Maria Bello "Can't Imagine" Giving Birth in a Hospital

07/28/2008 at 09:00 AM ET


Actress Maria Bello "can’t imagine giving birth in a sterile environment like a hospital," and that’s one reason that she labored with son Jackson Blue, 7, in her own bed.  The 41-year-old shared that during the "22 hours of labor," she "had a midwife and a thunderstorm with nothing more than an aspirin."  Despite "times where I wanted to say, ‘Get the ambulance — I’m done,’" Maria told herself she could get through it.

But then I thought, "I can do anything for 24 hours," and it was almost exactly 24 hours.

After becoming a parent to Jackson, Maria admitted that she "never felt so much love and fear at the same time," adding that she "just wanted to keep him from every lesson he needed to learn" when he was little.  As Jackson has grown, the actress knows that she "need[s] to trust God to take care of him."  Maria, who admits "it’s second nature for me to play a mom" in the film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, also firmly believes that "the greatest thing we need to teach our kids is to be our most authentic selves."

Jackson’s dad is Maria’s ex, TV executive Dan McDermott.

Source: Chicago Sun Times; Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage.

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 23 comments

N.S on

I’ve actually never heard of Maria Bello, but it sounds as if her birth went exactly as planned.

How lovely it must have been to have given birth in bed, and not have to worry about the awful hospital food or pushy nurses.

I gave birth in a hospital, and regret it — but not enough to mull over it though, just enough to know that my next will be born at home.

dsmom on

As a woman who is wanting another child I have wondered about midwife, no drug births. I have 1 child who was born in a hospital and I had an epidural but I think with my next I would like to give birth at a birthing center. Can anyone tell me about their experience and the pain level? What can I expect?

Emily on

I am so happy for Maria that her delivery was uneventful. Mine wasn’t. I remain quite thankful for my hospital birth and all my labor&delivery nurses (not a pushy one among them) for had I not gone that route, I would not have survived.

l.c. on

She would think differently if there were an emergency and needed the equipment and doctors that are at the hospital. Why take the chance at home. Midwives have their place, but give me a certified doctor with years of experience anyday.

Ilaria on

After 2 hospital births, I had an amazing homebirth, so I can see where she’s coming from! There is nothing better!

Julie on

I just always have to laugh when people mention a hospital as a “sterile” environment. Hospitals a FULL of germs!

That said, I’m glad she got the delivery she wanted in the comfort of her own home.

lenaki on

In France two young people are being prosecuted because the woman gave birth at home but her child died and she couldn’t do anything . HOSPITALS ARE THERE FOR YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH !!!,,3923626,00-elle-accouche-chez-elle-perd-bebe-faute-soins-.html

ysenia on

I delivered my daughter drug-free in a hospital. It was hard-core. There actually are no words to describe the pain. The mid-wife had to pry my legs open to deliver her, because I was frozen in a fetal position. After she was born, I could not look at, nor hold her I was in shock because of the pain. You have to determine your own pain threshold. Mine obviously is very low. I’m also very thin and have very thin hips, I dont know if that played into it or not. I am glad I did it. I feel a connection with every woman in the world at any time who has delivered a baby without pain medication, but it was so painful, I do not know if I would do it again.

momtotwo on

I definitely agree with her! After one hospital delivery and my recent home birth, I am SO grateful I did my research and decided to do mine at home. I’m glad hospitals are there for extreme emergencies, but there are SO many emergencies created solely by being in the hospital. If left to go naturally, bodies do amazing things! My homebirth was actually less painful that my Pitocin-induced/epidural hospital birth.

However, I do say that it’s where the MOM is most comfortable having the baby. My labor progressed quite quickly and was quite pain-free, up until the last half an hour, and I know a lot of that has to do with me being comfortable. I know a lot of moms that are more comfortable in the hospital, and that’s probably the best place for THEM.

momtotwo on

Oh, and I’d like to add my pain tolerance is VERY low. I cry when I get shots, whine when I have cramps, and don’t tolerate pain well at all! I’m very small (5’2″ 111 lb pre-pregnancy) and have 7 1/2 lb babies. Not huge, but for me, decent sized. It’s a mental thing. Mind over matter.

Robin on

momtotwo, I agree with you 100%. But what makes me sad is the erosion of women’s birth rights in this country. I’m fortunate to live in a state with progressive home birth laws and lots of experienced midwives to choose from, and I’m fortunate that I can afford to pay out of pocket what my insurance won’t cover; but lots of people no longer have access to those choices (legally) and that makes me sad. My fear is that home birth will grow even more restrictive in a practical sense (what people have access to) as well as become more maligned.

