Catherine Bell: Son Was Conceived ‘Pretty Much Naturally’

06/11/2010 at 06:00 PM ET
Courtesy Pregnancy

In the July/August issue of Pregnancy, Catherine Bell says that the baby boy she expects in August was far from a surprise.

“We were totally trying,” the Army Wives star, 41, reveals. “I conceived pretty much naturally.”

In fact, it was just two months after starting the fertility drug Clomid that Bell became pregnant — and not a minute too soon for Gemma, 7, her daughter with Adam Beason.

“She has been begging us for a sibling for two years,” Bell says, “so she was absolutely thrilled when we told her.”

There were other reasons Bell says the couple “wanted this to happen quickly,” and topping the list is a movie Beason wrote for Lifetime in which Bell will star.

“I really wanted to get pregnant and give myself time to recover,” she explains. “I’m trying to give it at least 10 weeks.”

As with Gemma, Bell says she will deliver by planned c-section. “I had a great experience last time around,” she shares. Unfortunately, the easy pregnancy she enjoyed with her firstborn has not been apparent the last few months!

“This one is totally different,” she confesses. “I’m exhausted and I need naps often.”

But while “there are more tests and a little more worry” because of her age, Bell says the first-time parenting jitters are gone.

“I’m more relaxed and not reading every book on pregnancy and babies like I did before.”

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News , Parenting

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MZ on

Wait I’m confused…did she use Clomid just to ensure she’d get pregnant fast (“really wanted this to happen quickly; give myself 10 weeks to recover”? And if it was taken for fertility issues, why say she conceived “pretty much naturally?” Using a fertility drug isn’t something that needs to be hidden!

klutzy_girl on

I love Catherine! So happy they wrote the pregnancy into the storyline of Army Wives, because Denise and Frank are adorable.

Angela on

I hope she doesn’t think that a second C-section will be as easy as her first. I’ve had two unplanned C-sections and my second was WAY harder than my first. My son was a pound heavier than my daughter, so that probably had a lot to do with it. Overall I recovered fairly quickly from both (3 days with my daughter and 7 with my son), but it certainly was rougher for me the second time.

Courtney on

I guess Hollywood really IS different, because where I live using fertility drugs to get pregnant is NOT conceiving naturally.

2 things that erk me, and again this is just my opinion.

1. sitiing there saying that at 41 you got pregnant naturally which makes more women believe they can get pregnant forever.


2. doctors who give out clomid like candy…it has REAL side effects! Ones that can REALLY mess up your body!

Sunny on

She’s probably just saying it was natural because she didn’t have to go the IVF route.

Melanie on

I didn’t take it to mean that her doctor just handed out Clomid like candy. To me, it seemed like she was saying since she’d only been on Clomid for 2 months, she felt like it “pretty much happened naturally” (as in she wasn’t on it for years).

Also, if she was trying to hide the fact that she used fertility drugs and make people think it was easy for her to get pregnant, she wouldn’t have even mentioned that she took Clomid. Come on people…think a little before you type.

As for her wanting to get pregnant quickly, it’s quite an assumption that she went on Clomid JUST to speed things up–she said they’d been trying…you don’t know for how long. Catherine seems like a pretty responsible person so let’s not judge without all the facts.

Amber on

Chill out people! I think Catherine just meant that she didn’t have to do anything more invasive than the Clomid in order to conceive.

woeisme on

I have had 3 c-sections (1 unplanned) and found they were easier and easier since one knows what to expect – how you will feel (body and mind) during the actual operation.Additionally, it is just as good a birthing experience as a vaginal birth, if not better. Good luck to Catherine Bell – I really love her but just don’t like that she is a scientologist (love John Travolta too, but hate scientology.)

KG on

I don’t think in any way,shape or form was she making it seem that women can get pregnant “forever”. I don’t think alot of people necessarily plan on having children after 40 but sometimes that is what happens and it’s not up to us to judge.

I have taken Clomid and my doctor did not give it out like candy. I have PCOS and we tried letting things happen “naturally” on their own. SO how do you know that it wasn’t the case with her? Clomid is the least invasive of the “fertility treatments” out there and given her age, maybe things weren’t working like they should.

LHash on

I’m another person confused how someone can label their child’s conception as natural when they are ingesting a powerful pharmaceutical drug. I must assume that Ms Bell’s social circle (ie fellow-Scientologists) is rife with people who use IVF and so she has a skewed perspective on the matter.

