Celebrities have always been trendsetters, and they are even more so today in the age of technology. They set the standard for many different aspects of life and millions look to them for inspiration. Most of the time it is for shallow reasons… (“She wore what? …OMG she’s dating him?”) However, many celebrities use their fame to help promote causes they care about. Some simply lead by example. I would like to commend the following women for using their fame for positive reasons and becoming role models for the conscious birth* movement:
Supermodel Gisele, wife of Tom Brady and mom to two, is one of the most outspoken, all-natural celebrity birth advocates around. It “wasn’t painful, not even a little bit,” she said in an interview with the Brazilian TV show Fantastico. “The whole time, my head was so focused — every contraction, the baby is closer, the baby is closer. So, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, what pain.’ It was, ‘With every contraction, he is getting closer to me.’”
Miranda chose to deliver her son without an epidural because she believed that any medication might interfere with her baby’s ability to breastfeed.
After an unwanted cesarean birth for her first child, Kate had a successful VBAC for her second: “So it was an amazing feeling having Joe naturally, vaginally. Fourteen hours with no drugs at all, but then I had to have an epidural because I was so tired. I honestly thought I’d never be able to do it. It was an incredible birth. It laid all the ghosts to rest. It was really triumphant.”
Jessica chose all-natural birth for second daughter, Honor. “I didn’t scream, it was really Zen. It was amazing. The labor was more like meditation. I did yoga breathing. I was focused.”
In 1997, the Baywatch star gave birth to her second son in the comfort of her own home in Malibu, California. She said at the time that she welcomed son Dylan Jagger through natural birth with two midwives. “I gave birth at home both times–natural–with a midwife, in water…with nothing. Not even Tylenol.”
In 2012, Beyonce gave birth to her and Jay Z’s first child, Blue Ivy. The couple released this statement after: “We are happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, born on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful; we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs. and it was the best experience of both of our lives.”
Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa gave birth to Braydon, her second son, through natural birth in March 2008. She called the birth “a really, really exciting experience,” but added, “it was extremely painful and I had a little hemorrhaging.”
Of the birth of her first child, son Kahekili in May 2011 in Hawaii, Evangeline Lilly says “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.”
Alyson said about the natural birth of her first daughter, Satyana Marie, in March 2009, “I did use a midwife and a doula. 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. It’s not the right choice for everyone, but it definitely was for me. I never wavered on it. I knew if I needed to go to the hospital I would, but thankfully everything went well, and it was a magnificent experience.”
Ricki Lake gave birth to her second son, Owen, in June 2009 in a bathtub in her home. She even took it a step further, serving as the executive producer for the documentary The Business of Being Born, which delves into different methods of childbirth. “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.”
In July 1999, the supermodel gave birth to her first child with husband Rande Gerber in her own home. She welcomed Presley Walker in her Brentwood, Calif. abode with the help of a midwife and a nurse.
“Of course we had the midwife, we had the doula, but that’s something we really did a lot of research on and we wanted to do,” Karolína told Hollywood Access Live. “We wanted to do it in our home where I felt comfortable. [For] centuries, women have been giving birth naturally and I think your body adjusts to it and you get into a zone.”
“We took all kinds of classes and decided to work with midwives at The Sanctuary … I was really looking forward to the whole rite of passage — giving birth perfectly present, unmedicated, in the way nature intended.” However, that was before daughter Willow Sage made her own agenda known, arriving on June 2 via an unplanned Cesarean birth following two nights of labor. “She was in the frank breech position, which is head up with her legs up by her head in a pike position. We tried everything to turn her around,” Pink, 31, reveals. “Turns out this little girl had other plans — she is my daughter, after all.”
*Conscious birth does not necessarily mean an all-natural birth. Conscious birth means educating yourself on all of your options and making the best choice for you from a place of love, not a place of fear.
Kyra Bramble is the Editor of Doula Spot, as well as a published writer, private chef, teacher, yogi, traveler, dancer and doula. She is deeply passionate about birth education and empowering women to see birth as a sacred journey. She sees many parallels between the commercialization of birth and food, and is committed to bringing love and awareness to both subjects. She loves being barefoot, very small dogs, dancing on top of things, and outdoor markets. She lives in San Francisco, CA with her partner.
Cover photo from Gisele Bündchen’s Instagram. Follow her at @giseleofficial