Kelly Preston and John Travolta had their baby boy last week, and although there has been much speculation as to how she conceived at 47 and whether her pregnancy was real, the couple now has a baby boy they've named Benjamin, who is all theirs.
Certainly, it no longer matters how he got here.
Still, his pending birth was a hot topic in the weeks leading up to Kelly's due date since both she and Travolta are Scientologists who believe in the practice of "silent birth." As someone who had two 100 percent natural, but not-at-all silent births, I was skeptical of something that sounded so oppressive, but the facts are a little different than what we are hearing in the media.
According to Karin Pouw of the Church of Scientology, a silent birth doesn't mean "no words. It doesn't mean a mother can't make any sound during childbirth. It's doubtful that any woman could give birth without making any noise at all."
Indeed. Pouw and the Church provided some frequently asked questions and some truthful answers so that we might better understand just what kind of birth both Katie Holmes and Kelly Preston had.
What IS a silent birth?
Silent birth is all about providing the best possible environment for the birthing mother and her new baby. Its origins can be found in L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and are firmly rooted in a fundamental and abiding principle that women, particularly expectant mothers, be given the utmost in care and respect.
A silent birth is labor and delivery done in a calm and loving environment and with no spoken words by anyone attending. Chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to “PUSH, PUSH,” and loud or laughing remarks to “encourage” are the types of things that are meant to be avoided.
As L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “Everyone must learn to say nothing within the expectant mother’s hearing during labor and delivery. Particularly during birth, absolute silence must be maintained and the more gentle the delivery, the better.”
Why might you want this?
Mothers naturally want to give their baby the best start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet and peaceful as possible. That being said, a woman’s choice for her delivery is completely up to her and her doctor. There is no requirement to adhere to any specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and any others present work out how to communicate without words.
How does it work?
There is no specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and others present work out how to communicate without words. Different women have done different things.
Does the Church advocate zero medical intervention?
The Church has no policy against the use of medicines to help a person with a physical situation. This is a matter between the person and their doctor.
The Church of Scientology does not, as has been widely reported, advocate for a separation of three days between mother and child and also says that C-sections are a medical decision and have nothing to do with the religion.
As always, a little information goes a long way toward dispelling myths. Congratulations to John and Kelly. No matter how their baby came into this world, his presence is almost surely most welcome and thrilling for the couple who has been through so much pain.
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