### The Rise of Solo Births: Why Women are Opting to Deliver Alone

During the birth of her second child in May 2022, Lucy Sharp’s three-year-old daughter Matilda curiously observed the scene as her mother brought her baby brother into the world at home. The tranquil setting included candles flickering around the birthing pool while the melodic tones of Bette Midler’s song “Wind Beneath My Wings” filled the room.

At 7 am, with Matilda freshly awake, Lucy invited her to witness the miracle of childbirth. With the baby’s head emerging, Lucy noticed the umbilical cord delicately wrapped around his neck. Swiftly and calmly, she unwound it underwater before lifting her newborn son to her chest, reassured by his immediate well-being.

Lucy’s birthing experience deviated from the norm as she embraced “freebirthing,” opting for a solitary delivery without the presence of a midwife or doula. This unconventional choice has sparked concerns among health professionals, particularly in light of the increasing trend of unassisted births following the challenges of the Covid-19 era.

Prof Asma Khalil, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, emphasized the importance of informed decision-making and the need for awareness regarding the potential risks associated with unassisted births. While advocating for individual birth choices, safety remains a top priority, underscoring the significance of timely medical intervention in case of complications.

The surge in freebirthing practices has been attributed to perceived inadequacies in the UK’s maternity care system, with reports of understaffed units compromising safety standards. Birthrights, a charity advocating for birthing rights, expressed unease over instances where individuals resort to unassisted births due to a lack of viable alternatives or deep-seated fears associated with traditional maternity services.

Lucy’s journey to freebirthing stemmed from her initial introduction to home births during her first pregnancy and a subsequent desire to avoid hospital settings following unsettling experiences. Despite facing skepticism from some quarters, Lucy remained steadfast in her decision, drawing strength from her belief in the body’s innate wisdom and resilience.

Her meticulous preparation for the birth of her son, Louis, involved holistic approaches guided by a supportive doula and online communities. Through a blend of natural techniques and personalized care, Lucy navigated the birthing process with confidence and tranquility, culminating in the peaceful arrival of her son in the early hours of May 19, 2022.

Embracing the essence of empowerment and self-trust, Lucy’s freebirthing journey exemplifies a deeply personal choice rooted in autonomy and respect for the inherent wisdom of the female body. As she reflects on her transformative experience, Lucy underscores the importance of creating a safe, supportive environment for childbirth, where women’s voices are heard and honored.