Attention Homebirth Advocates


Unregistered midwives leading child births face jail or $30,000 fine under new SA laws.

That’s right. South Australia has passed a law to keep rogue midwives from killing babies. The law is apparently named after Lisa Barrett, who is responsible for the deaths of five  (FIVE!) infants in the last few years. On her website she recounts — with pride — birth stories full of high risk scenarios and obviously questionable judgement, ranging from… twins whom she allowed to deliver more than 48 hours apart (Story comes complete with a google search whereupon she came back to inform the expectant parents that the average time between delivery of twins is FORTY SEVEN DAYS. Even though most reputable sources and common sense report it as being 17 minutes.)… to a 35 weeker who didn’t begin breathing until TEN MINUTES after she was born… to a HBA3C with a previous vertical incision. Pictures of limp, blue babies abound. Instead of decrying these practices and discussing about why so many homebirths attended by Lisa Barrett end in tragedy, homebirth advocates invite her to speak at their conferences.

If you truly valued the “right” to homebirth, you would be speaking out against midwives like Lisa Barrett, because without her, this law probably wouldn’t have a chance.

A side note: may I point out the irony of Kelly Vincent’s idiotic statement, “I fear it could drive homebirthing further underground, and could result in free birthing – a practice that must be monitored very carefully.”  


4 thoughts on “Attention Homebirth Advocates

  1. FINALLY, a way to stop her in Australia, it is nice to see the law working effectively. I really LOVE that the law is named after her. We could learn from this here in USA, especially in Oregon (where HB MWs go to evade all regulations).

    I truly hope she doesn’t come over to the USA, where she could be a HB MW/CPM/LDEM and kill at will. In many states, no one would- or could- stop her from taking very risky births, being grossly negligent, or killing and injuring countless babies.

    However, she wouldn’t be so special here, as we have our own, prolific, homegrown, baby slaughterers. They *could* teach her a thing or two about hiding your mistakes (aka negligent deaths) avoiding lawsuits, and dodging paying settlements. (Hiding assets is popular, as is bankruptcy).

    The current record holder for number of baby deaths, CPM Brenda Scarpino-Newport of Ohio, with 8 kills- so far- is an expert in evading responsibility in court. She wrote part of a book instructing HB MWs how to get away with never paying judgements (for death and disability they caused).

    Lisa may be able to catch up to Brenda, but she better hurry! Brenda is ahead, and still taking patients, so her death toll may increase any day. There are also runners up, vying for the title of most deadly HB MW, that are already tied with, or near, Barretts body count. Who knows who will pull ahead this upcoming year?

  2. Aside from the idiocy of needing to use Google as a diagnostic tool(seriously, if your education needs to be fleshed out by questionable information from the internet, find another job), who in their right mind would accept that most twins are born more than a month apart? You have to be a special kind of stupid to think that is the norm for healthy twin deliveries, and then apply it to a risky homebirth. Lisa Barrett makes all homebirth midwives look bad, it stumps me why they hold her up as a representative for their profession.

  3. I was shocked to find out that my “midwife” Cecily Arenas from California is still practicing midwifery, even after my baby nearly died due to her ignorance. She kept changing my due date, even when my sonogram gave a specific date. When my baby went into distress and I started to leak meconium, she told me it was a yeast infection and to put a garlic clove in my vagina and wait. She did not even want to come over to make sure I was okay that day when I called her. She wanted to send her husband over to look at the meconium.

    My husband was completely upset by how she completely flaked out like this on us. He told me he had a bad feeling and wanted me to go to the hospital. Had I not listened to him, our baby would have died. I was told this by 3 different doctors including a neonatal doctor in Berkeley, Dr. Sandu at Alta Bates. I had to go through a very traumatic emergency c section because they lost all fetal tones 1/2 an hour after we reached the hospital. It was the most frightening thing, and I still have nightmares about it to this day.

    At first I was blamed for everything. I was mistreated by the emergency OBGYN. She yelled at me and my husband. We endured mistreatment by the staff until they understood that our “midwife” flaked out on us.

    Our baby was not born alive. She had to be resuscitated. They had to work on her for a bit. She had inhaled meconium, she was sick and stressed. They rushed her to the NICU where Dr. Sandu saved her life. She was born with no soft spot. She was very big and they calculated one month and a week overdue. She has had some struggles due to some of the problems she was born with due to the oxygen loss.

    I do not hate Cecily Arenas, but she should never be allowed to practice medicine ever again. When she found out about my daughter, she had the audacity to ignore what had happened to me and the baby. The only concern she had was wanting her birth pool back. I couldn’t believe it. She did not want to face me and speak to me woman to woman about what happened or where she failed. She sent her husband to get the blow up pool. I just couldn’t believe it.

    I should have sued her. I should have done something, but at the time she had small children and all I could think of was those innocent children.

    When I was in the hospital, one of the midwives came to speak to me that worked at Alta Bates and asked me to tell her what happened. She was shocked. She told me she was going to speak to the OBGYN about this that did my surgery. The next day that doctor came to apologize to me and my husband, and did tell us again how lucky we were that our daughter made it.

    I did not get to see, touch, hold my daughter for 3 days after her birth because I lost a lot of blood and nearly died from the surgery and I was very sick and could barely get out of bed. I was drugged up on morphine the first time I held my daughter in the NICU. Everything was not the way I had dreamed for it to be. My birth, and my daughter’s entrance into this world was ruined. It could have been different had Cecily taken better care of me, and didn’t treat me like I was a burden for her to have to come over and see me.

    I will never have another baby again, because I’m terrified. My husband is sad about this as he wants to try for a son but the nightmares are too much.

    Cecily Areas if you ever read this, you should be ashamed of yourself and stop practicing any form of medicine or midwifery! I pray you find the strength to face what you did to me someday. You never even so much as apologized to me. That pain has been with me for ten years now. I trusted you and your “wisdom”.

Leave a Comment