First time Mum accused of putting her baby at risk after giving birth in an outdoor bath tub and choosing to forego medical help during the delivery.

Hannah Taylor grew up with “scary” stories about childbirth from her own mum and wanted a serene experience for her son Koa.

The 23-year-old yoga teacher decided the best option for her and her son – now aged three months – was a “freebirth” without a medical attendant or professional present.

Hannah and her partner Tyler Couchman welcomed 6lb 10oz baby Koa in an outdoor bath with no-one telling her to push, describing it as an “incredible, blissful, experience”.

water birth 3 water birth

Just Tyler and best friend Shea Zamarra were in attendance.

Hannah, from the US city of Sacramento, California, said: “My mum had traumatic births with me and my sister and it didn’t sit well with me.

“Growing up I had only heard scary stories of birth and when I heard about my friend’s experience with unassisted birth. It felt right to me.

“A unassisted birth is one without medical intervention. You give birth unhindered and without medical interference.

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“No one telling you when to push, you just completely listen to your own body.

“During my pregnancy I did a lot of research and I read a lot of books. I listened to podcasts focused on women and their unassisted birthing stories.”

“I went into labour in early morning at about 5am on October 8 and my active contractions started around 9.30am.

“I was just home with my partner and my best friend Shea. I hadn’t planned to move to the outside to the tub, I just wanted to use it as somewhere to take a break during labour.

“I was on the floor of my room when I decided to move outside to the tub. It is connected to the warm water mains from our house.

“It was an incredible, blissful, experience and I was ecstatic. Meeting my little boy for the first time was incredible.”

Unassisted birth is the process of having a baby without the presence of a medical attendant or professional, which Hannah believed was the best option for her family.

Hannah’s partner Tyler, 34, a chef, added: “So far it was the most amazing experience of my life.

“I had never heard of free birth before, but catching my son in my arms was the most amazing thing.

“Holding him brought tears to my eyes. It felt like a dream.”

The mum did attend regular prenatal appointments with a midwife to make sure her pregnancy was healthy.

Hannah said she would have rethought her plans had there been a health issue or potential danger for Koa.

She said: “I had a healthy pregnancy and I visited a midwife all along. I had prenatal care.

“There was no sign that anything was wrong, and if there had been I would have had to think about changing my plan.

“Depending on the severity I would have had to consider a hospital birth in that case. But I really made sure I had done a lot of research.”

“I think all people should follow their hearts. I did what I thought was the best thing for my baby.

“An unhindered birth allowed the experience to be sacred and it was incredible. I have never felt so connected to my body. I felt very blessed.

“He’s so wonderful. I underestimated my capacity for love.”

People accuse the mum of risking her baby’s life

Comments from the public include:

‘Stupid thing to do and risking her unborn baby’s life sorry I do not agree. Women may off done it back in days to do it now when we have that medical help is stupid and selfish. I do not agree at all’

‘Why risk it though? It takes seconds for something to go wrong, 2 of my babies got stuck and I had to have intervention, I dread to think what would have happened had I not been in hospital. Each to their own but I know where I’d rather be.’

‘What a stupid thing to do! Thank god nothing was wrong with your baby. Selfish hippy!’

‘What would of happened if there was complications? She’d soon say something different then.’

‘Yes all lovely until something goes wrong. I opted for a water birth with my first, it felt good and stress free, so stress free that everything slowed down and he didn’t want to come out! 17 hours later after forceps, ventous and massive loss of blood my darling boy finally arrived (I then spent a week in hospital recovering. Needless to say I had my daughter the good old fashioned “legs in the air” way!’

‘I think that especially for a first time mum that’s just mental. You’ve no idea what’s coming no matter what you hear or research.’

Share your comments below


  • I think childbirth is a natural process and having a home birth is great BUT that is for uncomplicated births. And you never know what will happen with childbirth. Always sensible to be near a hospital or have access to medical staff just in case!

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  • Good midwives in hospital situations don’t tell you when to push either. However I am happy all worked out well for this couple.

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  • At least she had the prenatal checks, there are women who don’t even do that. I believe in homebirths with a qualified midwife in attendance. I was already 8cm by the time I went to the hospital because I refused to risk having them dictate how much time I had before I needed to give birth. I stand by that, but I am also glad I made it to the hospital because my baby was in shock after she was born and needed 2 minutes of oxygen, then a few hours after I gave birth I haemorrhaged. Every labour is so different and you just never know. Glad baby and mum are healthy though.

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  • Glad for her that all went well.

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  • I’m not really sure why you would take that risk? Anything can happen in a blink of an eye and I personally don’t think it’s worth risking my baby’s life to have this type of birth

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  • I’m not a fan but each to their own.

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  • I’m glad it was a straightforward birth for her an a beautiful experience… but a bit risky

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  • Congratulations mumma.
    You body, her choice, I’m glad it all worked out

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  • I wouldn’t have risked it but am glad to read she had all her prenatal checks & classes to make sure that all was well. Too easy for something to go wrong at the last moment and it’s great it didn’t therefore turned the whole experience into a nice one.

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  • Um. I believe in personal choice, but I think this was a dangerous one.

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  • Glad mum and bub are both fine. Everyone chooses their own path and birth plan.

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  • Her body, her baby, her choice.
    I do agree with her that giving birth is over-medicalized. Glad it all went well.

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  • She is very lucky it all worked out for the best.

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  • Glad that the baby is healthy and everything worked out for her. Just because everything was well at the appointments though doesn’t mean there could have been complications at birth. I personally would not have risked it.

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  • I would be worried about the risk of infection too. The Mum is very lucky the cord wasn’t around the baby’s neck or too short.

    Reply

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