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Tuesday, March 28, 2006A lot of the gossip rags are buzzing this week about the upcoming homebirth being planned by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. While I always think it's cool when celebrities homebirth (go Ricki Lake!) I'm just not so sure about this one.
The New York Daily News (among others) reports that Tom and Katie are not just planning a home birth, they are planning a traditional Scientology "silent birth." The idea behind a silent birth is that any sounds of moaning, groaning, screams or even talking from the mother (or anyone else in the room) during labor will traumatize the child. A silent birth is followed by seven days of silence for the baby during which the parents are not to speak to it.
Now, I like the idea of no screaming, as screaming can actually contribute to pain because of the way it moves your muscles. Low groaning or moaning can actually HELP women work through the pain though, which is why many moms that choose to go drug free tend to moan, groan or growl loudly through birth.
I'm also not keen on the not talking to the baby thing... seriously, don't we have volunteers that go and sit with crack babies because a baby that is left alone has a harder time developing? They need the positive interaction and love in order to thrive outside the womb. So, I'm really not sure I get the thought behind this...
Finally, the other word in the gossip columns is that Katie wants to give birth in a hospital and to have access to pain meds. Now, as much as I'm a proponant of home birth, I think it should ONLY happen when the woman is 100% on board. This is a freedom of choice issue. If a woman is being forced or otherwise having her arm twisted into a home birth, then it does a disservice to the movement.
Now, I need to go focus on something intelligent and worthwhile to rid myself of the shame of spending ten minutes talking about Hollywood gossip...