Karolína Kurková on her natural water birth: ‘I think your body adjusts to it’

This is one of my peeves, but I understand how I have no right to claim this as one of my big celebrity issues like, say, bangs. I can’t speak about the subject of childbirth, I suppose, because I’ve never given birth and I probably never will (it’s not my priority, no judgment). But I get irritated by the Giseles of the world who can’t tell their own birth stories without giving me (and other women) waves of condescension and judgment. Like, I understand that Karolina Kurkova is probably just saying that natural childbirth was HER choice and it made sense for HER and everybody should do what they feel is right with their own bodies… but it doesn’t come across that way.

For Karolína Kurková, there was no place like home to welcome her first child. Setting up a birthing suite in the comforts of her Tribeca apartment, the model mama admits her motivation behind her decision to deliver naturally was simple: childbirth is nothing new.

“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,” Kurková, 28, tells Access Hollywood Live.

“We’ve been doing this for so many years… for centuries women have been giving birth naturally and I think your body adjusts to it and you get into a zone.”

Her active labor lasted 2½ hours — a process she calls “quite quick” — and, by keeping her concentration on seeing her son, little time was left to think of the pain.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a pain. I’m dying, I’m dying,’” the supermodel coach of The Face says. “It was so gradual you just kind of deal with it. You get in a zone, you really focus.”

With her husband Archie Drury preparing “green juice and coconut water” to keep his wife hydrated, it wasn’t long before Kurková’s midwife let her know baby boy was on his way.

“I really wanted to do it in the water because it’s better for the baby to be born in the water — from water to water — and it’s less painful for the mom,” she explains of her decision to deliver in a birthing pool.

“When he’s born in the water, there’s still that umbilical cord so until you clip it they can still breathe through it. He was born in the water [then] we put him on my chest.”

Recalling the big day as an “incredible experience” Kurková will “absolutely” do it all over again — eventually. Until then, 3-year-old Tobin Jack has all his mama’s attention.

“I want to enjoy [Tobin] first and learn everything and really spend time with him,” she explains.

[From People]

Granted, that wasn’t full-on Gisele, and I’m sure a lot of moms agree with her and want to do and have done childbirth the same way. But I find the whole “women have been giving birth naturally and I think your body adjusts to it and you get into a zone” to be patronizing. Like, that was HER experience and every birth experience is different, and not every women wants to give birth in a tub in their own home and why is that a thing? Why do mothers judge other mothers about this?

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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88 Responses to “Karolína Kurková on her natural water birth: ‘I think your body adjusts to it’”

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  1. lexy says:

    why do people always need to share this? Its personal and private and nobody needs to know

    • 'Sup? says:

      Yes, TMI is not a fashion do…ugh…i always thought models were paid to be seen and not heard. Anyway this chick looks like a clone of Niki Hilton…

    • A says:

      Because she was asked about it… ?? Why is that a weird question to answer?

      • Lishka says:

        I agree. she was asked, so she shared her experience. I don’t see anything condesending to other mothers in her answer. Its odd that CB should take offense for all other mothers out there when really, its obvious this woman (and a lot of other celebs) are just sharing the only experience that THEY know.

        I think, too many women are ready to bitch about other women instead of seeing that this is a very individual experience and just letting the lady share.

        I had one birth that took 13 hours and stalled and needed emergency C-section after foetal distress…and the second birth was like this, easy, hypno-birthing, natural, no drugs, done in under 2 hours. I would say the second birthing was so awesome, would totally do it again! It was so much easier doing a natural delivery than recovering from a c-section…and easier for baby too.

        But thats how I see it. I am pregnant with my third and I intend on hypno-birthing and natural all the way once more and I would totally recommend natural deliveries for other mothers BUT I would also recommend they prepare for birth, the same way a marathoner prepares for the race of a lifetime. Going into birthing and just blindly hoping it will all be ok is ridiculous. Too many women do that and then have horrendous experiences and then hate on other women that say they had a wonderful one. The only difference between the two was that one was prepared for the “pain” and the other was not.

