Bodhi Amor Ocean Cornelius was born a water baby. Literally. With the Pacific Ocean waves crashing against his mother’s back, Bodhi was delivered amidst the salt water and the ‘volcanic’ sand in a very unconventional, unassisted ocean birth.
While every woman has the right to birth her baby as she wants, Josy’s free ocean birth is causing quite the splash on social media. Many people are praising the new mum while others are questioning the safety of an ocean birth.
However, for Bodhi’s mum and dad, Josy and Benni this was always the plan. Clearly, a lover of the sea, Josy, 37, said she “got this idea in my head I wanted to give birth in the ocean and because the conditions were right on the day that’s what I did.”
Bodhi is Josy’s fourth baby and she admits the other three births were very stressful due to medical intervention.
‘We trusted that our baby would make its way’
The mum-of-four, who goes by the name Raggapunzel on Instagram, says she wanted her baby to be born with no medical intervention as doctors and midwives take away from what the female body can do on its own.
I wanted to be worry-free for once. My first birth was traumatic in a clinic and my second birth was a home birth but by the third even a midwife in my home was too much.
This time I had no doctors appointments or scans or outside influence. We didn’t have a due date or deadline for the baby to arrive we just trusted that our baby would make its way.
I had no fears or worries to welcome a new little soul into our lives, just me, my partner and the waves. It was beautiful.
The soft volcanic sand under me reminded me there is nothing else between heaven and earth just life.”
While Josy opted against monitoring her infant, she did monitor the tides, hoping that the ocean would cooperate when the time came to give birth. And it did.
To the ocean we go!
When labour arrived, Josy and Benni left their other children with friends, packed up their car with a few towels and birthing tool kits (including a bowl with a sieve to catch the placenta), and drove to the shoreline of Playa Majagual, Nicaragua, where they live, after moving from Germany a few years ago.
She also claims that the ocean waves were in perfect sync with her contractions.
The waves had the same rhythm as the contractions, that smooth flow made me feel really good,” Josy told Jam Press.
After Bodhi was born and wrapped up in towels I went back into the ocean to freshen up. Then I got dressed and we packed everything up and drove home where the three of us got straight into bed.”
Baby Bodhi was born at the end of February so he is now 13 weeks old. Josy shared her birth story, including videos of the birth, on her Instagram feed.
Josy believes the ocean birth has contributed to his super chill nature and says he’s a perfectly healthy and content bubba.
Bodhi is a really calm and satisfied baby. Everything is wonderful for him if he is in mama’s arms. He is just as relaxed as he was in my tummy.”
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Ocean birth divides the internet
As expected, Josy’s ocean birth has made quite the splash on social media with plenty of people putting in their two cents worth. Many people are applauding the mum, calling her birth “empowering” and inspiring.
But others are not so sure.
One commenter asked: “Is this sanitary? There’s a lot of bacteria in the sea.”
Another wrote: “What a shock for that bubba – from a warm womb to the cold ocean.”
Responding to the trolls, Josy added:
Bodhi was born in the midday sun when it was about 35 degrees, we weren’t worried at all that he’d be cold and I had no concerns about waterborne infections. He is perfectly healthy.
I did all the research I needed to to make sure it was safe. Water is a barrier that is medically proven. For me and this baby I wanted to feel completely connected by my own self-directed care.”
Medical experts weigh in
While an ocean birth was the right choice for Josy, medical experts advise against giving birth without a doctor or midwife present.
Australian obstetrician Dr Michael Gannin, former head of the Australian Medical Association, describes the free birth movement as a “whole different level of stupidity”.
We understand why women would be afraid of childbirth and not fully understand the reason for certain medical treatments, but to completely reject them is to bury your head in the sand,” Dr Gannin recently told news.com.au.
“There is no other element of health care where people deliberately go out of their way to have a third world experience.”
In terms of an ocean birth, there is not enough info to determine the safety of it, WebMD reported.