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Tragedy Strikes as Twin Babies Die in Byron Bay ‘Wild Birth’ Gone Wrong

Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of stillbirth.  In a truly heartbreaking story, a set of twins tragically died during a wild birth in Byron Bay, in a situation that’s left many medical experts shaking their heads, saying, “This could’ve been avoided.”

The first baby was stillborn, and the second was rushed to The Tweed Hospital in northern NSW, where they sadly passed away shortly after. The twins were born premature but were over 23 weeks, a gestation period considered viable.

The parents opted out of receiving any medical support throughout the pregnancy and birth, including ultrasounds or checks for the baby’s heartbeat, embracing a trend known as ‘wild birthing’.

A medical source told the Daily Telegraph that this tragedy was totally avoidable. They pointed out, especially the second baby, who was born alive, could have had a fighting chance if it were born in a hospital setting. That little one had rights, they said.

Wild Births growing

There’s a growing preference to ‘wild births’ or ‘free births,’ where parents decide to go through pregnancy and childbirth without any medical help. It’s all about giving birth in your own space, and on your own terms. There are no ultrasounds, no heartbeat tests, medical checks or even midwifery assistance. Had they done even one of these they would have known they were expecting twins, and potentially been prepared for the need for support or intervention.

Some parents following the ‘wild birth’ path believe even routine checks like ultrasounds could harm the baby. Usually, home births include the presence of a midwife, but it seems not everyone’s taking that route.

A police source called the twins’ deaths “tragic because it was avoidable.” And it hits hard, knowing that Australia’s one of the safest places to have a baby.

Despite the love for free birth and home births in the area, the NSW Local Health District is trying to offer a middle ground, providing a service for planned home births with a midwife for those uncomplicated pregnancies, last year supporting 23 planned home births.

premature-baby-in-neonatal-unit-byron-bay-wild-birth
Twin babies have died after a wild birth gone wrong in Byron Bay. Source: Adobe Stock

Knowledge is power

Dr. Chris Ingall, a Lismore paediatrician, suggested that if parents really understood the risks, they might think twice about this type of birthing. He’s seen too many cases where things go south, and parents are left saying they had no idea this could happen.

‘I’m pro-women’s choice but that relies on being well informed,’ 

‘Based on my own experiences, when a baby is in special care after something goes wrong, I ask “do you think you were informed that this was a likely outcome?” and they always say no. 

‘I do not think they are getting good information about that choice and how it may impact the baby.’

 

Byron Bay-based birth educator Maha Al Musa argues that many mums turn to home births because hospital experiences have left them feeling traumatised. They’re looking for something more personal, more in control.

Following this tragedy, which echoes a similar sad story from Nimbin back in 2015, health experts are urging parents-to-be to really chat with doctors early on and weigh up all their options before deciding on a home birth or free birth.

It’s understood NSW Police are now investigating the deaths, but no charges have been laid. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

It’s a stark reminder that while bringing life into the world is one of the most natural things, it’s also unpredictable and, sometimes, heartbreakingly risky. Let’s hope sharing stories like these helps families make the safest choices for their little ones.

RIP little ones. 💔 👼

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