8 celebrities speak out about their home births

Home birth mums: Cindy Crawford, Thandie Newton and Alyson Hannigan.
Home birth mums: Cindy Crawford, Thandie Newton and Alyson Hannigan. Photo: Getty Images, Twitter

Hollywood is having a baby boom - and some of our favourite celebrity mums are welcoming their little ones at home.

While home births still constitute less than 1 per cent of total births in the United States, births at home have increased 50 percent since 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are eight stars who have shared some details of their home birth experiences. 

Gisele Bundchen, Mayim Bialik, and Alanis Morissette.
Gisele Bundchen, Mayim Bialik, and Alanis Morissette. Photo: Getty Images

Cindy Crawford

Model mum-of-two Cindy Crawford had both of her children - son Presley and daughter Kaia - at home with her husband Rande Gerber and three midwives on hand.

She said of her home birth experience: "I didn't tell anyone last time because a lot of people are against home birth and tell you horror stories," she shared. "Even my husband said at first, 'Why are we doing this?'" But she went on to say her home birth was "absolutely surreal".

Thandie Newton

During an appearance on the Today show, actress Thandie Newton talked about the joys of home birth. The mum of three proudly said she birthed her son Booker, now 6 months, at home on her bathroom floor.

When asked why she had all three of her kids at home - she and husband Ol Parker are also parents to daughters Ripley, 13, and Nico, 9 - the Mission: Impossible II actress said she feels much more comfortable at home.

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"I'd never been in hospital as a child or as an adult really, and I just associated hospital with being ill," she said of her decision. "And I felt beautiful and healthy and wonderful when I was pregnant, and being at home was the place I felt most relaxed and comfortable."

Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan gave birth to her first child, Satyana, in March 2009. "Yes. I did use a midwife and a doula," the How I Met Your Mother star said. "We had the option of having a doctor there, but even he said you'll only need me if you need to be transferred to the hospital - which thankfully, I did not need."

Before welcoming her second daughter, Keeva, the American Pie actress said she faced many fear-based comments about going forward with another home birth. "We had lots of comments about it," Alyson said. "And we had the doctor that scared us tremendously. There was definitely more concern the first time around. For me, that was just the perfect place.

"I am absolutely terrified of hospitals, so I think that the home is the best place for me to feel comfortable. I had a midwife, her assistant and a doula. It will be the same again this time."

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik has blossomed into an amazing and outspoken mother. An advocate of attachment parenting, Mayim also empowers women to consider medication-free home births. The Big Bang Theory star and mother of two talked about her second son's home birth, while her elder son watched.

"Fred, yes, was born at home, and Miles was able to watch the whole thing from his high chair while eating granola," she said. "Fortunately it was a very fast labour because I think Miles would've been bored if it was longer than the hour and a half it was. He loves it, he still talks about it.

"It was something we talked about with our paediatrician, and believed very strongly in older siblings being present, and giving the choice. We gave him a choice before, we prepared him with videos about homebirth that our midwife prepared. Even during, I said, 'If Miles wants to go the next room he can!' But he said, 'No, I fine!' He got freaked out by the blood, but it was still nice."

Gisele Bündchen

One of the most outspoken celebrity mums on natural birth is supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The former Victoria's Secret model gave birth to her first child Benjamin in December 2009 and has openly spoken about her drug-free home water birth.

"My delivery was in a bath tub, in water," Gisele said. "I wanted to have a home birth. I wanted to be very aware and present during the birth ... I didn't want to be drugged up. So I did a lot of preparation, I did yoga and meditation, so I managed to have a very tranquil birth at home. It didn't hurt in the slightest. The whole time my mind was focused in each contraction on the thought 'my baby is closer to coming out.'"

A few weeks later the supermodel spoke of her "empowered" birth experience. "I wanted to experience the transformation," the model mum said. "It was the most amazing experience of my life, feeling him come through my body. And once he was born, I never felt so empowered as looking at him and thinking, Oh, my God, we did it together!'"

Alanis Morissette

On Christmas Day 2011, Alanis Morissette and her husband Mario Treadway welcomed their son Ever into their home with the help of a midwife and a doula.

"I didn't really even imagine myself having the birth experience in the hospital," Morissette told Today. "My home is like my little sanctuary."

She added: "My husband was at my side the whole time, my total hero. And the rest was really up to God."

She went on to talk about the joys of home birth. "I think once people know it's quite possible to have a really amazing home birth - and in my case I have no regrets and would do it again, and in the same breath it wasn't the easiest experience of my life - I think having it be an option is really exciting," she shared.

Evangeline Lilly

Lost star Evangeline Lilly welcomed son Kahekili Kali in May 2011. "I actually skipped the hospital ... We decided to have the baby at home because we wanted it to be a natural birth, and it turns out that it was 30 hours of natural," she shared.

Of those 30 hours, Evangeline says a full eight were spent pushing. "Eight hours of pushing, that's the part that men don't understand," the Canadian mum said. "Women go, 'Oh, dear, oh, dear God, eight hours of pushing?' And the men are like, 'Okay, eight hours of pushing.'

"After about five hours of pushing, my midwife and my birthing assistant said, 'You know, we have a few suggestions,'" she says. "And I was like, 'Really? After five hours of pushing you have a few suggestions? You couldn't have told me five minutes in?'"

Ricki Lake

Ricki Lake's documentary about home birth, The Business of Being Born, empowered women everywhere to have unmedicated births at home. She gave birth to her second son Owen, now 13, at home in a bathtub.

When talking about her reasons for making the film, she said, "I wanted to make this movie after my two very different birth experiences with my children. I felt like I had an opportunity to explore and question birthing practices in this country and perhaps be an advocate for mothers' rights and better maternity care."

On the experience of birthing Owen at home, Ricki said, "After the birth of my sons, particularly my home birth with my second son, I thought I wanted to become a midwife. Then I looked at all the years of schooling and training that I would have to do and felt that the time could be better spent doing a documentary on the subject of birth."