Jessa Duggar was lucky to have an experienced midwife, but not all home births are accompanied by an experienced midwife. Michelle Duggar knew how to react when Jessa lost a lot of blood and knew the signs of danger, but a home delivery with a less experienced helper might go terribly wrong.
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, mothers like Jessa Duggar should make informed decisions about home births. She Knows reports that the American College of Nurse-Midwives told Time magazine that more successful home births happen in the United States than are reported, since birth certificates do not always accurately reflect a home birth.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives also reports that statistics reflecting home birth mortality rates are skewed by women who did not plan to give birth at home, for example, if the mother could not get to the hospital in time.
Luckily, Jessa Duggar and her newborn are doing well and have even shared photos of the happy family over Instagram.
[Image via Instagram]