This is a heartbreaking story. Australian Caroline Lovell was a passionate advocate for women having the right to give birth to their children in the privacy of their own homes. Her first child – Lulu – was born at home without any complications. But during the birth of her second child – Zahra- on Monday, the 36-year old mother suffered a cardiac arrest.
She was rushed to the hospital but died the next day. Prior to her tragic end, Lovell had been fighting for more support from the Australian government for home births, with the main concern being safety.The debate on the topic of home births has reportedly been an ongoing one, especially since there was an increase of home births by 54% in recent years.
Lovell had once stated that, “lives will be in threat without proper midwifery assistance from the state.” She added, that, “On a personal note, I am quite shocked and ashamed that homebirth will no longer be a woman’s free choice in low-risk pregnancies.” She continued on saying, “As a homebirthing mother I will have no choice but to have an unassisted birth at home as this is the place I want to birth my children.” But it should be noted that Lovelll had hired a private midwife to assist in the birth.
Midwives have stressed that a death during a home birth is very rare. There is no cause of death on record yet but some have assumed that Lovell d was the victim of a severe hemorrhage. An there is yet to be a verdict on whether the outcome would have been different had she given birth in a hospital versus at home. But one thing for sure, the loss of Caroline Lovell will surely ignite the fight for more support, to increase the safety of home births in her country. Hopefully her life – and message – won’t be in vain but may just give more ammunition to those against home births.