Birth attendants say they are victims of a falsely pregnant woman
The suspect faces 32 counts for allegedly faking her pregnancy.
In Ontario, a group of birth attendants believe they are the victims of a woman who now faces dozens of charges for fraudulently soliciting their services.
Brantford resident Kaitlyn Braun, 24, was arrested by local police on Monday and faces more than 30 counts of criminal harassment, fraud and sexual assault.
< p class="e-p">Investigators say she sought help from about 50 birth attendants across the province for false pregnancies and stillbirths from June 2022 to February 2023 .
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Among them, the three workers with whom the CBC network spoke say that their experience with the suspect caused them severe trauma, as well as the loss of precious time and, in some cases, no financial compensation.
I've been to many births, so I know what labor is like, says Amy Silva, a companion from London who has been practicing for five years. Nothing seemed wrong with this person, either to me or to others. And we've all talked about it.
A birth companion is a trained professional who provides ongoing physical, emotional, and informational support to clients before, during, and shortly after childbirth. They also help to overcome grief and trauma related to pregnancy loss.
However, they are not authorized to perform obstetrical acts because they are not health professionals. They also do not have access to equipment or medical records.
All of the caregivers contacted shared similar stories of how Ms. Braun approached them.
The suspect approached them one by one on social media asking for their services, including pregnancy loss, stillbirth and labor support.
In particular, she allegedly claimed to them that her pregnancy was the result of a sexual assault and that she had no support from her friends or family. All had different accounts of the progress of her pregnancy.
At this point in the story, compassion for her situation prevailed and the carers agreed to work with her for free.
Amy Silva says she was contacted in mid-February. Kaitlyn Braun then explained to him that she was 24 weeks pregnant and needed help delivering a stillborn baby.
Our business is based on trust and relationships with people, so when someone comes to us and says “I'm living a loss” , we do not question that, she says.
London companion Seanna Hayes was approached in August 2022. The suspect told her that she was pregnant with 41 weeks and needing support to give birth at her home in Brantford, citing countless excuses to avoid going to the hospital.
She was crying and screaming, saying she had been assaulted outside a hospital in the past and it was very distressing for her, Ms Hayes recalled.
“I worked at her house for three days, after which we went to Cambridge Hospital and her work mysteriously stopped on the way. She was pretending to phone the hospital to tell me that the doctors had told her she could stay home.
— Seanna Hayes, birth companion
Seanna Hayes became suspicious and called the hospital herself. Officials then assured him that they had never told a pregnant patient to stay home. The attendant then convinced Kaitlyn Braun that they needed to return to the hospital and get checked out. Once there, Ms Tesse says she overheard a doctor telling her client that she was not pregnant and there was nothing inside her except an IUD. .
The suspect was making all sorts of excuses for not going to the hospital, according to Seanna Hayes.
At this point, the suspect acted very confused and became emotional, saying she didn't understand what was going on, the attendant recalled.
Kaitlyn Braun allegedly said to Amy Silva that she was a student at King's University College and lived in residence in London.
Pretending she did not feel comfortable spending the labor stage in her house with roommates, she rented an Airbnb for more privacy.
According to Ms. Silva, everything about Ms. Braun's work process seemed normal and her behavior seemed sincere.
The birth care industry is built on relationships of trust, says Amy Silva.
Her contractions were spaced out, which is normal when you're nervous, she explains.
“She was crying and said, “I'm really scared and can't do it,” and when she felt safe, the contractions would come back, so it didn't feel like false labor. She is very good at acting.
—Amy Silva, birth companion
Another carer, Abigail Dienesch, from Durham, says she was helping Ms Braun with a stillborn baby last week, and they were together when she received a call from the police telling her she was being investigated for fraud.
That was really shocking. Honestly, it felt like a movie, remembers the professional.
It's hard to understand that the person I was with is the same person everyone is talking about .
The three companions all said they had no idea what had prompted the young woman to act in this way. All claim that their meeting with her had an impact on their lives.
Abigail Dienesch claims to have agreed to a contract of $800, a sum that she says she never received.
My children spent two days with their grandmother because I couldn't be home with them, she says. If it had lasted longer, I would have had to cancel other contracts.
Police called the suspect while she was consulting with Abigail Dienesch.
Seanna Hayes says she goes to a therapist because her experience has made her suspicious of any potential client who contacts her.
It was really traumatic for her. me and it's even difficult for me to have consultations with people, which is really unhealthy and not conducive to a relationship of trust with my clients, which is important in this job.
Finally, for Amy Silva, many birth attendants who, like her, do not charge for services such as pregnancy loss support are now considering doing so.
J& #x27;took time in my busy life to help this person, without asking questions and without asking anything in return, she explains.
The investigators of the Brantford police have decided to release Kaitlyn Braun's name because they believe there may be more victims. They are asking anyone who believes they have been a victim to contact them at 519-756-7050 ext. 2262 or on the Crime Stoppers platform at 519-750-8477.
Kaitlyn Braun faces the following charges:
- 10 counts of criminal harassment
- 12 counts of false pretences
- 4 counts of fraud
- 3 counts of sexual assault
- 3 counts of indecent act
She will remain in custody until; at his next court appearance on March 15.
With information from Isha Bhargava, CBC