Celebrity Homebirths Make Me Feel Like a Loser


I never thought I could be one-upped on my hippy, natural birth during which I both burned incense AND listened to Enya (true story), but I gave birth in a hospital, which officially means I have been "out hippied" by the likes of many celebrities, including Nick Hexum who last week delivered his OWN BABY at home.

The baby came fast and furious so their planned homebirth with a midwife became a sudden one with only dad there to catch her. So, yeah. No one can out-hippy him. But of course, he isn't the only celeb to plan a home birth.

In fact, it seems the latest trend in Hollywood is not to deliver at the hospital. And why not?

These celebs have beautiful homes with plenty of room for birthing tubs and money that most of us don't have for midwives who aren't covered by insurance (because it's a home birth). Think of Mayim Bialik and Gisele Bundchen and Pamela Anderson and Cindy Crawford and Alyson Hannigan and many, many more.

And as celebs start to be more open about home birth, it seems more and more "real" people are doing it as well. And that is great. Natural birth, unaided by drugs or doctor interventions, is a completely viable and wonderful option for most women.

Personally, I didn't choose to do my doctor and drug-free birth at home because I wanted the little spa trip to the hospital and my house isn't very restful, but most normal people find their house to be a more peaceful, relaxing place to give birth.

Mad props should be given to the natural birth advocates who are out there proving that birth can be an uncomplicated, relatively peaceful experience. That said, it isn't a trend. Every person should do the birth that is best for them and I have started to notice among my friends the teensiest bit of competition, as in:

"Oh you had an unmediated hospital birth? Well, I had a home birth." And then:

"Oh you had a home birth? Well, I had an unassisted water birth!" And then:

"Oh you had an unassisted water birth? Well, I birthed in the woods with only the wolves to guide me."

You get the drift. At a certain point, we need to get past the competition, the comparison, and the silly one-ups and realize we are all doing the same thing: Trying to give birth to healthy, happy babies in healthy and happy ways. There is no one right way to do that.

Do you feel home birth competition?


Image via birthersage/Flickr

birth stories, natural parenting


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Amy L. Keyishian

I'm not competitive about it, no. But I was very struck when I was watching that new "Upstairs Downstairs" and the rich woman was like "of course, I shall have the baby at home, where things are nice, not in a dirty hospital." And i was like, well sure, if I lived where you do. If a celeb can set up their home to be just-so, why not?

A woman in my mom's group was snickering about some stuff that a lactation consutant told her about a standup comic who was so nervously chitter-chattery during his wife's birth that they nearly asked him to leave, and this was a story that was being gossipped about by all these moms, and I thought it was awful. The LC was really unprofessional to re-tell that story. If I were Lady Gaga and i were giving birth, I'd be afraid to have TMZ all up in my epidural if I didn't have it at home.

Lynette Lynette

having a homebirth doesn't have anything to do w/ how fancy your home is.  I had one and I live in a tiny home.  A friend of mine had one and she lives in an apartment.  Having a homebirth isn't about being brave, crazy, or a hippi.  It's about having your best birth.  For me, that was home, for you it was a hospital.

nonmember avatar steph sulzbach

amen, sasha. i was in a hospital, i accepted all drugs they would give me and i ended (with my first) in a very scary, very immediate emergency c section (after 16 hrs of labor, classical music, peace and quiet). had i been home, mason would likely have died. then it was a "no brainer" that i wanted to be in a hospital with will. and please pass the pain meds. this worked for me, i have no regrets, nor do i begrudge home-birthers. what i do HATE is judgment for wanting to be in a hospital. my choice, my body, my baby.

Lynette Lynette

accepting all the drugs, pitocin, and interventions in hospitals plays a big role in why so many people end up w/ emergency c sections. 

stell... stellarluna

I feel no competitions.  I kind of think it's cool that more celebrities are talking about breastfeeding and doing homebirths... hopefully it will make those two things very mainstream and NORMAL.  Even if it's as a result of being "posh" and "trendy" at first, those who chose one or both of those things eventually feel passion for them in ways they didn't see coming.  I encourage people who are healthy and have normal pregnancies to look into out of hospital birthing but I know not everyone is truly comfortable with that and it won't be successful if mom is worried and uneasy about that situation.  You have to go with what speaks to your heart, but I just hope women honestly research it before ruling it out.  

Doula... DoulaBrandi

Have the birth you want, your way. If you do what you need, take care of your body and your baby then you have nothing to worry about or one up someone on. Nick had an unassisted birth, good on him for handling it well, you lit pretty smelling stuff and had an amazing birth too! You both win.

Lynette Lynette

oh and your insurance might surprise you!  Mine covered my homebirth

juneb... junebaby11

i had a homebirth then less than a week ago, and it was great i was so relaxed and in no way do i have a fancy home lol, i loved my birth, i didnt tear or anything, my homebirth was planned from the beginning, i agree have your birth your way, not everyone can handle a home birth, but i do think more ppl could have home births , oh and im in no way a hippie lol i didnt do hypno birthing or aromatherapy, i trusted myself and just went with it i had a very good support system, my midwife and my fiance, you have to believe in yourself :)

nonmember avatar Robin

A lot of midwives are covered by insurance. All the ones in my area are.

I think what it comes down to is soon-to-be moms needs to take responsibility for their births. Do research, ask questions, get some answers. If pregnant women go in having no idea what kind of birth they want (and that there's even a choice), it's no wonder women come out of the experience scarred and left wanting more.

Personally, I'd be terrified to have my baby in a hospital. They are impersonal, emotionless places. I have done years of research in preparation for when I get pregnant with my first. I know all my options and I am ready. I hope to have a home birth with a midwife. I trust my body to know what it's doing, and a birth free from drugs and stress is the healthiest thing for my baby and myself. A birth center is my second choice, with a hospital being my last-ditch effort in an emergency.

Joy Krell Hopkins

Home birth with a midwife costs around $3000, sometimes less and sometimes a little more depending on where you live. A hospital birth can cost $10,000 or more. My insurance is covering most of my home birth. People just have to call and weigh their options. For me, the $600 out-of-pocket is worth staying out of the hospital if at all possible (I'm low-risk with no previous complications with my other three births).

Also, there is NO COMPETITION. It's a personal choice. Shame on women who try to one-up one another. I'm so sick of the Mommy Wars! I know women who have elected to have a cesarean or induction. It's not something I would do but it's not my choice or my business. So long as a woman does her research and is comfortable with her decision I'm happy for her!

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