        Lamaze, hypno-birthing, yoga, anything to teach you calming yourself and breathing through the contractions…that is what will keep you grounded, not just blindly saying “Oh, if it gets bad, there is always epidural” sometimes epidural can stall everything, thats what it did for me…so research, know what you are dealing with and then not bitch about women who say it went well as if they were lying, for some who went in there mentally and physically prepared, it went well because they were ready to accept any outcome, many even go in for c-sections out of necessity, and they were ready for it. So hey, outlook…and preparation, make all the difference.

  2. RocketMerry says:

    Well, but it’s still good that she did not patronize women who give birth in a different way from hers, like other models did.

    I do wish that some of them would actually cite the huge risks of epidurals, unnecessary c-sections and numbing shots for childbirth, instead of just saying: “Oh, I did it naturally because my body is designed for it”.

    • Amelia says:

      I had absolutely no idea about any of those risks until you mentioned them, RocketMerry!
      I feel woefully ignorant about this subject. I’m not looking into having kids for another few years at least so it’s not like I’ve been looking through baby books, but I had the weirdest pregnancy dream/nightmare the other night and it really freaked me out! A
      And I stupidly watched One Born Every Minute, too.
      See, this is how to get teenagers to use contraception.

    • Sherry says:

      I wanted to do my first pregnancy naturally and at home, but didn’t know anyone who had, so I went to the hospital when my water broke. After several hours, they hooked me up to pitocin which made me have one long, never-ending contraction. After dealing with that for several hours, I begged for an epidural and got one. That led to the doctor saying I would probably have to have a C-section (fortunately, I did not, but later found out that hospital had an 85% C-section rate!).

      My last two children were at home water-births, with a midwife. Compared to the hospital experience, it was blissful, relaxing and the pain was a fraction of what the pitocin caused.

      I think every woman has to make that kind of decision for themselves. For me, I would not want to have another hospital birth. Evah!

      • SweetTart says:

        Sherri,

        That’s interesting.

        I had 3 natural childbirths in the hospital. I wouldn’t say I ever got “in the zone” regarding the pain, but you do forget the intensity of it afterward.

        If you’re saying the same thing, then maybe water does ease a lot of it.

        I’ve never had pitocin, but my jerk of a obgyn did break my water with my second, which caused the pain with my contractions to skyrocket. (No epidural) He wanted to speed up my labor so he could go home early. I switched doctors after that.

        But I have read over and over that inducing labor greatly increases the risk for a C section. Your first experience in the hospital does not surprise me at all.

    • aud says:

      Yupp.

      Most women feel like an epidural is no biggie.

      I really think there should be more education on it. There can be really horrible side effects which last for years or forever.

      Not judging women who get it but I feel like the risks are brushed away by doctors.

      I always thought I would say bring on an epidural. But now I’m pregnant and did my research and want a natural birth.

      Doctors also push meds to speed up labor and c-sections so a baby is born on their terms. It’s less risk and hassle to have a controlled environment. What’s easier, 36 hours of labor or a quick c-section? In the US, the csection is likely also more $$ to bill the insurance company.

    • Ange says:

      It’s also irresponsible to just blithely laugh off the very real risks of natural birth as well though. After all, before modern medicine the mother/infant mortality rate was nothing to sneeze at.

      • Lishka says:

        Sure, but that had more to do with mothers bleeding out and after care. We have all that covered these days. What the concern is these days is for the trigger happy system of drugging people up for profit. Scaring mothers about suffering pain and then milking that fear for profit from anesthetics you force them to believe they need.

    • BrandNew says:

      I agree… About the epidural. Either way its a personal decision. Everyone does not handle pain well. She was lucky. I was in labor for 16 hours with no epidural.

    • Lishka says:

      Amen.

      I went natural the second time around (VBAC) because of the sh-t that I went through the first time around after using Epidural. At least at the hospital I went to the second time I was well informed about every anesthetic and its pros and cons, and if you research, ladies, you will see there are more cons than pros…and more cons for babies especially, all so mum can feel less pain.

      http://www.sarahbuckley.com/epidurals-risks-and-concerns-for-mother-and-baby/

      Doctors and nurses are happy to drug you because you pay more for that shit. Epidural cant just be injected into you, you need to also pay for the anesthetist that needs to administer it. And by the time they get you to sign the waiver saying you comprehend you could get paralysed from the waist down, you are in so much pain you just sign the damn thing…

      I would say, being prepared, learning to stay calm and to breathe, is probably the best thing for coping with the contractions, I know because I have had both sides of the experience and would defo go natural, but like I said, prepare…lamaze, hypno-birthing, yoga, whatever teaches you to breathe the baby down, your body was made for this…its the most natural thing in the world…just have faith in your ability to do it.

