FDA Seizes Birth Pools

Yes. Seriously. Last week a group of FDA agents raided a shipping container in Portland, Oregon with instructions to inspect and destroy the birthing pools contained in it. The FDA is claiming that the birth pools are unregistered medical equipment but are providing no means to register the pools.  Barbara Harper (www.waterbirth.org) was told by an FDA official that “pregnancy is an illness and birth is a medical event. Therefore, a pool that a woman gives birth in should be classified as medical equipment.”

Really? Many of us disagree strenuously on this. These are our tax dollars at work? Is the threat of natural and safe pain relief during labor such a threat that the FDA must inspect and destroy birthing pools? SCARY. If you aren’t alarmed by this, you should be. What’s next? Your partner being present with you during labor? Rice socks? Walking? Your toilet? Your shower? A wet washcloth? Your icemaker?

My daughter was as outraged as I was. Her 14 year old brain quickly came up with this comeback:
“If pregnancy is an illness and birth is a medical event, then I guess when we have something like a cold, we should have to register our chicken noodle soup and tissues.”

For more information and for some ways to help, please read this blog:


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