Is home birth the newest trend out of Hollywood?
During a Thursday appearance on TODAY, Rogue actress Thandie Newton talked about the joys of home birth. The mom-of-three proudly said she birthed her son Booker, 11 weeks, at home on her bathroom floor.
When asked why she had all three of her kids at home – she and husband Ol Parker are also parents to daughters Ripley, 13, and Nico, 9 – the Mission: Impossible II actress said she feels much more comfortable at home.
“I’d never been in hospital as a child or as an adult really, and I just associated hospital with being ill,” she said of her decision. “And I felt beautiful and healthy and wonderful when I was pregnant, and being at home was the place I felt most relaxed and comfortable.”
She went on to talk about the taboo topic, saying that home births used to be the norm.
“There was a time when everyone had their babies at home,” the Crash star, 41, said. “It wasn’t such a big deal. It’s more about as a woman what do you feel most comfortable doing, and you make the choice, and I chose to be at home.”
To see the full interview, click below….
Prior to welcoming her son, Thandie talked about birthing her daughters in a birthing pool. The actress talked about her medication/intervention-free births.
“[It was] very challenging in the best way possible,” Thandie said. “Every fiber of your being is alive. It’s like you are conducting electricity, literally creating something. I’d like to give birth every year if I could, just for that experience.”
And she’s not the only celebrity talking about this ‘new’ birthing trend. Let’s take a look at 13 other high-profile moms who have given birth in the comfort of their own home.
- Gisele Bündchen
One of the most outspoken celebrity moms on natural birth is supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The former Victoria’s Secret model gave birth to her first child Benjamin in December 2009 and has openly spoken about her drug-free and pain-free home water birth.
“My delivery was in a bath tub, in water,” Gisele said. “I wanted to have a home birth. I wanted to be very aware and present during the birth… I didn’t want to be drugged up. So I did a lot of preparation, I did yoga and meditation, so I managed to have a very tranquil birth at home. It didn’t hurt in the slightest. The whole time my mind was focused in each contraction on the thought ‘my baby is closer to coming out.’”
A few weeks later the supermodel looked svelte on the cover of Vogue and spoke of her “empowered” birth experience.
“I wanted to experience the transformation,” the model mom said. “It was the most amazing experience of my life, feeling him come through my body. And once he was born, I never felt so empowered as looking at him and thinking, Oh, my God, we did it together!”
The Brazilian beauty later wrote on her blog:
“I am blessed to have been able to have a home birth surrounded by love, where I was able to feel safe,” she wrote. “It was a powerful experience. I never felt so vulnerable but so strong at the same time. It was amazing to experience my body become free to do what it was made to do by allowing my mind and my body to let go and be free to experience the changes taking place within… I was just there… focusing on my breathing and relaxing the best that I could… so present, to witness the biggest miracle in my life happen before my very own eyes. To give life to another being, what a gift!”
As well, Gisele added her voice to the Birth Around the World Project to help promote the humanization of birth.
“I had the opportunity to experience the natural process of birth and it was one of the most life changing experiences for me and very very special!,” she said. “I believe it’s a woman’s right to make the decision about how she’s going to give birth to her child. And it’s also her right to have access to the information she needs so she can make that decision from a place of awareness, and not a place of fear.”
- Evangeline Lilly
Lost star Evangeline Lilly welcomed son Kahekili Kali in May 2011 and shared her birth story.
“I actually skipped the hospital … We decided to have the baby at home because we wanted it to be a natural birth, and it turns out that it was 30 hours of natural.”
Of that 30 hours, Evangeline says a full eight were spent pushing!
“Eight hours of pushing, that’s the part that men don’t understand.” the Canadian beauty added. “Women go, ‘Oh, dear, oh, dear God, eight hours of pushing?’ And the men are like, ‘Okay, eight hours of pushing. After about five hours of pushing, my midwife and my birthing assistant said, ‘You know, we have a few suggestions,’” she says. “And I was like, ‘Really? After five hours of pushing you have a few suggestions? You couldn’t have told me five minutes in?’
- Ricki Lake
Ricki Lake’s documentary about home birth, The Business of Being Born, empowered women everywhere to have unmedicated births at home. She gave birth to her second son Owen, now 13, at home in a bathtub. She talked about her reasons for making the film.
“I wanted to make this movie after my two very different birth experiences with my children,” she said. “I felt like I had an opportunity to explore and question birthing practices in this country and perhaps be an advocate for mothers’ rights and better maternity care.”
On the experience of birthing Owen at home, Ricki said:
“After the birth of my sons, particularly my home birth with my second son, I thought I wanted to become a midwife. Then I looked at all the years of schooling and training that I would have to do and felt that the time could be better spent doing a documentary on the subject of birth.”
- Michelle Alves
Model Michelle Alves and husband Guy Oseary – who is Madonna’s longtime manager – welcomed their third child in December 2011 and opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about the “beautiful” home birth of their son Levi.
“The baby’s name is Levi,” Michelle said. “He was born a little bit over 7 pounds on December 29th. It was a natural birth at home with a midwife, a nurse and a doula. It was such a beautiful experience! My mom, sister and, of course, my husband were also in the room.”
- Kaitlyn Olson
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Kaitlin Olson and her costar hubby Rob McElenney welcomed their first child, son Axel Lee, in September 2010.