  3. judyjudy says:

    I don’t see any judgement here. She was just describing her experience. And it IS true that woman’s bodies were made for childbirth. Biologically that’s the only reason we even exist.

  4. Tanguerita says:

    Yeah, right, “for centuries women have been giving birth naturally..” the dumb ass forget to mention the mortality rates which used to be enormous.

    • Kim says:

      The mortality rates weren’t higher because of lack of epidurals so what’s your point.Don’t judge her choice to do it naturally

      • Zoid says:

        It’s not judgement on her choice of a natural birth. It’s pointing out the fact, the very obvious fact, that C sections and better medical equipment have saved countless lives. Childbirth was what killed you back in the day, so her saying we were made for it (our hips make childbirth the worst experience for any animal at all) can be argued against.

      • Princess Lizabeth says:

        +1, Zoid.

        Evolution has impacted the human childbirth process significantly. Medical science can compensate for the impact, and there’s nothing wrong with that, IMHO.

      • Seagulls says:

        Prenatal health care (including good nutrition one’s entire life, i.e. no huge deficiencies or famines), and knowledgeable birth attendants (be they midwives or doctors) go a long way toward improved maternal mortality.

      • Lishka says:

        That said, do you even know the statistics of c-sections (wholly unnecesary ones, like parent requested or doctors schedule accorded) in the US and elsewhere? THAT is not natural, but it makes the hospitals (and the doctors) more money.

        Don’t be fooled that they are somehow saving more lives with all this major surgery. Sometimes they are doing more harm than good.

    • Christina says:

      Took the words out of my mouth. Until the development of modern medicine, death in childbirth was a very real possibility for women. It’s very easy for her to talk – she knew that if there were any complications, she could have been whisked away to a top hospital within minutes.

      Anyway, I’m tired of all these women ‘sharing’ their banal childbirth experiences with us. I agree with Karolina on one thing – women have been doing this forever. In fact, by the time I’ve typed these words, somewhere in the world, a woman will have given birth, ‘naturally’ or not’. You’re not the first nor the last, sweetheart.

    • RN says:

      True but in the US the medicalization of birth has swung too far in the other direction. I speak both as a medical professional and as a mother. Too many births end in unnecessary C-sections. Women have put their trust in their doctors and aren’t educating themselves enough prior to giving birth.

    • astrid says:

      maybe its not epidural and c-cections that make the mortality rate lower now,rather than that women in the western world are way healthier, better nourished and less often pregnant than say 100 years ago? i believe the medical system did a lot of good for the human race, but childbirth has to be taken out of hospitals. it is a huge money making machine and just not practical, for example, infections after the water broke are only high risk in hospitals, not at a home birth. i had a breech baby and no problem giving birth with a midwife at home, wheres appearently medical students dont even get this taught anymore, because its now procedure to have to have a c-cection with breech.

    • Ginevra123 says:

      As the others have pointed out — it’s not c-sections and epidurals that save lives. It’s antibiotics. Infection was what drove the maternal mortality rate up so high throughout history. C-sections certainly DO save lives, but the instances where one is really, truly needed to save a life is somewhat rare. At least compared to the national rate of 30-40%.

  5. Ri says:

    I’m not surprised, Karolina Kurkova and Gisele are very good friends.

  6. littlemissnaughty says:

    That didn’t sound very condescending to me but I will never understand why people need to share this at all. It’s so personal. I do like that she acknowledged she didn’t exactly reinvent childbirth. I’ve recently had women among my friends have babies and it’s like they’re the first ones ever. … Sorry, it’s just not my thing. I’ll listen, but not all day.

    Btw, English is not her mother tongue. I don’t think she was necessarily talking about how women in general should do it.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      ‘I’ll listen, but not all day’.

