Ashley Graham is planning a homebirth for her twins: ‘I’ve got an amazing team’

Ashley Graham is pregnant, she announced her pregnancy in mid July and revealed about three weeks ago that she is expecting twin boys. I know she’s not people’s favorite person, but I like her and enjoy how open and upfront she is. She always gives a good interview too. Ashley, 33, also has son Isaac, he turns two in January, with her husband of 11 years, Justin Ervin. It’s sweet that Ashley and Justin got to be together for so long without kids because they’re about to get slammed with babies. Ashley knows this, and she talked about it in a new interview with Access. Ashley is in her third trimester. She said that she’s tired of being pregnant and having heartburn, that the postpartum period is gross and that she plans to have a home birth again even though she’s expecting twins. Ashley is promoting a coffee table book called Life After Birth, which is published in conjunction with her sponsor, the cosmetic company NYX. It tries to normalize the postpartum experience and also features stories from Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union and Sarah Michelle Gellar with proceeds to go to charity. Here’s some of what she said and the video is below.

On being pregnant and having heartburn
I am taking way more Tums this time around. The heartburn is out of control. I’ve had to give up coffee it’s so sad. I’m in my third trimester. I’m ready for it to be over. Everybody’s saying ‘it’s going by so fast.’ That’s what everybody that’s not pregnant says.

On the prospect of having three babies at home
I’m going to have three kids under the age of two for about a month until Isaac turns two in January. It’s going to be fun. Everybody has their unsolicited advice. The way that I did it with Isaac is the way that I’ll do it with my little boys. We’ll just take it as it comes. I’m so excited to meet them.

On if she realized there was a potential for twins
My grandfather is a twin and they also say that twins skip a generation, but none of my cousins or my sisters have twins. I actually had a friend that had a dream that I was gonna have twins. I was over the moon. I’ve always wanted three kids. Justin was in pure shock. He’s definitely come around now.

On postpartum, which the book tries to normalize
There’s this gross side of postpartum where you’re bleeding for possibly six weeks. You’re wearing a grown diaper. There’s not much glamour in postpartum.

On the “bounce back” culture
Instagram is fake it is not real. You can’t compare yourself to others. I kept 25 pounds on after Isaac was born and then I got pregnant again. I haven’t even gotten on a scale this time around because I just feel like I don’t need to know how much weight I have to lose.

On her plans for her birth
We’re gonna stick to home birth. I’ve got an amazing team around me, my midwives, my doula, my husband. I’m really excited about it.

[From Access on YouTube]

Although it sounds risky to have a homebirth with twins, it’s her decision, she’ll have medical help, and the hospitals are still overrun with covid patients. Plus so many poor pregnant women are getting sick with covid, with many having contracted it before the CDC recommended that they get vaccinated. (I hope Ashley and her husband are vaccinated but I could not confirm that they are. She has not posted anything pro or against and she has worn masks in public.) Later in the interview she said that “every body is beautiful,” which has been her message all along. She also said she and Justin have names for their babies and that they sing the names to them, which is sweet. Oh and I related so much to her heartburn story! I’ve only had one baby, but I needed Tums constantly when I was pregnant.

Here’s that interview:

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49 Responses to “Ashley Graham is planning a homebirth for her twins: ‘I’ve got an amazing team’”

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  1. HandforthParish says:

    See, that would scare the sh*t out of me.
    I know that homebirths can be totally safe, as long as the medical support is available when/if needed, but surely twin delivery would be seen as high risk?

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      It is. Mine was even higher risk as my first born tried to come at 31 weeks ( bedrest, she stayed till 41 wks, lol). When I got pregnant subsequently with my twins, it was pretty scary as i approached my third trimester, but they got so big (6#10 and 6#1, 20 3/4″) and strong that I begged for a Csection at 38 weeks because I was so god awful uncomfortable, couldn’t even sleep in a recliner ( I am short waisted, so it was especially challenging to negotiate that belly).