Melissa on

I had one hospital birth (24 hour labor) and one natural birth (4 hour labor) with midwives at a birthing center. I had an epidural with the first so I never really experienced any painful contractions and so I was completely unprepared for the natural birth. It was extraordinarily painful and I have to admit I screamed and yelled during the last hour. My daughter came out sunnyside up and I had horrible back labor. But once she was born I was up and in the shower in the first hour and home in 5 hours. Recovery was a breeze, unlike hospital birth which took me a good week to recover and I had after effects of the epidural(numbing, tingliness in legs) for several months afterwards. That being said, I’d still take the epidural anyday over the hell of my natural birth. Not everyone is the same though!

Nikka on

l.c., you can have a homebirth as long as you can get quickly to the hospital in case of emergency. Thats one of the rules for the doctor to allow a homebirth. I myself wouldnt want to attempt a first birth at home, id go to hospital, but id try with my second. A friend of mine had a homebirth three years ago and had a way better experience (she was walking up the driveway and down the most of the time as opposed to be tied to the bed as it happened with her first) and if necessary she’d get to the hospital in under 10 minutes. And if you’d dispute this time (like with ‘imagine what would happen in 10 minutes’) you’re right, but dont forget that the doctor is not with you the whole time even in the hospital and in case of emergency it also takes a long time to call the doctor and get him to the woman in labor

So there is not much wrong with homebirth as long as they are prepared and know what to do in case of emergency

And one more thing, about hospitals, someone mentioned they are full of germs, which is true (and the homes are sometimes really better), you may want to read a story of a woman in florida who after a birth in ‘sterile’ hospital developed a horrible infection and lost all four limbs

And another one:

While these are extremely extreme cases, they did happen in hospital during birth of their babies !!!

frenchlas on

I think it’s wonderful when it all goes well and within the realm of your plans, but it’s not like a hospital birth is doomed to be a horrific experience. I am thankful for the 3 c-sections that saved the lives of myself and my children due to severe bleeding and had wonderful, caring nurses, delicious room service meals and respect for all my personal wishes.

Hea on

Julie – By sterile she probably means that the environment is without a comfy feeling and hospitals are usually lifeless and spartan.

carie on

geez! I can’t believe Maria Bello said women who give birth in hospitals are terrible people!

Oh, wait. She didn’t. She just stated her personal preference.

Jess on

I totally get what she means. I had a hospital birth, full of bad doctors & pushy nurses. Everyone around me was induction happy as soon as I hit 37 weeks for no medical reason. I don’t have a single good memory of the hospital expierence. I refuse to put myself through that again, so while I’m too chicken to have the baby at home, I do plan on using a birth center in another town. It means going about 45 minutes each way just for prenatal appointment so I can use the same people, but after my other expiernce it’s totally worth it to me.

Lilybett on

I like her comment about being able to do anything for 24 hours. That’s a nice little mind trick.

Sally on

She gave birth in her BED? Ewww! I hope she had plastic sheets…

legemc on

Now that she’s engaged I wonder if she is thinking about having more kids?

paula on

I also interpreted her remark about hospitals being sterile to mean that they are not cozy and comfortable like home. I was lucky to give birth in a major teaching and research hospital that has a very comfortable maternity center. The decor was soothing and not at all hospital-like. There was a jacuzzi tub in our room, birthing balls, etc. and the hospital has midwives on staff so if you choose to work with a midwife it is not a problem. The best of both worlds!

Des on

Isnt she the one from Coyote Ugly (the bar owner?)

I had a hospital birth with an epidural first and a home waterbirth the second time. I think the home waterbirth was far easier on me. Sure it hurt more (I was totally numb with my first) but it was a different kind of pain. The first go I was induced, induction pain sucks. The regular kind of labor gives you breaks here and there. Its ow, ow, peak, break. I think its a mind thing. If you feel powerful are are powerful. With homebirth too, there is no induction so I think by the time you are in labor, your body is fully ready to give birth. Plus no episiotomy, no stitches, no IV……recovery was a million times easier after my homebirth.

KL on

Can you have a successful home birth? Of course. Should you? That’s a much different question. Fortunately for Ms. Bello, her home birth was successful. But so many things can go wrong during pregnancy. And without the support of trained medical professionals, the chances for an optimal outcome are greatly diminished.