Jill on

She did conceive naturally. She did not do an IUI or an IVF. That is what is considered artificial insemination — IUI and IVF, not just using Clomid for a couple of months!

I took herbs and supplements to help me finally conceive. It was a natural conception. She took Clomid and had sex. Clomid just helps you ovulate correctly. I think it was natural people!

Vicky on

classy…beautiful in and out

Nan on

I know I’m going to get slammed for this, but I’m allowed to speak my beliefs. I think it is EXTREMELY unfortunate that Catherine is choosing another c-section (assuming there’s no reason for one). It’s far more dangerous for her, and not as healthy for the baby’s lungs. Not to mention you have to have a lot of drugs in your system for a c-section – I’ve never understood women who so carefully avoid drugs/alcohol/etc. their entire pregnancies only to pump themselves full of drugs on delivery day, drugs that DO cross over into the placenta. Not to mention the use of said drugs can cause the baby’s heartrate to drop, it to go into distress, etc.

I understand there are some circumstances in which epidurals and c-sections are absolutely medically necessary, but on the whole they are WAY overused and overdone, to the detriment of our mothers and babies.

woeisme on

Nan – hate to disagree with you but the drug used in a C-section does not crossover to the placenta. Additionally, the drug is given to you, takes maybe 5 minutes to take effect, doctor makes the cut, baby is out – maybe a total of 7 minutes, and it is not dangerous to the baby.Any woman over the age of 35 is considered at high risk so if she already had a c-section it would be a very risky doctor that would agree to VBAC.I know – I wanted one.

Dee on

Nan, you have every right to feel that way but I didn’t want to suffer through my labors so I got epidurels. My kids are fine and I enjoyed the birthing experiences. I don’t like pain, but I want kids. Epidurals allowed me to have relatively pain free births so I have no regrets.

As for csections, I’ve had one and it wasn’t bad but I don’t know why anyone would request one since the recovery time is longer, but I would never judge a woman for making an educated decision.

A woman’s right to choose shouldn’t just be about whether to kill her unborn baby. It should also be about what we do with our bodies regarding birth control, conception choices (like Clomid and IVF), birthing choices, breastfeeding decisions, working vs staying home, etc. I don’t agree with everyone’s choices, but I agree they should have the right to make those choices, just like I think Nan should speak her mind even though I don’t agree with her. I wish people were more open to differing views.

woeisme on

BTW, I was not speaking of general anesthesia. Also, it is true c-sections have increased because many doctors and mothers do not want to risk having a tragedy, but it is also true that fetal deaths at birth have decreased because doctors do not take that risk.

babyrama on

the risks of c-section births to mom and babies are for some reason completely glossed over. If you do your research, you will find that they are far less safe than assumed to be, and also that VBACs are not nearly as risky as they are portrayed. To say that a woman over 35 should not have a VBAC and only a risky doctor would help her to do so is extremely misinformed! There is so much misinformation about milk supply and birth, and so little confidence in women’s bodies—plus, hospitals are a business and push c-sections to make more revenue, all while pushing them by using fear of risk to cover up the truth

Jill on

Why couldn’t she get pregnant naturally at 41? It happens all the time and has for centuries. It is not a new trend just with fertility treatments. The average age for a women to have their last baby in post WWII was 42. That was before any fertility treatments were even available!

I got pregnant naturally at 40 after TTC for a long time. A lot of women around 40 get pregnant naturally. It is a complete media myth that they can’t get pregnant easily like Catherine.

She was not saying that women can get pregnant forever. She was just sharing her story.

Melanie on

OT- I am insanely jealous of how stunningly beautiful this women is! LOL

CelebBabyLover on

Courtney- Some women DO get pregnant naturally at 41 or older. What are they supposed to do? Lie about it just so people don’t think you have all the time in the world to get pregnant?

Jill- I agree! I think that Catherine Bell said “pretty much naturally,” because the conception itself was natural. She had help ovulating in the form of Clomid, but as far as conception, it happened the old-fashioned way!

babyrama- I agree! I think C-sections are performed WAY too often these days. I don’t get why anyone would put their baby in danger unless they had to (and, as you said babyrama, C-sections DO carry more risks than most people would like to admit. Lung problems for the baby is a big one, and another one is post-delivery internal hemoraging in the mother, sometimes severe enough to require a hysterectomy).