      I hope she and her babies are safe and well moving through the birth process, and that she has rapid access to a hospital if one becomes necessary. I couldn’t do that, especially with a high risk multiple pregnancy.

      *(You are correct, multiples automatically place you in a high risk pregnancy category)

    • Jan90067 says:

      Consider these facts about maternal mortality in the US compared to other industrialized countries::

      According to a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. has nearly double the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births compared to other wealthy, developed nations. At 17.4 per 100,000, the U.S. leads countries like France and Canada with roughly 100 percent more deaths per capita.

      Yeah… Get thee to a hospital if you live in the US. Chances for things to go sideways can occur in seconds, and the time it’d take for an ambulance to get you to a hospital can mean literal life/death/disability for you or your child.

  2. Fern says:

    JFC, lets not try to normalize this behavior. A homebirth FOR TWINS, IN THE US, is a terrible terrible idea. I don’t care how good her “medical team” is. Unless that team is seconds away from an OR incase something goes wrong, this is in no way a good idea, and not something other women need to see and have it thought to be okay.

    I’ve seen it go horribly horribly wrong. You can have an unmedicated birth in a hospital, where doctors can save your or your babies life if it goes south. Why risk that 1 day experience for a lifetime of regret.

    • Millennial says:

      Agree so much. There’s just no excuse for having a high risk home birth. With twins it’s unlikely they will both be head down. Hospital transfers take time (can be up to an hour)… time your babies won’t have to spare. I had two unmedicated hospital births with midwives. It’s possible with the resources she has. Completely irresponsible and should not be normalized. I hope she has really good midwives who will transfer her to a hospital as soon as they sense a problem

    • Joanna says:

      I just don’t understand having a home birth period. Can you imagine how many women don’t have access to a hospital/doctor? they must think it’s crazy to have a home birth in the US when Yuku can to a hospital.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        I understand women who have been traumatized by the hospital system (and sadly, there are many). I can even understand women who are of minority/marginalized backgrounds who feel like they will not be respected/heard in a hospital setting. I understand – I was very worried that, as a Christian Scientist, I might encounter negative treatment or my support people may not have been permitted to be with me. I opted for having my children at a birth center located next door to a hospital, where I felt I’d be respected.

        BUT, and this is a big but, I never had twins. I never had any kind of complicating condition or issue arise. I had very straight forward, uncomplicated births. Twins is automatically classified as a high risk situation, for multiple reasons. I get her desire to not go to hospital, but sometimes swallowing your pride is needed.

    • AMJ says:

      This. Your kids have one shot at having a safe birth, risking it this way is just selfish. The goal of pregnancy is having as healthy baby as possible, not having a mystical experience of birth or whatever. What happens at birth influences the child’s, a future adult’s, whole life. Choosing how and where the childbirth will happen isn’t about ‘personal choice’ or beliefs, it’s about responsibility for another human’s life and future. Ask people with cerebral palsy, how fun it is being disabled. I was born at hospital, a complicated birth that would end up with me dying if it was a homebirth. The pregnancy was low risk. The initial progress of birth looked fine and low risk. Everything was fine, until it wasn’t. And then, it was just minutes. They barely saved me, but they did.

      • Super Fan says:

        I’m pro-doula and believe midwifes can handle most of the uncomplicated birthing processes… provided they have an emergency team literally minutes away (like down the hall that connects the birthing center to an actual hospital).

        However, any “team” of birthing support who willingly sign on for a semi-famous person’s home birth with twins should have their medical decision-making questioned/ probably licensing revoked (although there is very little oversight or regulation in the US midwifery system).

