Trends come and go in Hollywood, but water birth isn't another fickle one. In general, "laboring in water has become extremely popular," says Edwin Huang, M.D., an ob-gyn and the chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "As for water birth, there has been more interest in my practice but not an actual increase." Still, some celebrities have started choosing water birth, especially after they saw footage of actress Ricki Lake giving birth in her home bathtub in the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born. See why Lake and other celebs have chosen to have a water birth.
When the actress and former TV show host gave birth in her family's New York City bathtub in 2001 and recorded the experience, she never intended her video to be shared. But after experiencing a positive home birth with her son, Owen Tyler, she decided to share the footage. Lake spent three years helping to produce the popular (but controversial) documentary The Business of Being Born and told The Huffington Post that she hoped the film "empowered and educated women to care about the process of birth." Lake also declared, "I wanted to 'give birth' as opposed to 'being delivered,' and the best way for me to do that was at home with the guidance of a professional midwife."
The supermodel, who is married to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, is arguably the most famous celebrity to have a water birth. Influenced by Lake's documentary, B?ndchen delivered her son, Benjamin, in 2009 in her own bathtub. She prepped for the experience with yoga and meditation, and later said that water birth "didn't hurt in the slightest," the DailyMail reported in 2010. "I wanted to be very aware and present during the birth... I didn't want to be drugged up." She and Brady had their second child, daughter Vivian Lake, in 2012. Vivian was delivered at home, but there is no word on whether it was another water birth.
In 2011, the star of A Beautiful Mind and wife of actor Paul Bettany delivered her daughter, Agnes Lark, via water birth at their New York City home. When she stepped out for the first time after her daughter's birth to attend a Save the Children UN reception, Connelly used her experience to highlight the need for humanitarian aid. She told US Weekly she was excited to "support mothers around the world that don't have access to health care, because like many women, I gave birth to her at home, but unlike many women around the world, my birth was attended by a skilled midwife."
It's a little too appropriate that the famous Baywatch star chose water births for both of her sons (Brandon Thomas Lee, in 1996, and Dylan Jagger Lee, in 1997) with then-husband, Motley Cr?e drummer Tommy Lee. "I gave birth at home both times -- natural -- with a midwife, in water, with nothing. Not even Tylenol," Anderson told Larry King.
The How I Met Your Mother and Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress is another celebrity influenced by The Business of Being Born. She delivered her daughter Satyana via water birth in March 2009. She admitted to People, "It's not the right choice for everyone, but it definitely was for me. I never wavered on it."
The Crash and Pursuit of Happyness actress gave birth to her two daughters -- Ripley in 2000 and Nico in 2004 -- in a birthing pool. "[It was] very challenging in the best way possible," Newton said in an interview with the Sunday Times. "Every fiber of your being is alive. It's like you are conducting electricity, literally creating something. I'd like to give birth every year if I could, just for that experience."
The Welsh singer-songwriter had a home water birth with her daughter, Ruby Megan, in 2007. "If there was an anesthetist there who said, 'Would you like an epidural?' I would have," Church told People. "You have to be in a hospital to have one, so I'm glad it wasn't an option, because not having one made my recovery so much better -- you can feel everything when you're pushing, and I think you don't do yourself as much damage."
The star of Xena: Warrior Princess put her warrior skills to work when it came to birthing her son, Judah Miro, in 2002. Of the experience and her decision to have a water birth, she told Australian media outlet New Weekly, "I wanted to have my baby as naturally as possible; nothing is more natural than having him in water. The baby is essentially floating in water for nine months to begin with, so it's a smoother transition when he's born."
Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.