Also, I read a study somewhere that said the mortality rate for infants born via elective C-section is higher than for infants born via vaginal delivery. Granted, the difference in mortality rate is VERY slight (if I’m remembering correctly, babies born via C-section have only a 4 percent higher chance of dying during or right after delivery than their vaginally-born counterparts.), but the fact is it’s still there!

Also, people always talk about a mother’s right to choose how she gives birth? Well, what about the BABY’S rights? I’m sure that if unborn babies could choose, they would certainly not choose to be born in a way that exposes them to cold, bright lights, etc. all in the space of a minute or two (or in a way that could cause them to have lung problems and such.) They would probably much prefer to be introduced to those things gradually…which is what happens with a vaginal birth!

All of that said, I am not against C-sections that are medically neccesary. In fact, I was born via C-section myself, and my mother and I almost certainly wouldn’t have survived otherwise. So I agree that C-sections can save lives and are great when they’re neccesary.

I just don’t think there should be so many elective C-sections, and that doctors should realize that not EVERY deviation from the norm during pregnancy or birth means a C-section is neccesary (for example, not all breech babies need to be delivered via C-section. Some can be born just fine vaginally….with my mother being one example. :)).

hayley on

please excuse this very long post but i have to get this off my chest xxxxxxxx first congrats on the baby πŸ™‚ xxx always something to be joyful about no matter how it was made πŸ˜€ xxx

ok peeps let me tell you c section at least with my women are NEVER gone into unless we feel either the mums in serious trouble or the baby is that is just a fact, no doctor/midwife would ever do because its easy! thats insane. i try to do EVERY thing else first to keep a delivery as normal as possible but do not get me wrong toooo many bad things happen when some one thinks they know more than the doctor/midwife who is trying to help them. a mothers mind is a powerful tool to help her cope in labour but when women are overloaded with negative images of c section it can cloud you up to be against something that can save your life and your childs…

second , VBACs just like normal child birth are risky , there is no point saying they aren’t…. now it does depend on the women and thats the main issue, some women recover from c sections with little or no issue and some don’t, some may have scar issues, which make going through labour dangerous to their health and the babys and unless you have medical training and are that womans doctors you can’t say if a vbac is a good idea or not.. i can’t ..i can’t tell a women it will be ok because i don’t no, you can only give them the facts but they will be useless to her in labour, because all women are different.

i say all this after a very long shift 😦 where things did not go well, i will also add this, my two c sections saved my life, i would have died trying to give birth to my son, there is no glossing over that, i also had the same thing with my second and let me tell you its no joke when scars/ placenta ruptures, it does and can happen. c sections SAVE womens life and at the end of the days the women ARE the first priority.

i say this with love ladies, xx and from first hand experience when it goes badly.

Simone on

I love her she is my favourite in Army Wives,she is beautiful!

My opinion…I dont like the thought of a planned c-section is a surgery it is dangerous noone would say yeah cut me open take out my kidney and stitch me back up for fun but today it seems to have come to that in childbirth!!

My mom became pregnant at 40 when she went to see a ob/gyn he said Oh you are only starting menopause….well meno pause is 22 now,lol
The pregnancy was ok she was 2 weeks early and my mom nursed her for over a year….and i know more women that have gotten pregnant around that age…so it isnt a big thing i just believe that a lot has to do with your lifestyle!

dfs on

“I think it is EXTREMELY unfortunate that Catherine is choosing another c-section (assuming there’s no reason for one).”

And just exactly why are you assuming she has no reason for one?

Ivonne on

Congrats to Catherine and her family! I know their daughter is sooooo excited. Boys are fun and little brothers are great. I have two little boys and they are crazy, funny, and loving.

But of course I have to voice in the debate. I had to “elective c-sections”. With my first, I was 19, and had two failed inductions. My baby was so large that they (new doctors in last trimester) thought that I MUST be farther along that first believed. I made no cervical progress at all. At 39 weeks I was given the option to try another induction or to have a c-section, was given all the risks and such, but had to decide quickly because my baby was so large. I decided on a c-section at my mother’s advice. He was so large that I made several trips to the ER because he wasn’t moving, but there just wasn’t much room. I delivered my son at 40.2 weeks by c-section. That morning my cervix was the same. When they were prepping me, his heatrate had started to fluctuate and drop so the c-section became an emergency. He was 10 lbs, 3 oz, and it was agreed that I wouldn’t have been able to deliver him naturally. He wasn’t just heavy, he was HUGE.