        You know how these systems end up getting regulated? Something bad happens during a semi-high profile home birth like this. Hope all lives are safe and sound, but she’s risking a lot for a false sense of control.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I agree. The rate of maternal death in the USA is way higher than in other civilized nations. It’s mostly due to poverty and lack of access to health care. If she has the luxury of being able to afford health care and a hospital visit with an actual obstetrician present, she should count her fortunes, not throw them away. I don’t know why there is a modern trend to think home births are somehow “more natural,” or something to “experience” like a weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. Sure, in the olden days women gave birth at home with midwives only — but that’s because there were no obstetricians. And the maternal and infant death rate back then was alarming. (Edited to add: and is STILL alarming in the USA)

    • minx says:

      I just think it’s really risky. I had fast, easy, uncomplicated deliveries for both my kids but I’m still glad I had them in a hospital.

  3. cleak says:

    Home birth in general scares the shit out of me. Birth can go sideways so quickly that even the time to transfer to a hospital can be too long to avoid brain damage or death. I know at least three children ( one of mine included) that could have died or had serious brain injury if birthing at home. Though, I understand the desire to have a peaceful birth at your own home and respect it as a woman’s choice. I always just hope and pray for the best for the women who choose that route.

  4. Jess says:

    I’m glad she’s talking about the postpartum stuff. I wish people would talk more about hemorrhoids. I never had one until after the birth of my first son nearly 18 (ack!) years ago and had no idea what was wrong with me. And omg did it hurt.

    • Dandun says:

      i got them bad too with my second son. he is nearly three and they still flair up every now and then but of course apart from to my husband, Mam or besties i feel like i can never mention it

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I still have them 20 years later after my twins! They don’t go away- periods of “remission” maybe- but they are always laying in wait to cause trouble.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Once they are drained, and become “prolapsed”, you *can* have them removed at your next colonoscopy. This is what my dr. told me, and I plan on doing so!

  5. Tootsie McJingle says:

    I had twins in July. Home birth is very risky. I ended up having a csection because the babies were breach. I’m grateful we were at the hospital because one of my girls ended up in the NICU for a few days because she inhaled fluid at birth. I don’t care how big of a medical team you have at home. You don’t have a NICU.

    • Sunnydaze says:

      Had my twins July 2020 – this really concerns me. My daughter ended up being stuck under my lungs after an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy and in minutes I went to an emergency C-section with a second internal incision to pull her out. I had to have blood transfusions, and had she not been within seconds of a NICU she absolutely would have died from the amount of fluid she took on. Multiples are no joke. We have a great community of multiple families and every single one needed a C-section.

  6. locamg says:

    A good friend of mine in an OBGYN. She has said she has seen women come into the hospital due to home births gone horribly wrong….and has heard of patients and their babies who die at home. She is constantly talking about the dangers of home births. 🙁

  7. Tanya Nguyen says:

    I truly hope everything goes well for her and her twin boys. But I know if I were pregnant with twins, I would choose to be in a hospital. Especially if there is a risk for a c-section. Or if any of the babies needs immediate medical attention. So much can go wrong in seconds. She is taking a huge risk. I wish she would go to a hospital with her doula and midwives.

    • Malificent says:

      Yeah, it’s not like years ago when hospitals refused or discouraged midwives and doulas. You can find plenty of hospitals that have their own on staff or are fine with you bringing in licensed practitioners.

      And every labor is different. Even taking the twins issue out of the equation — having one successful easy labor with minimal intervention does not automatically mean that you’ll have an easy time with the next labor. Childbirth is a natural event — but it’s a natural event that is fraught with potential peril.

      I had some sudden complications 3/4 of the way through my labor that would have meant that I would have had to have been moved to a hospital in the middle of labor. I’m so glad I didn’t have to deal with that. But I wasn’t expecting a magical, spiritual experience — I just wanted my baby to be safe.

  8. salmonpuff says:

    I had three relatively “easy” births. The first one I could have died from a hemorrhage had I not been in a hospital. The second my daughter needed some interventions because the birth was so fast (though perhaps a midwife could have performed these). And the third my son needed hospital care and would have died without it. None of my pregnancies was considered high-risk.

    I live in an area where home birth is very popular, and I know many people who had successful home births that they loved. I also know a couple of people who had great teams, but who lost babies to preventable causes in home births.

