I feel like this story will probably get a lot of comments, and some of those comments will be attacks against me, so let me just say: I don’t have a dog in this hunt. I have never given birth. I don’t want to give birth. It looks painful, and I have been firmly ensconced in Team Whatever Drugs You Want, Y’All for many, many years. My take really is, “If you want to give birth without drugs, good for you, and if you want drugs, that’s fine too. Live and let live.”
Now, Gisele has long been a proponent of “I gave birth naturally and you should too, and there should be laws forcing women to breastfeed for six months at least too.” Well, Gisele has a blog, you know. And she just published a piece called “Gentle Birth: This Is The Way!” by a midwife named Mayra Calvette. At first I was like, “Er, this is going to be horribly preachy.” But Gisele actually had a political angle for this – last month, the Regional Council of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro “banned the involvement of obstetricians in residential births and also prohibited the use of doulas and midwives during hospital births.” So… Rio’s local government is getting into the judgy-childbirth game too. You can read Calvette’s essay here, and here’s some coverage:
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen has used her blog to promote natural child birth. The 32-year-old, who is currently expecting her second child to NFL star Tom Brady, has commissioned a new blog post that supports a woman’s right to a drug-free labour.
The post, written by midwife Mayra Calvette who has spoken on behalf of the five-ft 11-in model in previous blog posts, is titled Gentle Birth: This Is The Way! It discusses a woman’s decision to give birth in her home while being cared for ‘by doulas, midwives and obstetric nurses’.
The blog post, seen on Blog.giselebundchen.com, was sparked last month after the Regional Council of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro’s banned the involvement of obstetricians in residential births. The decision also prohibited the use of doulas and midwives during hospital births.
The post by Ms Calvette, who was present when the model gave birth to her first child Benjamin Rein Brady in December, 2009, reads: ‘These resolutions disregard the most current scientific evidence, the recommendations of WHO and the Ministry of Health. Furthermore, these resolutions do not respect the right of freedom of choice of women, families and from the professionals themselves.’
It aims to discourage the rest of Brazil from following suit with such bans. Ms Calvette, an advocate for the home birth renaissance, delves into the extensive research she has conducted during a project titled the Birth Around The World Project.
‘I traveled through several countries, meeting different cultures and birth models that work,’ she wrote. ‘I realised that the most socially developed countries tend to offer a humane and woman-centered care. Pregnant women have the right to choose their companions during childbirth… have the same room for labour, birth and post partum… and can deny any procedure with her and her baby.’
She visited England, Germany, Holland, Austria, Sweden and New Zealand during her research trip.
The supermodel wrote on her blog in January: ‘When Mayra told me her idea about the [project] I thought it was a beautiful idea and knew that it would be really cool if she could share a little bit of this journey on my blog. I had the opportunity to experience the natural process of birth and it was one of the most life changing experiences for me and very very special!’
The Brazilian stunner, who married her quarterback husband in 2009, is not the first model to have publicly endorsed all-natural births.
Miranda Kerr sparked headlines last month after telling Harper’s Bazaar UK that she opted against epidural anesthesia when she gave birth to her son Flynn. The 29-year-old Victoria’s Secret star told the magazine that she decided to perform a natural birth after watching baby-bonding videos which showed that newborns go straight for the breast if they are without the medication. TheStir.com attracted a heated discussion, with one mother posting: ‘Being a supermodel doesn’t make you an expert.’
[From The Mail]
I totally agree with the politics/legal issues of “a woman should be able to make her own decisions about childbirth and where she goes and who helps her, etc.” If a woman wants to give birth in a hospital naturally with a doula, then God bless. If a woman wants to be completely zonked out on drugs during an elective C-section, then God bless. I just think it’s a decision every woman needs to make for herself, which is how I feel about all reproductive rights. The answer to these kinds of restrictive laws is not “No, that’s wrong, MY WAY is better and it should be the only way.” The answer should be: CHOICE. Choice to make whatever decisions you want. I’m fine if Gisele wants to “recommend” a specific childbirth plan. But just don’t say it’s the only way to go.
Photos courtesy of WENN.