With my second son, he was large also but not as large. My doctor gave me to 38 weeks to go into labor naturally, but wouldn’t let me go to far expecting a Vbac because his size could complicate things. I delivered him by repeat c-section weighing in at 9 lbs 1 oz. Since then, it has been agreed upon that my uterus and cervix are abnormally placed, and vaginal delivery is unlikely if not impossible. C-sections have saved my children’s lives if my not own also.

I understand that people have their own opinions but child birth is a very personal decision. I could never live with myself if something awful from brain damage to death had happened to my children because I refused a c-section. Of course I would’ve preferred a vaginal delivery but above that, I preferred safe and healthy babies. What works for one mother might hurt another. I’m not willing to judge how any mother gives birth. I think “free-birthing” is a terrifying thought but some women swear by it. They have decided that it is the best route for them and their babies, and that’s all that I could hope for. There are risks in any method of child birth. I’d rather focus on the benefits – beautiful new babies.

Jane on

It is really her own business! I know what some of you are saying about the fact that it can be deceiving to others in their 40s to think that fertility treatment was not used. She mentioned Clomid though- but she really didn’t even have to. People have every right to keep that to themselves. What a personal thing! And in the end, isn’t it all natural? I loved a response that I read about of a woman in her 40s who was asked if she had help getting pregnant. She responded- “yes, I did- God’s help!”

E on

Hayley, what a fantastic post – in full agreement with everything you say having worked on a labour ward myself. People without medical experience usually havent seen all the dreadful complications that can result from VBAC – it is not as straightforward as some people on here are making out.
Celebbabylover – I dont know what the law is where you live, but in the UK, the baby actually has NO rights until the umbilical cord is cut – the mother and baby are seen as one entity with the mother’s rights observed.
Nan – the reason that people should avoid drugs/alcohol etc during their pregnancies is because many drugs and certainly alcohol are teratogenic i.e. they affect the way that the foetus develops and the baby, when born, can end up with very real disability or handicap. Drugs used during labour are not teratogenic and are not harmful in the long-term if used properly.

Diana on

Dee – I couldn’t agree more. It baffles me how anyone can be for abortion but then would slam a woman for other choices like you said. It just seems crazy to me; if you are for a women’s right to choose you shouldn’t care how she birth’s her children, if she breastfeeds, etc.

woeisme on

All I know is that my doctor refused to give me a c-section when I needed it and I ended up with a dead baby.So you see, all of you who are so concerned about the overuse of c-sections,ask any mom-to-be what she would rather have – dead baby or a sore abdomen.Just like there are extremes that women want a c-section for no good reason, there is that extreme -like some of you – who thinks c-sections are totally overdone.

jessicad on

Catherine is so freaking gorgeous I can’t take it! I love her daughter’s name too, can’t wait to see what she names her son because I am a fan of unique names.

In terms of c-sections, of course there are some cases when it’s absolutely necessary for both mother and baby to survive, no problem with that. But I cringe when I read about women choosing them for vain reasons, like not wanting stretch marks or vaginal tearing, as much as I love Christina Aguilera I lost a lot of respect for her when she said that. There are more risks involved with c-sections, like asthma. “sorry you can’t run around and play too hard or play sports without an inhaler but your dad and I are really happy that I don’t have stretch marks and my vagina remained in tact”. Why take that risk if you don’t have to.

Meg on

Hey, Dee. Amen, lady.

hayley on


i am so sorry, truly i am. xxxxxxx

you know i wish women would remember how hard it can be on a womens mental health after a csection, feeling like they failed or are some how not a real women are so common and judgemental people make it worse. i am brave enough to say that even though i no i had to have both c sections to this day i still have feelings that failed my children 😦 but i can live with that, because i would rather have those feelings and have 2 healthy children and be alive than not. πŸ™‚

respect a womans right to have they labour or birth they want, just because you don’t agree with it does not make it wrong. πŸ™‚

Jamie on

@dfs “As with Gemma, Bell says she will deliver by planned c-section. β€œI had a great experience last time around,” she shares.” Sounds like there wasn’t anything making it medically necessary for her to have a c-section to me.

I’ll echo Nan, babyrama, and CelebBabyLover. Going to the hospital, being drugged, and having your abdomen sliced open and seven layers of muscle cut through is a BIG surgery with a lot of risks (not only to the mother but to the baby as well). A lot of you commenters have shared stories where yes, it does sound like c-sections were medically necessary. And in those instances, you DID do the best thing you could for your family.

