by Elizah Leigh
Categories: Lifestyle
Tags: .

You might think that the world’s highest paid supermodel – worth an estimated $70 million thanks to multiple highly lucrative modeling and endorsement gigs – would seek out the comfort of a private four star medical facility to deliver her first baby. In Gisele Bundchen’s case, she did the complete opposite by instead choosing to partake in a natural birth via nothing more than the bathtub located in her Boston penthouse.

Modernized birthing options such as submitting to an epidural while in the hospital or opting for a Caesarean section have become the norm in our culture, but well before we had access to drugs and medical technology, women allowed Mother Nature to take its course. The new mother of baby Benjamin actually decided to go with a water birth after viewing the 2008 documentary, “The Business of Being Born” which highlights how medical intervention can oftentimes compromise what is actually designed to be a completely natural rite of passage.

Proponents of water births say that in addition to providing a more peaceful and relaxing environment for the baby to emerge, the process offers a natural type of main management referred to as an “aquadural”.  According to Boston.com, Bundchen’s relatively streamlined 8 hour labor was ultimately achieved through a natural pain management system combining breathing techniques with self-hypnosis relaxation.

Claiming that the environment has always been her passion, for the last several years the new mom has been involved with several Amazon Rainforest charities, she currently endorses an eco-footwear line called Ipanema and she regularly spreads the word about eco-issues through her blog. Most recently, she was named the UN Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program, a position which she anticipates will help her to “raise awareness and inspire action to protect the environment.”

Via I’m Not Obsessed

  • k

    I don’t think that women who choose to give birth at home should be portrayed as martyrs, suffering through pain to somehow give their babies a better birth. Why are mothers who have pain medication less natural than those who don’t? This article harkens back to the 19th century, when pain medication was available but forbidden to women because the Bible said that women are meant to endure painful labour.

    Babies who are born at home aren’t superior to those who are born in hospitals; the only difference is that they’re far away from emergency care should there be any complications. Why take the risk? Is having a kid on your organic rug so infinitely better than having it in a hospital, with doctors on hand in case the million things that can go wrong with labour happen? Most women don’t ‘opt’ for a C-Section because they think it’s easier; doctors often suggest it if the mother is older and labour could be more dangerous.

    • georgina0912

      Kudos to Gisele!

      “Why are mothers who have pain medication less natural than those who don’t?” Precisely because pain medication is not natural, those chemicals can do more harm than good to the mother and the baby. There are IV fluids that go in to the mother’s veins, needles in their arms, belts around their abdomens, monitors that poke the baby, you name it.

      Obstetricians frequently rupture the bag of waters surrounding the baby in order to speed up the birthing process, which places a time limit on the labor. Uterine infection rates are increased with each passing hour in the hospital after the water is broken. Once the amniotic protecting the baby’s head is eliminated, the belt monitoring the baby’s heartbeat may be exchanged for a scalp electrode — a tiny probe that is screwed into the baby’s scalp to continue monitoring the heart rate and to collect information about the baby’s blood.

      Pitocin, an artificial hormone that intensifies labor by contracting the uterus after childbirth has potential side effects such as uterine rupture and a slight increase in jaundice in the newborn. But also, practice at hospitals has changed over the last few years. In an effort to lessen the pain of childbirth, physicians routinely gave laboring women pain-killing and anesthetic drugs but the use of most medications has subsided after studies revealed that drugs given to the mother had adverse effects on the baby, including asphyxia, hypoxia and even brain and central nervous system damage.

      I could go on and on about the adverse effects of childbirth at the hospital but i also want to say something about having a baby at home, with a midwife, which is a nurse dedicated/specialized in childbirth.

      Supposedly women who are allowed to move during labor complain less of back pain, and many childbirth authorities feel the motion of walking and changing positions can enhance the effectiveness of the contractions. Hospitals still require women to birth lying flat on their backs with their legs held high in stirrups. Due to that unnatural position (for child birth purposes) gravity makes pushing less effective and then metal forceps are sometimes used to pull the baby out of the vagina, which are not used when the woman assumes a position of comfort during the bearing down stage. Also, women who have a natural child birth experience less post-partum depression than women who get pain killers at the hospital.

      Now, i am not taking any sides, i think that such decision is ubber personal and as such should be respected, but i happen to remember watching Ricky Lake’s “the business of being born” and the evidence presented in the documentary is very compelling. From doctors who give women a certain time-frame to give birth and if that does not happen then they will send them to have a c-section, to speeding contractions with pills. Scary stuff seeing how doctors can manipulate human body at their will.

      I do not think women who decide to have a baby at home are necessarily martyrs, but just like the miracle of popping a baby out at the hospital brings happiness and joy to many so should the business of having one in a pool, a bathtub or a one of those places.

      No, i do not have any kids and if i was ever to get pregnant i do not know what i would decide.

  • http://vegan--japan.blogspot.com/ herwin

    good article. I am all in favor as seeing pregnancy and having a baby as more natural and less hospital. (“less”, not “zero”, no return to premedical ages..)

  • Magda

    I gave birth to my daughter in the water 11 years ago. It is the greatest accomplishment of my life,and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Empowering doesn’t even begin to describe it. And she is a well adjusted amazing human being. I attribute that to,in part,the way she entered this world.
    Everyone should see that film and get educated about this issue.

  • Pingback: ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » How Green Is Your Love?

  • http://www.trisuit.net/ Amy

    i agree with this way of giving birth. less side effects for the mother and the baby.