So, I have a confession: I am slightly (definitely) obsessed with celebrity pregnancies. Who wore it best, baby bump style, who's due, who was last seen with their tot in tow around town--I follow it all.
Part of me is fascinated by the seemingly supernatural abilities of celebrities to defy the normal pregnancy symptoms that plague so many of us--swollen ankles, uncontrollable weight gain, falling asleep in public places.
A celebrity herself, Dr. Lisa Materson of the popular show "The Doctors," reminded me that, "a lot of celebs escape some of the more common problems in pregnancy, like gaining too much weight, because they have a lot of help, like personal chefs and personal trainers."
She's right, of course. And it also helps to keep in mind that celebrity mothers across the board have given birth in all kinds of different ways, just like us:
The all-natural trend seems to be quite hot in Hollywood, doesn't it? Having experienced two natural births with a midwife myself, I find this group of celebrity moms particularly interesting.
Gisele Bundchen. Supermodel Gisele, wife of Tom Brady and mom to two, is one of the most outspoken all-natural celebrity birth advocates around. Not only did she give birth naturally, at home twice, but has criticized hospital birth openly on her blog and claimed that her water birth "didn't hurt in the slightest." Perhaps having the ability to walk a runway three weeks after giving birth also gives you incredible pain relief powers?
Miranda Kerr. What is it with supermodels and giving birth all-naturally? If I didn't know any better, I would think they were showing off. Although she found labor excruciatingly painful, Miranda chose to deliver her son without an epidural because she believed that any medication might interfere with her baby's ability to breastfeed.
Jessica Alba. Jessica chose all-natural birth for second daughter, calling it a very "Zen" birth thanks to yoga breathing and meditation.
These stars chose to have an epidural and embraced their pain relief:
Megan Fox. The Transformers' star openly shared her experience during labor and had no qualms about asking for an epidural after her first contraction. She even--in an ironic imitation of those cliché movie scene--screamed at hospital security as she was rushed through the doors in a wheelchair.
Kristin Cavallari. "The pain was like nothing I've ever experienced," this star confessed to People after the birth of her son last year. She went with the epidural for her labor and had no regrets about her method of pain control.
Snooki. Granted, Snooki's not exactly been known for following the beaten path, but she happily chose an epidural for the birth of her son and boasted about not being able to feel a thing.
Although near the end of the last month pregnancy, many of us want to just be done with this whole bump thing, but a truly premature birth is a serious matter. Premature babies are at higher risk of complications, including respiratory distress and feeding problems. Nonetheless, it happens, even to celebrities like:
Kim Kardashian. Kim is obviously the most recent high-profile celebrity mother to have given birth prematurely--reportedly delivering her daughter five weeks early.
Julia Roberts. As is more common with twin pregnancies, Julia Roberts went into premature labor while pregnant with her son and daughter. She ended up delivering them, via c-section, at 36 weeks, after a whole month of bed rest.
Anna Faris. The funny girl delivered her son extremely prematurely--9 weeks early, in fact--but after spending some time in the NICU, her son Jack was able to join the proud mama at home and was perfectly healthy.
Surely by now, we've all heard of the infamous "too posh to push" slogan generated by Victoria Beckham's, aka "Posh Spice," choice to schedule the birth of her four children via c-section, right? But besides the woman who started the trend, other celebrities chose to outsmart Mother Nature by scheduling their baby's birth.
Christina Aguilera. The singer and host of "The Voice" definitely scheduled a c-section with her son, primarily to avoid vaginal tearing. I definitely can understand the concern, but also, as an L & D nurse, part of me really doesn't think a c-section is any gentler. Ouch either way!
Denise Richards. The former wife of Charlie Sheen tried to plan her c-section, but like babies tend to do, her little one caused a slight change in plans when Denise went into labor a day before her scheduled surgery. (She still ended up delivering via c-section). I can't tell you how many times I have seen a mother come in the night before she is supposed to be induced. It's like her body just knows!
Britney Spears. The pop star is rumored to have scheduled her c-sections, simply because her mother passed the horror of childbirth on to her, calling it "the most painful thing she had ever experienced in her whole life." Britney's little sis also chose to schedule her baby's birth, opting for a scheduled induction.
People called the latest crop of celebrity mothers with back-to-back pregnancies a "baby boom," but it does seem to be a bit of a trend in the celebrity world to pop out a few kids at a time...
Jessica Simpson. After a very public first pregnancy, Jessica's second pregnancy, occurring only 7 months after she gave birth the first time, was a bit more low-key.
Keri Walsh-Jennings. This is a woman who won an Olympic gold medal while pregnant, so surely she can handle the 11-month age difference between her two sons. In fact, Keri and her husband planned it that way, hoping for a fun and close relationship for the siblings.
Tori Spelling. Tori definitely takes the cake for fastest possible pregnancy turnover, celebrity or not--she found out she was expecting her fourth child only a month after bringing her third home from the hospital!
In the end, however fun as it is to get a glimpse into the lives of celebrity moms compared to us mere mortals, there's one only thing that matters when it comes to welcoming a baby into the world. As Dr. Materson quipped about her own pregnancy, "I was just happy to be alive and have a healthy baby. And that is really what it's about!"
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