But inducing early for no medical reason, putting mothers on pitocin to speed up an otherwise naturally-progressing labor (albeit maybe ‘too slow’ for a doctor, OY), and planning c-sections for no medical reason just makes me shake my head sadly. It has the potential to be the worst possible start for your baby.

I feel the same with epidurals, just because of the potential for added risk. Yes, childbirth can be painful, but there are ways to cope with the pain naturally. Massage, birthing pools, hypnobabies, moving around, etc. And it’s important to remember that even with a very lengthy labor, you may only be in pain for a few days.

I encourage all women to believe in their bodies for pregnancy and childbirth. We grow our babies with kindness and love β€” now it’s our turn to respect our babies and give them the best possible start in life. For some medical reasons, that may mean with medical intervention. But with the vast majority of pregnancies, that means naturally and beautifully.

Jen on

Sorry Hayley, but studies have shown that VBAC’s are only ever so slightly more dangerous than a repeat c-section. That’s right, every time a women has another c-section, the risks to she and her baby go up significantly. Here in the states, even the NIH agreed that pregnant women should have the right to attempt a VBAC with the risks being so low. My former OB is now a high-risk practicioner and a professor at NYU medical school and he actively supports and offers VBAC’s.

Ivonne, maybe in your case your anatomy made it difficult of near impossible for you to delivery vaginally. But it is extremely rare for a baby to be “too large” to deliver vaginally.

I’m all for autonomy in birthing choices, but something needs to be said for informed consent. Women shouldn’t be consenting to c-sections because their doctor will die otherwise (when that’s unlikely) or because they don’t want to have to push or go through labor. If a women is going to consent to a major abdominal surgery, she needs to know all the risks to her and her baby, which are significant. Vaginal birth is inherently safer for women and babies than c-sections. Of course there are exceptions, and thank god we have c-sections for those exceptions, but let’s not pretend that c-sections are absolutely safe or as safe as vaginal birth.

Has anyone ever wondered how in the cases where women have “emergency c-sections” (which is anything other than a planned one, really), because the baby “might die”, the babies almost always come out pink and screaming, and not near death the way the doctors may have portrayed?

amy on

Clomid is not ‘pretty much naturally’ in any way shape or form!!! She’s fooling herself.

Angela on

I just think that giving birth has become way too clinical these days, with women being able to pick delivery dates for sake of convenience. Yes, it is much easier to plan accordingly when you know exactly when your baby is going to be delivered, but where is the excitement of going into labor on your own? Not everything in life can be planned or controlled, and I certainly think birth is one of those things.

You have to wonder nowadays if some practitioners are more concerned about mother’s/baby’s well-being or the high payouts involved in performing C-sections. It’s fairly widely known that women who end up with sections tend to be more affluent because they have insurance that can cover most of the expenses of the surgery. I recently heard a statistic that the rate of C-sections in China is nearing 50% because they are so much more profitable than vaginal births.

I’m hearing more and more about women who have elective sections because they were told their baby is too big, putting the woman into panic about possibly having to deliver a really big baby vaginally. They have a C-section and end up with a 7 pounder. Stuff like that is really troubling to me. Even inductions hold a higher risk of ending up with surgery. So I wonder how necessary all of these interventions really are.

Anywho, the health of mom and baby are ultimately paramount. I have no problem with C-sections when one or both lives is at stake, but simply scheduling one out of convenience so you don’t have to go through the hard work of labor or some other reason is pretty sad. Women should trust themselves and their bodies more because most of us were equipped to deliver just fine vaginally.

My two babies were born 17 months apart by C-section out of necessity, and I’m really hoping I can birth my third vaginally in August. Some of the practitioners in my doctor’s office look at me like I’m nuts for not wanting to schedule a third, but I don’t want to rob my body of what it might be capable of doing or myself of the experience of going into labor naturally. We ultimately want a healthy baby, however she chooses to come into the world, but I’m really pulling for a vaginal birth.

fuzibuni on

At the Farm, a natural birthing center in rural Tennessee which has been managed by the famous midwife Ina May Gaskin for the past 40 years, the c-section rate is 1.4%. Yes, you read that right… 1.4%

The farm midwives also have lower rates of birth complication, infant injury and neo-natal death compared to the national hospital averages.

However, the c-section rates in US hospitals are climbing upwards of 33% these days.