    I feel like we have this weird obsession with birth and ensuring the experience is magical and peaceful — like that’s the only way to start off the lifelong journey of parenting correctly. That’s a great goal, but the point of birth is getting the baby and mother through alive. Anything that does that is a successful birth.

  9. Pixelated says:

    I don’t understand women who want to pretend to be in the Middle Ages giving birth. Unmedicated, birthing at home….no thanks. Not for me. It sounds like literal hell. It’s kind of how I feel with antivaxxers. Why risk something that could be prevented if you just believed in science? (I do understand hospital hesitancy, hospitals can super scary and at the end of the day it is your choice how to birth, obviously.)
    Also, there is no way she is clueless about her pregnancy weight. I was weighed every time I had my pregnancy checkups. Yeah, it’s shocking if you gain 35 lbs or something but you’re growing a human, so in the long run it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re healthy.
    *bitter mom rant over lol

  10. Chaine says:

    Not to be mean, but people who have home births are kind of anti vaxx by nature, I mean if you wanted to do right by your kids wouldn’t you plan your birth in a manner to maximize a safe, healthy beginning?

    • TrixC says:

      I am a scientist, PhD in molecular biology, and I am as pro-vaccination as you can imagine. Yet I chose to have a home birth with my second child. I had my first in hospital and had a really bad experience. In my country home births are quite common, and for second or subsequent pregnancies the evidence is that it’s just as safe as a hospital birth. For first pregnancies there’s a slightly increased risk of adverse outcomes, but it’s small. I personally wouldn’t choose to have a home birth with twins, but to equate it with being an anti-vaxxer (or a hankering for a medieval childbirth experience, as some other posters are saying) is ridiculous.

      • Chaine says:

        I don’t know what country you hail from, but I’m betting it has minimum education and standards for licensing midwives for home birth. Here in the U.S., there’s nothing like that. Every state is different. I personally know a person who has only a high school degree and zero work experience who is a midwife after a year or so of “apprenticing,” i.e. reading some books about childbirth and attending home births with another uneducated midwife and watching what she does. It’s all about “freedom” and having your baby without the medical establishment interfering or the government forcing your baby to have a Social Security Number, I am not at all going to be surprised when a baby dies on this person’s watch and she chalks it up to “God’s will.”

  11. faithmobile says:

    I had two home births but chose to have my my third baby in the hospital because I realized that home births weren’t mystical just painful as F*ck and regressive. My family had pressured me into having home births because our community literally wrote the book on it(spiritual midwifery). This time around I had pain medication and practiced hypnobirthing, and had my most positive birth experience of the 3. All that being said I’m glad Ashley is talking about postpartum recovery.

  12. Gippy says:

    I like her, but in no way will I ever support home births. They’re dangerous to mother and babies. For all the flaws the US Heath care has, they provide safe deliveries and a safety net if this go wrong for mom or baby. I guarantee she would be going to a great hospital with a great NICU those hospitals have found a way to keep Covid out of the delivery and NICU areas. They’re very strict visitation and mask wearing. I deliver twins just 3 months before the pandemic hit. I made it to 37weeks and they were presumably healthy. Alex my baby A – the baby closest to the cervix and most important one to be head down, was breech and transverse. In fact both my babies were. No idea how they still had room to flip, but Baby A flipped back breech a day before I delivered. We are so lucky I was already scheduled for a C-section. Not only thatBaby B’s diaphragm never expanded. He had to go straight to NICU for breathing treatment and CPAP and A sent shortly after for low body temp. I originally was seeing an OB who wanted me to consider their birthing center with Midwives & also told me I could go to 40 weeks. I Noped out so quick and found a high risk MFM. ACOG clearly states that twin pregnancy should not go back 38weeks. But I’m totally with her on the heartburn, I had to go on medicine it was so back I’d wake up choking. She should consider seeing an MFM if she’s pregnant with twins, if she’s going to all the appropriate OB appts she likely has been to an MFM already. She should deliver in a hospital with a NICU, a level 3 or higher. Why risk it.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Any good OB/GYN in the US worth her/his salt will refer any multiple pregnancy to the nearest high-risk MFM specialist.

