Mother goes viral after ‘free birthing’ her son in the ocean


A new mother has gone viral after sharing a video of her giving birth to her son in the Pacific Ocean.

Josy Peukert, 37, uploaded a post on Instagram showing how she and her partner, Benni Cornelius, 42, drove to the beach so she could have her baby on the shoreline of Playa Majagual, Nicaragua. 

She delivered her baby without medical assistance in a so-called ‘free birth’, after turning down scans throughout her pregnancy. 

The video of waves crashing into her back as she writhes in pain through contractions has been watched over 200,000 times.

Josy said: ‘The waves had the same rhythm as the contractions, that smooth flow made me feel really good.’

There are no available statistics for how many freebirths take place around the world each year, however the number is believed to be small but growing. 

The process is fraught with controversy, after a California woman’s baby was stillborn in 2018 following a six-day labor with no medical intervention. 

Josy Peukert, 37, from Nicaragua, has gone viral after sharing a video of her giving birth to her son in the Pacific Ocean

Explainng her decision, Josy said: ‘I 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.’

When Josy knew her labour was starting, her children went to stay with friends and Benni drove the couple to the beach with a birthing tool kit which included towels, a bowl with a sieve to catch the placenta, gauze and paper towels.

Josy said: ‘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.

She uploaded a post on Instagram showing how she and her partner, Benni Cornelius, 42, drove to the beach so she could have her baby on the shoreline of Playa Majagual

She uploaded a post on Instagram showing how she and her partner, Benni Cornelius, 42, drove to the beach so she could have her baby on the shoreline of Playa Majagual

The video of waves crashing into her back as she writhes in pain through contractions has been watched over 200,000 times

The video of waves crashing into her back as she writhes in pain through contractions has been watched over 200,000 times

The mother-of-four says she wanted her baby to be born with no medical intervention because doctors and midwives take away from what the female body can do on its own

The mother-of-four says she wanted her baby to be born with no medical intervention because doctors and midwives take away from what the female body can do on its own

‘Later that evening we weighed Bodhi with luggage scales, he was 3.5kg or 7lb 6oz.’

The mother-of-four says she wanted her baby to be born with no medical intervention because doctors and midwives take away from what the female body can do on its own.

She said: ‘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.

Healthy boy: After the baby boy was born they weighed Bodhi with luggage scales, he was 3.5kg or 7lb 6oz

Healthy boy: After the baby boy was born they weighed Bodhi with luggage scales, he was 3.5kg or 7lb 6oz

Josy gave birth to a baby boy, Bodhi Amor Ocean Cornelius, on 27 February 2022. He is now 13 weeks old

Josy gave birth to a baby boy, Bodhi Amor Ocean Cornelius, on 27 February 2022. He is now 13 weeks old

Josy said the waves had the same rhythm as the contractions and that made her 'feel really good'

Josy said the waves had the same rhythm as the contractions and that made her ‘feel really good’

Free birth: She said she had 'no fears or worries' just herself her partner and the waves. It was beautiful

 Free birth: She said she had ‘no fears or worries’ just herself her partner and the waves. It was beautiful

‘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.’

Josy gave birth to a baby boy, Bodhi Amor Ocean Cornelius, on 27 February 2022. He is now 13 weeks old.

When Josy knew her labour was starting, her children went to stay with friends and Benni (pictured) drove the couple to the beach

When Josy knew her labour was starting, her children went to stay with friends and Benni (pictured) drove the couple to the beach

She brought a birthing tool kit which included towels, a bowl with a sieve to catch the placenta, gauze and paper towels

She brought a birthing tool kit which included towels, a bowl with a sieve to catch the placenta, gauze and paper towels

She said: ‘For weeks, I monitored the tide and so when the time was right for me to give birth I knew the beach would be safe for us.

‘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.’

Josy and her husband-to be emigrated to Nicaragua from Germany where they met and had their first child together, Marley Mune, now two. Between them, they have seven children.

Josy shared a video and birth story on her Instagram page @raggapunzel, where she has 6,800 followers and her video was shared all over the world

Josy shared a video and birth story on her Instagram page @raggapunzel, where she has 6,800 followers and her video was shared all over the world

Smile! New father Benni Cornelius beamed as he posed while sitting on the bonnet of their colourful van

Smile! New father Benni Cornelius beamed as he posed while sitting on the bonnet of their colourful van 

Josy posed for a sweet snap inside their van when she was a few months pregnant with their baby boy Bodhi

Josy posed for a sweet snap inside their van when she was a few months pregnant with their baby boy Bodhi

When Bodhi was two days old, Josy shared a video and birth story on her Instagram page @raggapunzel, where she has 6,800 followers and her video was shared all over the world. It has now been seen over 200,000 times. 

However, after sharing her experience, Josy received some comments of concern and criticism about her choice to free birth in the sea.

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.’

What is a ‘free birth’? 

A free birth or Unassisted Childbirth (UC) refers to when a woman chooses to give birth at home or elsewhere without the assistance of a healthcare professional, according to Doula UK. 

While the medical profession considers the practice a risk to both mother and baby, the organisation says it’s a ‘perfectly legal and legitimate informed choice for a woman to make in the UK’.

However, article 45 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order it is an offence for any unqualified person to deliver a baby unless it is an emergency.

Statistics on the number of UCs in the UK have not been collected by the NHS. 

In the US, around 7,000 babies are born a year without medical assistance. 

But it’s not clear what portion of these are voluntary free births as the number naturally includes ‘births before arrival’ where there was no time for medical intervention.

On Instagram alone the Freebirth Society of which Lisa was a member has more than 22,000 members.   

Responding to the trolls, she 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.

‘This pregnancy was the greatest gift we could have imagined and wished for.’

However, after sharing her experience, Josy received some comments of concern and criticism about her choice to free birth in the sea

However, after sharing her experience, Josy received some comments of concern and criticism about her choice to free birth in the sea

Josy said for weeks she monitored the tide and when the time was right to give birth she knew the beach would be safe

Josy said for weeks she monitored the tide and when the time was right to give birth she knew the beach would be safe 

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