Kaitlin gave birth to their son in the comforts of their home just as her own mother welcomed her. The actress said she is “incredibly grateful to have access to Western medicine” but “[doesn’t] think that childbirth is a medical problem that needs intervention unless there is a complication.”
“I decided on a home birth because I believe that as long as a pregnancy is normal and complication-free, your body knows what to do and does not need medical intervention,” she said. “I think the key to having a baby naturally is being able to completely relax and get out of the way of your body’s ability to get the job done.”
She admitted, however, that her decision to give birth at home came with “a lot of mixed reactions.”
“Most of our friends have been very supportive because they know us well enough to know that we are the kind of people who do our research and make informed decisions,” she explained. “The people who panic and think we are crazy are the ones who haven’t done any research themselves.”
“I don’t blame them though,” she added. “We aren’t really taught much about childbirth and labor in America. On TV and in movies, most of what you see on the subject are women screaming in pain and a lot of emergency C-sections. The fact of the matter is that countries whose standard is for women to deliver their babies at home with midwives have the lowest complication, intervention and infant fatality rates.”
- Maria Bello
Actress Maria Bello said she “can’t imagine giving birth in a sterile environment like a hospital,” and that’s one reason that she labored with son Jackson Blue, now 14, in her bed.
“I chose to give birth at home with a midwife,” she told Celebrity Baby Scoop. “After a 22 hour labor and a massive thunderstorm, with not even an aspirin, and Jack’s amazing dad with me every step of the way, Jack finally arrive.”
She added: “In that moment I realized I had never felt so much love and so much fear all at once. Knowing that this is the deepest love I would ever feel, and fear that no matter how much I loved him I would never be able to protect him from all the lessons he needs to learn in his life.”
- Pamela Anderson
Former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson gave birth to both of her sons – Brandon and Dylan – at home, with a midwife, without any drugs. The Canadian native talked about her water birth with talk show host Larry King.
“I gave birth at home both times–natural–with a midwife, in water…with nothing. Not even Tylenol,” she said.
- Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan has quickly become one of our favorite celebrity moms since the birth of her first child, Satyana, in March 2009. Celebrity Baby Scoop sat down with the How I Met Your Mother star and asked about her drug-free homebirth.
“Yes. I did use a midwife and a doula,” she said. “We had the option of having a doctor there, but even he said you’ll only need me if you need to be transferred to the hospital–which thankfully, I did not need.”
Before welcoming her second daughter, Keeva, the American Pie star said she faced many fear-based comments about going forward with another home birth.
“Yes, we had lots of comments about it,” Alyson said. “And we had the doctor that scared us tremendously. There was definitely more concern the first time around. For me, that was just the perfect place. I am absolutely terrified of hospitals. so I think that the home is the best place for me to feel comfortable. I had a midwife, her assistant and a doula. It will be the same again this time.”
- Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik has really ‘blossomed’ into an amazing and outspoken mother! An advocate of attachment parenting, Mayim also empowers women to consider medication-free home births.
The Big Bang Theory star and mother of two talked about her second son’s home birth, while her elder son watched.
“Fred, yes, was born at home, and Miles was able to watch the whole thing from his high chair while eating granola,” she said. “Fortunately it was a very fast labor because I think Miles would’ve been bored if it was longer than the hour and a half it was. He loves it, he still talks about it. It was something we talked about with our pediatrician, and believed very strongly in older siblings being present, and giving the choice. We gave him a choice before, we prepared him with videos about homebirth that our midwife prepared. Even during, I said, “If Miles wants to go the next room he can!” But he said, “No, I fine!” He got freaked out by the blood, but it was still nice.”
- Nelly Furtado
Canadian songstress Nellie Furtado is a self-proclaimed “hippie mom” and has opened up about the birth of her daughter Nevis in September 2003.
The mom-of-one – who has written/sang hits such as I’m like a Bird and Maneater – proudly said, “I had a home birth with midwives.”
- Cindy Crawford
Model mom-of-two Cindy Crawford had both of her children – son Presley and daughter Kaia – at home with her husband Rande Gerber and three midwives on hand.
She spoke of the home birth experience:
“I didn’t tell anyone last time because a lot of people are against home birth and tell you horror stories,” she shared. “Even my husband said at first, ‘Why are we doing this?’” But she went on to say her home birth was ‘absolutely surreal.’”
- Jennifer Connelly
Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connelly and husband, fellow actor Paul Bettany, welcomed daughter Agnes Lark Bettany in their New York City home on May 31, 2011. Baby Agnes was born via planned home water birth in a birthing pool.
“Everyone is healthy and doing well,” Jennifer’s rep said. “The family is very excited.”
- Erykah Badu
R&B singer Erykah Badu has given birth to all three of her children – Seven Sirius, Puma Sabit and Mars Merkaba – at home.
The ‘First Lady of Neo-Soul’ opened up about her home birthing experience:
“I had all my children at home, naturally,” Erykah said. “First my son [Seven Sirius] was born at home in 1997, because that’s the natural environment, the old way. There’s not a lot of fuss and moving around. I had a very wise doula and midwives giving me the freedom to continue living my life. I didn’t have to uproot myself… Maybe to some it’s scary, but preparation is the whole key. When a mother has found out she’s going to have a baby, her whole life — her diet, her mood, her energy — should kind of prepare her. After she prepares herself, fear is never a part of it. I expected success and health, so I made sure I surrounded myself with it. By the time I had my third baby, childbirth seemed a very natural part of life to me.”
Did you have a home birth? Please share your birth stories in the comments below.