      I like that. Some things can only be shared for so long and when you start to drift or change the subject, people think you hate mothers. Not so, but it’s a weird space to be forced to participate in a monopolized conversation.

  7. Itwillrain says:

    I gave birth at a freestanding birth center to avoid the tendency for too hasty interventions in hospitals. I thought for sure I would give birth in the tub, but once I was in labor and tried getting in the tub, I hated it and wanted out. I gave birth on my side on the bed…that’s just what I felt like doing and that was that. ;)

  8. Lolly says:

    I think your reaching. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in what she said

    • ruby says:

      This. Kurkova was only explaining her experience, there was no judgment there ! This is being a little oversensitive.

      Granted some women like Gisele get preachy, but you have to understand also that it’s because they believe so strongly in what they have done. Believe it or not, it is very hard to choose another route than the mainstream hypermedicalized experience, it takes a lot of courage and guts, so these women feel like they have to justify their choice because they get judged and put down a lot for it.

      I believe we need to be truly informed of the risks of medical intervention (because there are risks) as well as those of natural birth. We need to be allowed the option to give birth wherever we feel is best, be that at home, in a birth center or in a hospital.

  9. teehee says:

    Yes it was high mortality rates in the past via natural birth- but not for reasons of delivery method, rather for the status of medicine and hygeine as a whole- water or bed delivery would make no difference a thousand years ago without the technology. I think she didnt say it cos that is a given. Everyone has different threshholds to pain or different physical strength– complications can also ocur at any time- but a water birth is not devoid of medical intervention when necessary. it just abstains until it is necessary rather than having ‘professionals’ tell you what is right for YOU and your body- as all doctors just love to do.

    If I had a choice— I would want to have my baby, ANY WAY that I *want* to. To be tacky, my body my choice, but also my need– its such a huge event, there is no need to do it any other way than what is RIGHT for you. And as mentioned, it can even be a matter of life or death, so dont let anybody put ideas into your head.

  10. backwards says:

    Hmmm I don’t see anything wrong with this. She was asked about her labour and she told them.

  11. Marigold says:

    Sorry, didn’t find that patronizing at all. Let’s not make controversy where there is none.

  12. Nev says:

    I met Karolina in NYC this past fall at Fashion Week. She seemed to be the most down-to-earth model!!!

    posed for pics with fans, even put her Hermes on the ground to get a more comfortable shot!! haha

  13. shewolf says:

    Patronizing? I think she summed it up pretty perfectly. You do get into a zone and you deal with it… any woman with a *healthy* pregnancy and delivery could do it. Does that mean they should? No. Who cares.

    I’ve had two natural births and planned a water birth with the second but when it came time to get in the tub I just didnt want to do it. It was the last place I wanted to be. You really do just go with it.

  14. china says:

    I wish a celebrity would be like “I had a c section because I wanted one.” I know there would be a lot of backlash but it’s our bodies, our choice! My elective c section baby is perfect and my scar is lovely and small. Ladies, we need to do it our way and never let another woman make us feel inferior.

    • ISupposeSo says:

      my third was elective, I didn’t want to deal with the pain of squeezing a small turkey out. For some strange reason, people think that women should be “warriors” and push a baby out, no pain relief…would you get a root canal unmedicated? Stones removed without medication?

      • china says:

        Oh hell no!! I loved my section, no pain!! No labor, and just because I didn’t deal with it doesn’t make a mother who does better then me. I’m not selfish because I chose a section either. Who cares if im too posh to push? They can kiss my baby’s bottom!

    • Zoid says:

      +1 to this! I haven’t even had a kid yet and seeing the judgement is terrifying. And the horrid bragging. There’s a difference between sharing your experience and judging others for their choice (cough Gisele).

    • mercy says:

      Can I ask how long it took you to recover? Any lingering numbness or other issues? I’ve heard they cut through your muscles, which can cause problems even if the scar is small.

