Last week, Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband Austin Forsyth welcomed their first child, a baby boy, into the world. Shortly after the happy news broke, gossip began to spread across the internet — not about the baby, but about her actual birthing process. Home births seem to be the Duggar family's preferred method, and Joy-Anna even mentioned that a home birth was her plan. However, one photo that made a brief appearance on Instagram soon after the birth left fans wondering: Did Joy-Anna Duggar have a home birth?
While Joy-Anna has not confirmed the answer to that question, all signs point to no, she likely did not have a home birth. Joy-Anna gave birth to Gideon Martyn Forsyth on Feb. 23, at 3:39 p.m,. clocking in at 10 lbs. 3oz. and 22 inches, according to the couple's birth announcement on their Instagram page. (That's pretty dang big!) Soon after, Joy-Anna's cousin Amy King allegedly shared a since-deleted Instagram post congratulating the happy couple. "Welcome to the world precious Gideon. Congratulations Joy & Austin!" she wrote on Instagram, according to Reddit. Alongside the caption were two photos that appear to be taken in a hospital room, leading fans to believe Joy-Anna gave birth in a hospital. King quickly took her post down, and King also made her account private. The Duggar family did not immediately return Romper's request for comment.
In a video shared by TLC, Joy-Anna opened up about her birth plan. The 20-year-old explained that she planned to have Gideon via a home birth:
We got the birth pool set up, we got our house somewhat cleaned out, and we’re trying to finish a lot of the big projects before the baby arrives. I think now we just need to fill up the pool and hopefully set up some beds in the guest bedroom and we’ll be good to go.
That being said, she also she went into labor prepared with a backup plan.
The advice I have gotten so far is just to be flexible and prepare for the birth, and have plans, but if something doesn’t go as planned, then be OK with that and just have another plan.
The Duggar family has a history of home births, though they have not specifically clarified why they are such big fans of the process. Michelle Duggar gave birth to two of her 19 kids via home birth, and delivered the rest in a hospital, according to the Duggar family blog. Jill Duggar Dillard planned on a home birth for her first child, but wound up delivering via emergency c-section, as per to Us Weekly. She also gave birth to her second son via c-section, notes Inquisitr. Jessa Duggar Seewald struggled throughout her home birth, and she was rushed to the hospital shortly after delivering, according to People. And Anna Duggar, mother of five, gave birth to at least two of her babies at home, as noted on the family blog.
Whether a mother chooses a home birth, a hospital birth, or another method entirely, that's totally OK — there's no wrong way to deliver your baby, and it's important to listen to your body and do what you need.
All that being said, it's a bit confusing why King deleted the post. Sure, home births seem to be the Duggars' preferred birthing method, but many of them have also given birth in hospitals, so hopefully the post was not taken down in order to hide the fact that Joy-Anna likely gave birth in a hospital, since that's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Who knows, maybe King took it down due to something else entirely. No matter how things happened, congrats to Joy-Anna for successfully delivering a 10-pound baby.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.