Home is where the heart is, and where the birth is too these days. According to recent statistics, the home-birth rate increased 20 percent between 2004 and 2008 after a 15-year slide, and the delivery method is appealing to a wide range of women. Credit Ricki Lake (and Abby Epstein) for that. Her Business of Being Born book and documentary have turned a new generation of moms-to-be on to the movement. Check out 15 celeb moms who’ve opted out of the drug-pushing, C-section prone hospital experience to give birth to their lil ones in the comfort of their home.
It may surprise her fans, but Pamela Anderson gave birth to both her sons at home, saying, “I gave birth at home both times — natural — with a midwife, in water … with nothing.”
After showing off her growing belly on the cover of Vanity Fair, Demi Moore gave birth to Rumer at home, and subsequently welcomed Scout and Tallulah in her home as well.
Meryl Streep doesn’t just call her home a place to store her Oscars; it’s also the place she welcomed one of her daughters. Meryl Streep is said to have had a home birth for at least one of her daughters there.
Joely Fisher raved about her home birth experience in 2006, saying, “I had this miraculous birth, and the first one (Skylar Grace) was fine, and here she is – she’s almost 6 and gorgeous and smart and funny and loves American Idol. But I decided to have her at home and had a lot of friends around, and of course, her father was there. And of course, the doctor, the doula, the midwife, the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker.”
Julianne Moore, whose daughter, Liv, was welcomed at home, has contributed to Ricki Lake’s home-birth advocacy mission
It comes as little surprise that Woody Harrelson’s wife, Laura Louie, gave birth to their three daughters at home in Maui.
Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany used a birthing pool at home to bring their second child together, Agnes Lark, into the world.
Cindy Crawford is one of Hollywood’s most famous home-birthers, welcoming baby Presley in her LA home. “Eager to shield her privacy, Crawford gave birth in the couple’s Brentwood home under the supervision of a midwife and a nurse — and the anxious, joyful gaze of her husband.”
Mayim Bialik delivered her second son, Frederick, at home with a doula, her husband, and her older son, Miles, by her side. Of the home birth, Mayim said, “Three pushes later, Frederick slithered out, and Miles was carried out of his high chair to cut the cord. A small spurt of blood startled him, and he promptly asked my husband to finish the job … Miles then sat down on the floor and, minutes later, was handed a bundled-up, wide-eyed baby brother. He clung to that baby for enough minutes that the midwife had to separate them.”
Supermodels are strong! When Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady were ready to welcome baby Benjamin, they headed to the bathtub in their Beacon Hill, Boston, home for the main event. Gisele recalled, “Giving birth was the most intense and life-changing experience of my life. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to deliver at home, surrounded by love and where I felt safe. It was a really great experience. I never felt so vulnerable, but so strong at the same time.”
Alyson Hannigan became a home-birth convert after watching Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born. She said, “It wasn’t something I knew I was going to do before I got pregnant, but once I was pregnant, I did more research, and I watched The Business of Being Born, and that sealed the deal. It’s not the right choice for everyone, but it definitely was for me. I never wavered on it. I knew if I needed to go to the hospital I would, but thankfully everything went well, and it was a magnificent experience.”
Alanis Morissette gave birth to a baby boy in the privacy of her own home, after telling the media, “Our intention is to do a natural birth at home. But I ‘get’ that the baby has his own intentions. I have an amazing midwife, and I’m using a doula. But we have a backup plan: I’ve called all the doctors, and we’ll be ready if something should happen.”
Though baby Benjamin was born in a Florida hospital, it is believed that Kelly Preston and John Travolta welcomed Ella Blu in their home at the time.
After expressing disappointment with the hospital birth of her first son, Milo, Ricki Lake explored the world of home births before welcoming Owen in 2001. Her younger son’s birth is one of the stories told in The Business of Being Born and was the launching pad for the former (and future) talk-show host’s advocacy for midwives.
Lisa Bonet was such a fan of the home-birthing experience that she did it twice! First with daughter Zoe and more recently with baby Lola.