      • Melissa says:

        I’ve had 2 planned c-sections (my first child was breech (and sunny side up, and 9.5lbs)), and had some numbness after the first one that eventually went away. The pain was no big deal – after leaving the hospital, I just did high doses of Advil (3 pills rather than 2) – I didn’t need the Rx pain meds they gave me. And they most certainly do not cut through your stomach muscles – they cut through your skin and your uterus but move the stomach muscles out of the way.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      The first time my mother had kids my father ran away because that’s the kind of person he is. She also didn’t know that she was having twins and was in labour for a few days. I wouldn’t want to repeat any of that pain.

    • Seagulls says:

      I had a c-section because I had to, and I will do everything in my power not to have another c-section birth. It was the only way my child could physically leave my body, and if the circumstances were the same of course I’d do it again, but it was a terrible way for me to meet my baby: numb with no real sensation of when the yanking and pushing had yielded a baby, shaking violently from the anesthesia after birth, getting a bladder infection from the catheter, a horrific, weeks long backache, and thrush from the vast amount of antibiotics they give every woman who has a c-section.

      I am glad yours went exactly as planned and was a good way for you to meet your baby! Please know, though, that there are very real reasons that some of us do not like that c sections are not always treated as the major abdominal surgery that they are.

      • Isa says:

        I have two kids: 1st vaginal birth with epidural. Slept through most of my labor. Easy recovery.
        My second was a scheduled csection. My blood pressure dropped (not too low) I felt tremendous pressure on my chest like I couldn’t breathe. Could barely walk after. I didn’t have any complications besides gas but I had to take my pain meds for a week. It was worse than I expected and that anyone described. I’m still confused as to why I had such a hard time. My scar itched so bad from the inside out I felt like I wanted to stab myself with a fork to scratch. It’s still numb and I hate that I have a scar.

  15. Eva says:

    I didn’t find what she said patronizing at all. Her statement that women have been doing this for centuries is correct and the problem with what has become the standard way of giving birth in America – in a hospital – is that they don’t give your body the chance to do what it does naturally. If you’re not laboring quickly enough you are given a drug pitocin to induce. That drug causes increased physical discomfort (beyond and different from normal labor) which then causes a different pain killer to be given. And then, separately, is the epidural which actually makes it more difficult for a woman to know the best time to push and so then come in the vacuum extractor and the possibility of c-sections. 33% of women are given unnecessary c-sections and most of these occur at 5pm and 10pm… when doctors clearly just don’t want to stay past their shift time. Yes every woman’s experience is different but most women in hospital birth settings aren’t even given a chance to allow their bodies to do what they do naturally. Everything gets artficially sped up and numbed and messed with, and all those drugs go straight to your baby as well. Not saying women aren’t entitled to whatever birth experience they want, but surgery and drug happy obstetricians just aren’t necessary most of the time.

  16. aims says:

    Anything involving children is a personal choice. First you have to decide if you want any, then you decide when its the right time to get preganate, then you have to decide how youre going to do it. Im happy that she and others chose the natural route, it’a your body , your choice. But thats not everyones choice. Hospitals was what we chose because honestly, I’m a wimp and wanted the pain meds as soon as posible. That was my choice and should equally be respected. We need to give each other some slack here. Anything involving the kid choice needs to be respected.

  17. AshleyKachadorian says:

    It feels sometimes like you’re looking for a reason to criticize these women when there isn’t one.

  18. Jaded says:

    Good for her, but for many women, natural childbirth isn’t an option, for instance my niece who endured 30 hours of torture before doctors decided it was time for a C-section because she wasn’t dilating at all and the baby’s heartbeat was getting weak.

    A woman I know decided to opt for a home birth in water with a doula and guess what? The child was born dead, choked by its own umbilical cord, and could have been saved had she been in hospital.

    My best friend’s baby came so quickly she didn’t have time for meds, and she still remembers an avalanche of pain so severe she thought she was going to die. She required surgery afterwards to repair the damage. So much for the “you forget the pain” adage.

    So there isn’t a “one answer fits all” solution. Let each woman decide for herself with some guidance from medical professionals.

