Rixa Freeze has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. Her doctoral studies focused on the history of health care and medicine with specialization in pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity care. Her dissertation examined why women in North America choose unassisted home births. She worked as a visiting assistant professor for nine years at Wabash College. Her current research interests include human rights in childbirth, autonomy and informed consent, and vaginal breech birth.
She has published two articles about home birth: “Staying Home to Give Birth: Why Women in the United States Choose Home Birth” (JMWH 2009) and “Attitudes Towards Home Birth in the USA” (Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2010). She recently published the article “Breech birth at home: Outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births” with BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. In 2019 she published an article about outcomes of breech at home, birth centers, and hospitals (Midwifery Today) and a book chapter “Freebirth in the United States” in the 2020 book Birthing Outside the System: The Canary In the Coal Mine.
Dr. Freeze is the founder and president of Breech Without Borders, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to breech training, education, and advocacy.
David Hayes, MD, pursued training in vaginal breech birth during both medical school and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, at a time when instruction in vaginal breech birth was no longer routinely included in the training of obstetricians in the United States. He has performed an estimated 140 vaginal breech births using traditional obstetric maneuvers in dorsal lithotomy positions. In 2016 he hosted a training session on physiologic vaginal breech birth taught by Shawn Walker, PhD. Since that time he has been fortunate to attend many vaginal breech births, including breech-breech twins and primiparous mothers, with a 100% successful vaginal breech birth rate and no significant complications or instrument interventions.
In 2018, Dr. Hayes arranged to host a workshop presented by breech researcher and proponent, Dr. Rixa Freeze, and was asked to teach the “hands-on” portion of the workshop. As of August 2019 and in conjunction with Dr. Freeze and her organization Breech Without Borders, he has committed full time to training and reestablishment of physiologic vaginal breech birth.