Just think about these stats for a minute and decide if you believe that hospitals are truly only doing c-sections when medically necessary.

Catherine Bell on

Wow! Who knew there’d be so much discussion/debate/upset and joy over my pregnancy & birth & personal choices πŸ˜‰ I always find it fascinating. But understandable given my career & being in the “spotlight” & then the fact that I spoke honestly with the reporter – which in hindsight I guess I could’ve kept that to myself… But then we wouldn’t be discussing here πŸ˜‰

ok.. So.. I won’t answer every question/concern here. I will say that after much discussion with my OB (who I absolutely adore & respect & admire immensely) we decided Clomid was a mild way to increase my chances of conceiving. Conception can happen immediately or can take many months or years whether you’re 18 or 45. Being 41 and wanting it to happen sooner rather than later for several personal reasons, we decided to try it for a cpl months & monitor its effects very closely. It thickens the follicles & makes them more ready to receive the egg which doesn’t always drop every month & even less often as you get older. Well, I was pregnant the 2nd month we tried πŸ™‚ and extremely happy as you can imagine!!! Clomid or not, I was pregnant & it happened fast & there you go!

C-sections are a very hot topic. I’m in total agreement they are used too often & sometimes for reasons some of us don’t agree with. But I prefer to let people make their own decisions on such personal matters. Gemma was Frank Breech & refused to turn despite trying several things to turn her. C section was the only option. I thought ALOT about having a VBAC & after much research and debate, my husband & I decided that while VBACs are an option & the risk is about 1% that anything will go wrong… If something DID go wrong (uterine rupture) the results are CATASTROPHIC. I chose not to risk that- my C section went very well & I recovered quickly & gemma is a beautiful healthy happy 7 year old now. So it’s our decision to do another C section.

I hope “y’all” (yes I live in SC now!) can respect my decision.

Most importantly, I’m happy & feeling good & the baby seems to be healthy & growing well & my husband & daughter are so excited to meet him & expand our family!! & those are the most important things!

I don’t usually read blogs & definitely don’t reply but this was so personal & I realized the article left several questions unanswered. I just looked at it again however & I don’t see anywhere that I said “mostly natural conception”! Where did you guys see that? Or did just create a headline? Hmmmmm… In the article she asks if it was a surprise or planned & I answered “planned… In fact we used Clomid to boost our chances of it happening sooner rather than later.

ok there you have it. Straight from the horses mouth! Take care, be well! Xoxo

Hey Catherine!
Thanks for taking the time to respond to our readers – much appreciated. To answer your question, the headline is picked up from this question/answer:

Were you trying to get pregnant, or was this a total surprise?
We were totally trying. I conceived pretty much naturally. We wanted this to happen quickly. We used Clomid, which helps you with a little boost and the second month we tried, we got pregnant.

— Moms & Babies Staff

hayley on

jen i am a midwife i no all the facts and risks, i am sorry but when a vbac goes wrong it goes wrong so quickly and it can take seconds, mere seconds for the worst to happen, i no i have been there when it does. 😦 and the reason the babies come out pink and screaming is because your midwife/doctor stepped in and saved your babys life, my son did not come out screaming, he was a very poorly stressed little baby. and as i said before because i can’t stress it enough at least over here doctors/ midwifes want you to aviod a c section , we don’t make money as such off them so in england its not about the money,

that being said its a womens right to give birth the way she wants, a vbac should be supported all the way through, a c section should be treated the same. its not fair to use scare tactics to make women feel bad for wanting a c section because they feel its best for them or their baby once they have heard the true facts about each.

ill say it again, just support a mums right to do whats best for her x x x x x

woeisme on

For any of you -like woeism – women who have c-sections do not feel like they have failed their children – anyone who really thinks that is a true moron.One only should feel they have failed their children when they stop loving them unconditionally.The women (or men) on this blog who actually believe somehow that c-section is wrong and that risking a vaginal birth is the right thing to do for the sake of their baby- are what I call- nutcases.It’s like the women who are so worried that they won’t be a good mother if they aren’t perfect. I say if women(or should I say girls) in third world countries can give birth and take care of their young what do people(mostly women) in the USA really worry about? The perfect stroller? The perfect bedroom furniture? The perfect diaper? Give me a break-get real you nutcases – being a mother is about nurturing and loving – don’t worry about all the superficial crap-including whether you breastfeed (I did breastfeed for those of you who think I feel guilt somehow if I didn’t)or have a vaginal birth or whatever.Being a mother is about strength, hope, belief, and loving unconditionally!