  13. Gippy says:

    Birth doesn’t have to be some magical experience. Ashley is being 💯 selfish & irrational here. I hate this normalization of home births. You can give birth in a damn bathtub at the hospital I medicated, but don’t risk your babies by not have legitimate dr & NICU nearby. You are pushing something bigger than a football out of your body or it is being pulled out of your body. It is gross. I had a C-section with twins. I loved it, it was quite clean and my MFM squished my stomach so I only bled a few days. My babies were both transverse and breech, flipping babies in utero especially more than one baby in there isn’t always affect and even many OB and MFM’s won’t attempt it due to the risk. My babies both needed NICU briefly, 12weeks we switched to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Dr and asked him to deliver us. I’m so so glad we did! Just thinking about a home birth with twins makes me want to cry and scream at the ignorance. Child birth can be deadly, history has shown us this.

  14. M says:

    Bad idea for a homebirth in this case. She may be rich, but that’s no guarantee of a safe birth, especially a twin birth.

    Adding her to the evergrowing list of Blackfishers. She’s bordering on Ariana/Jesy Nelson levels of fake tanning/skin tone altering up there.

  15. Lunasf17 says:

    I had a home birth for my daughter but it’s illegal to do a twin, breech or other higher risk home birth in my state. A Midwife could lose their license over it. I hope she has a good team and has a safe experience.

  16. so says:

    I would want a home birth for 1 baby, let alone 2 !
    Side note : am i completely paranoid or does her belly looks fake ? I don’t know if it’s the shape, the fact that it’s really smooth, the tiny belly button… Looks like a prop from a movie lol
    Probably just some photoshop though.

    • Jan90067 says:

      I thought it looks weird…almost waxy. I thought she put oil or makeup on it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  17. JustBe says:

    I know that American culture reveres fertility and motherhood, but this reverence too often leads to magical thinking. While pregnancy is a natural state of women, it is also a medical condition. And though childbirth goes well in the majority of cases, it can go terribly wrong in quite a few. There is an epidemic of black women dying during pregnancy or in the process of childbirth. The aunt of my former best friend died while giving birth to her second child. Giving birth to my first son was a rollercoaster ride of fear, unbelievable pain, and exhaustion. I wouldn’t describe it as magical, but the result was this amazing human. We often need to recast the birthing process as something magical because we are so in love with our kids. We need to believe that because millions of women have successfully given birth without medical intervention, that home births are the best way, but that’s a specious assumption.

    I know that each woman and each pregnancy/childbirth experience is different, but I think that our tendency towards having strong ‘beliefs’ too often overlays what is really a deep anxiety about going through a very terrifying process that we ultimately have no control over. Ashley Graham may be comforted by the thought of the control that she has defined for her next childbirth experience. She may need to believe that if she is in the most comfortable environment that she will be most able to assure the best possible outcome. The hospital experience can be overwhelming and reinforces this loss of control over this very intimate and terrifying experience. But, while women definitely need to be comfortable during childbirth, the increased risk of death or injury to themselves or their children should outweigh their desire for ultimate comfort and control.

  18. Destiny says:

    As a pediatrician, I’ll see her in the NICU 🙂

  19. Marigold says:

    Each to their own, but I think homebirths are stupid risky. I know someone whose baby DIED from something they would have easily fixed in the hospital. My niece almost bled to death during a totally low risk birth. My sister had a baby that had to be life flighted to a children’s hospital for surgery after an emergency c-section. If not in the hospital, they would not have realized that there was an issue that needed an operation.