  19. handsome man saved me from the monsters says:

    Hahahaha “centuries”. Another genius! I hope she doesn’t home school

  20. Bodhi says:

    I had a water birth too & I agree with very thing she said. I don’t find her patronizing in the slightest. Not all women who talk about their birth experience are be patronizing or condescending, don’t make controversy where there is none

  21. BEE says:

    I have no issue with water birth or home birth or elective c-section or epidurals. Hey, whatever you want to do to get the kid out is fine with me.
    BUT, I went through 36 hours of active labor (plus back labor)and pushed for 2 hours, breaking blood vessels in my face and eyes. I went natural. 2 1/2 hours is nothing! Of course she got into the “zone”, her labor was the length of a long movie!! Talk to other mothers who had long labors and then think about whether it is ok to complain that it hurt. It does hurt. A LOT.

  22. Spaz says:

    Glad my mom didnt do home birth. I was breech. And an emergency c-section was performed. Sometimes home births work and some don’t. Guess I gotta find a new purpose because I can’t have children. Oh wait I’ll just adopt one of the many children who need homes. But hey that’s how I turned around the depression I felt when I couldn’t have biological children. Why can’t we all just lay down the judgement and appreciate there are all kinds of different ways children come into our lives? :)

  23. KellyinSeattle says:

    Oh, brother, who really cares?

  24. Claudia says:

    Oh geez, there is no trace of a patronizing or holier-than-thou tone to any of what she said. She was just describing her experience; when we speak to people about things we believe or take as fact, we use similar language.

    I think people who read judgement into what she says are generally just hyper sensitive on the subject. I’m sorry if you often feel judged for your (anyone’s) decision not to have children, or to have children a certain way, or to give birth a certain way, etc. I really am sorry if you’ve experienced those judgements overtly, but not everyone who speaks on the general subject is doing it. I see the same thing with vegans/vegetarians vs. meat eaters, and so on.

  25. Isa says:

    I don’t mind her remarks at all. She doesn’t seem like she’s judging or telling people what to do.
    Personally I’m glad I gave birth in hospitals. I have no desire to feel pain. I just wanted my babies. I’d rather be at a hospital in case something went wrong. My second birth was rough. But a csection was what was best.
    And yes as humans our pelvises suck for giving birth. Plus babies are getting bigger. I’m 5’3 weighed about 145 when I gave birth to a 9 lb 6 oz baby.

  26. Bijlee says:

    I only found you to be judgemental. What was the need for the “Why is that a thing?” comment after the home water births. Whats the need for that? As far as Gisele goes, I’ve honestly been thinking that the reason she’s so pro home/natural/water births is because of the c-section rate in her home country. Its astounding how high it is, like 85% or something. Shes probably a big deal there and would want to influence women to go natural instead of sectioning themselves all the time. If that’s the case more respect to her….I actually like her.

    I’ve found that trained professional midwives are very intelligent with regards to the birthing experience. They know a hospital isn’t useless and that sectioning does serve a purpose. They don’t seem nearly as close minded as people seem to portray them to be.

  27. Sara says:

    I gave birth naturally in the hospital(not in water) just over a month ago. My labor was quite quick(only pushed for an hour)for a first baby but IT HURT LIKE A BITCH!!! And my son was only 6 lbs. 4 oz.! If I would have somehow known that it was that painful there is no way I could have done it without any drugs. Ignorance is indeed bliss. Maybe next time I will try a water birth if that helps decrease the pain. People keep telling me that eventually you will forget all about that pain but I really don’t see how that is possible.

  28. oogabooga says:

    um babies don’t breathe through their umbilical cord after coming out of the uterus, so not sure what she meant there…

  29. Sparkly says:

    I didn’t find it patronizing at all, either. I’m a birth doula, so I’m into birth in general, but I actually love it when celebrities discuss natural birth. I DO think it needs to be talked about. Whenever you see birth in sitcoms, or even real births in shows like A Baby Story, they very rarely show what a real, unmedicated birth is like. I had no clue what they could be like until I started looking into it specifically myself. I think if we showed those kinds of births as well, maybe women (and especially young girls – teen moms especially) would have very different views and expectations of birth.

    That said, I’ve supported women who choose medication or who have interventions. Those have their places too. I just wish that both sides were considered the norm. And that moms could talk about their personal experiences without the other side feeling like it’s a personal attack if someone happens to choose differently.