Rachel on

First of all let me state the way Catherine got pregnant and how she plans to deliver are her choices and her business. No one else has to live with the decisions she has made but her.
Second as a woman who had to take clomid to conceive while it isn’t IVF it also isn’t easy. There are some unpleasant side effects like some pretty harsh mood swings, blurry vision, and really bad headaches. I thought my head was going to explode but it was worth it to have my little girl and I was 28 at the time.
Finally, although I didn’t have to have a c section thankfully. None of you know what her medical history is. Maybe she has some problem that prevents her from giving birth naturally or maybe she is one of those Hollywood moms that needs her conception and birth planned out as to not interfere with her work schedule. That’s all on her.

kate on

Could I just make the point that Clomid is not a fertility drug, but a drug that regulates ovulation and therefore optimises a woman’s chance to get pregnant naturally. I took it before getting pregnant with both my children, and while there are some unpleasant side effects (in my case bloating and pretty bad mood swings) I think it is actually an empowering tool. I would also like to suggest that how a woman gets pregnant or gives birth is kinda small beans compared to the greatness of the end result. I say this having lost my beautiful girl to cot death in April – everything else is just noise.

klm on

Thanks so much to Catherine Bell for responding to this post. How cool. Catherine Bell, if you’re reading this, I totally respect your choices and encourage you to keep on keeping on!

Woeisme, I may choose a slightly softer terms than “moron” or “nutcase” to describe women who feel less-than or guilty for having a C-section, but I completely agree with your sentiment.

What a waste of time to spend even one second worrying about having had a C-section if that’s what needed to happen for you and your baby to be healthy! Be at peace with it and move on! That is a step in the right direction to you being the best mom you can be. Be confident in your choices, don’t listen to the Know It Alls on this blog or anywhere else who try to tell you what you should have done, could have done or how you should handle things in the future. If they were forced to have a C-section for some reason, they would be humbled.

I also completely agree with those of you who pointed out how hypocritical it is for women to be pro-choice, and for a woman’s right to stay at home or go back to work but against the right to choose a C-section, if that is what is SAFEST for you. I share Catherine Bell’s concern about the 1% chance of things going wrong in a VBAC. That may not seem like a high percentage unless you are the 1% and it’s YOUR BABY who dies. Bless you, Woisme, so sorry for your loss.

As for having a C-section for vanity? I believe that to be a myth. Am I incredibly naive? Nobody would do that, right?

Jessicad, what/where did Christina Aguillera say she had a C-section so she wouldn’t get stretch marks? What!?!

Sonya on

Catherine -Thank you soooo much for answering to this post! I’m a huge fan of yours and can’t wait to hear about the new arrival and the name you pick.

Secondly, I wouldn’t take any comments made here personally. While your interview was the starter for the whole discussion, most posters here (myself included) post our own experiences and comments on each others posts, often regardless of what was said in the original post.

Of course, conception and birth are extremely personal decisions and we have no idea of what might be happening in someone else’s life/body and why they make the choices they do, so all our comments are pure speculation.

Lauren on

Jen, wow! I am glad people have opinions, but you are stating “facts” that are soo wrong. Can you let me know where you got these facts from?

“But it is extremely rare for a baby to be β€œtoo large” to deliver vaginally.”
–I, was told this by my doctor, and I know 2 other people who were also told this with all different doctors. I would take out the word extremely. My aunt should have had a c section b/c her son was too big for her to deliver, but for some reason the doctor didn’t. My cousin ended up severly injured after being delivered b/c of his large size. Thankfully, he is fine now. Maybe the doctors here in the midwest our different than the doctors you know.

“Has anyone ever wondered how in the cases where women have β€œemergency c-sections” (which is anything other than a planned one, really), because the baby β€œmight die”, the babies almost always come out pink and screaming, and not near death the way the doctors may have portrayed?”
–Again, where do you get this information from? My cousin (not the one mentioned above) was born in an emergency csection because she could have died and she was not pink and was not screaming. Additionally, I have two friends who had babies in the last year and both were emergency csections and they also were not pink and screaming.

Maybe the people I know have bad luck.