    • Jaded says:

      I too know someone whose baby died at a home “water” birth. If she’d been in hospital he would have survived. This woman was as stubborn as a mule about everything and would go to the mat over the most unimportant issues, so when her family begged her to have a hospital birth she pretty much had a tantrum and ignored them for months. Not a happy ending.

  20. BOOGIE says:

    I wish for health and happiness for the whole family, but I think they are taking serious risks considering there are twins. Also I thought the reason it was so important to get weighed at appointments was to watch out for issues like gestational diabetes, and in general being overweight while pregnant can lead to health issues for the baby and the mother- high blood pressure, blood clotting, preeclampsia, etc.

    Please note I am not saying Ashley is overweight. I’m stating that deliberate ignorance of her weight while pregnant seems unwise. She also in general is body positive so this seems like not only unhealthy but inconsistent.

    • GandalfTheMeh says:

      Exactly this. Weight does have an effect of health. Underweight, overweight ect ect. I work in healthcare and we need to know a patients weight for even medication dosing. And simply put being overweight increases the risks of certain complications at birth just as being underweight has complications.

  21. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I know two women who died in childbirth, and since I’m not very sociable, the number of women that I know is not THAT large. Yet two died. Both from amniotic fluid in the bloodstream, which is entirely unpredictable. And both women were young, healthy, not overweight and had no elevated risk. I write this because I don’t think enough people think about that bad things that can go wrong (because we don’t want to dwell on that, when having a baby should be a happy occasion). But it’s not good to be in denial either. And I think this subject is one of those where, by default, we only ever hear the happy stories of homebirths that went fine! Because the women who died aren’t around anymore to tell their stories. This is a very sore subject with me, because I saw two great women lose their lives (if anyone is curious, both babies were fine).

  22. Aang says:

    Given that native women were still being involuntarily sterilized into the 1970’s and that in hospital birthing outcomes for native women trail white women by a significant percentage I felt safer delivering at home with a CNM who had attended home births for other members of my family. Not every woman feels safer in a hospital.

  23. Colleen says:

    Just a small point about weight…just because she doesn’t know her weight doesn’t mean her medical providers don’t. I struggled with an ED for much of my 20’s and watching my weight go way up in pregnancy was uncomfortable. I would turn my back to the scale. I didn’t want to know because I didn’t want to stress over it.

  24. thaisajs says:

    This homebirth idea for twins makes me very anxious. I hope they live close to a hospital just in case.

  25. Celina says:

    I wish they wouldn’t try to normalize something that a good provider should risk you out for. Twins at home is not a great idea. I hope everyone comes out safe.

  26. L4frimaire says:

    She may want a home birth but I would actually be surprised if those babies aren’t born in a hospital. A lot of twins are delivered via C-section as well. The thought of delivering twins at home seems incredibly risky and scary.What is she thinking? There is no virtue or medal in this if it puts her or the babies at risk.

  27. Gigi LaMoore says:

    I am going to hope and pray for the best for her and the babies. With that being said, we have 5 sets of twins in the family. They all came early and all had a short stint in the NICU, so it wouldn’t be my choice.

  28. CillaG says:

    Nope nope nope. I have had twins & inspite of the fact I had a smooth pregnancy, delivered by planned c-section at term (38 weeks for twins, twin 1 was breech so c-section highly recommended), and was relatively young & healthy, one twin had to be revived shortly following delivery.
    I also work in the fertility industry and I have read birth outcomes that have been very stressful for obstetricians, and I can only say thank GOD they were delivered in a hospital.
    I would never EVER recommend a homebirth, singleton pregnancy or multiple. And I am send sideways looks at her ‘medical team’, anyone with appropriate medical experience would be recommending hospital delivery.

  29. Cbfan says:

    NICU nurse here. This is stupid! She is famous and rich can have a private and non medicated birth in hospital but having an OR and blood products and resuscitation just seconds away is priceless. If there is a delay or placenta detaches after first birth or any number of complications it would be horrible and completely preventable. Completely irresponsible to choose a home birth in this situation.