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Tom and Katie's Silent Home Birth

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A 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...

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  1. Anonymous Lisa | 10:22 PM |  

    Another disturbing thing I have read about Scientology birth is that the baby is taken away from the mother for 24 hours.
    Quote:"In Scientology, mother and child are separated for days after birth to reduce trauma and provide time to recover, says a source. The mother is discouraged from holding or cuddling the child. "The baby should not be bathed or chilled but should be wrapped somewhat tightly in a warm blanket, very soft, and then left alone for a day or so," Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote in a Dec. 20, 1958, bulletin titled "Processing a New Mother."

    Yikes!!!! This makes zero sense to me.. The whole thing is bizarr-o to me!!!

  2. Blogger Jennifer | 4:39 AM |  

    I've read in a few places that a silent birth isn't quite as bad as it's being portrayed. Apparently in actual practice, the mother and father are supposed to spend the days after teh birth cuddling and very quietly speaking to the newborn.

    If that's the case, it's way better than what you and I have read in Hubbard's writings...but I still think the birth part is pretty freaky.

    As I heard someone else say, I'd love to be a fly on the wall the first time Katie makes a noise while pushing and someone shoves one of those signs in her face.

  3. Blogger a suburban housewife | 2:38 PM |  

    Apparently, Tom C's children with his first wife are adopted. I wonder if Scientology demands "silent adoption"? Too weird.

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