Taina on

PEOPLE! She met she did it the old-fashioned way….intercourse???? Are you seriously that interested in looking for something to pick at? She was trying to be polite by saying it the way she did. Clomid was to help her with ovulation. She was hopeful to get pregnant soon and was granted her wish. If you are going to pick at a story, at least be accurate about it.

Jamie on

Catherine, thank you for responding. And I do agree with you β€”Β the 1% chance of uterine rupture with a VBAC is scary.

However, the risks associated with uneccessary c-sections are even more scary, in my opinion.

-In 2000, the mortality rate for Caesareans in the United States were 20 per 1,000,000.

-The UK National Health Service gives the risk of death for the mother as three times that of a vaginal birth.

-A study published in the February 2007 issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who had just one previous caesarean section were more likely to have problems with their second birth. Women who delivered their first child by Caesarean delivery had increased risks for malpresentation, placenta previa, antepartum hemorrhage, placenta accreta, prolonged labor, uterine rupture, preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth in their second delivery.

-Babies born by Caesarean section, even at full term, are more likely to have breathing problems than are babies who are delivered vaginally.

-Cesareans can delay the opportunity for early mother-newborn interaction.

In my opinion, a VBAC is a safer, healthier choice. But of course it’s not mine to make πŸ™‚

I wish you and your baby boy all the health and happiness in the world!

woeisme on

Sorry about my non-soft blunt words – I get irked when I hear women worrying about the process.If I had been as blunt and outspoken as I am now when my doctor refused to perform a c-section because he believed in “nature taking its course” I would have ended up with my baby Adam enjoying life.One winning lawsuit later and interviews with different OB-GYNEs led to a cooperative dr-patient relationship that resulted in q healthy baby, then another.I am an outspoken advocate in mother’s rights – including ignoring the pressure from other women that nature’s way is the only proper way.I also had an experience in the hospital where a la leche representative actually scolded a new mother for not trying hard enough to breastfeed the right way.It was shameful that something so good was turned into an actual dressing down by a professional who should have known better.No wonder some women get post partum depression.

woeisme on

Jamie, when a person has a planned c-section there are tests done to be sure of lung maturity- on my 4th child the test showed he wasn’t 100% mature enough so I had to wait 5 days and then 3 days.A baby born by c-section is less likely to have lung problems -not only because of these tests – but because the baby is so quickly delivered -unlike a vaginal birth.As far as the birthing experience itself you must not have had a planned c-section because if you did you would know that the healthy baby is taken from the abdomen and immediately placed on your breasts and held onto by dad-the baby is kept by you at all times- until taken by the nurse to get the second apgar score, get cleaned a little, and to get weighed (with dad)-all of which is done with a vaginal birth.Once weighed the baby is put back on your breasts and is wheeled out with you to recovery where baby stays with you the whole time.There is no loss of bonding with the baby and mom.And best of all, mom is not in any pain or sleepy from birthing fatigue, so she can fully experience the bonding with the baby.Also if you are going to quote wikipedia-then you should show the complete paragraph-“The mortality rate for both Caesarian sections and vaginal birth, in the Western world, continues to drop steadily. In 2000, the mortality rate for Caesareans in the United States were 20 per 1,000,000.[18] The UK National Health Service gives the risk of death for the mother as three times that of a vaginal birth.[19] However, it is misleading to directly compare the mortality rates of vaginal and caesarean deliveries. Women with severe medical conditions, or higher-risk pregnancies, often require a Caesarean section which can distort the mortality figures.”

Jen on

Sorry Lauren, I married into a family of doctors, one of whom happens to be an OB who believes that whenever possible, babies should come out of vaginas, and I had a very close friendship with my former OB as we existed in the same social circles. That is where my information came from. I also happen to know a doctor (friend of my in-law) who chose a primary elective c-sectio for no other reason than because she didn’t want to have to bother with labor and “tearing”. Do I think she was being vain? Yup, but she also was fully informed of the risks because of her medical background and because she is married to a surgeon.

My SIL (the OB) and my former OB both have said that it is very rare for a woman to be unable to birth a baby vaginally because of size. If she is unable, it is likely because of anatomical issues on the mother’s part or circumstantial things such as pushing position, etc. They’ve also mentioned that the risk of rupture in VBAC (the 1%) is nearly identical to serious complications during a repeat section. The main difference is that OB’s get sued for vaginal deliveries gone wrong, but rarely get sued when a c-section goes south. Even the NIH agrees that VBAC’s are not inherently riskier than repeat c-sections. My SIL also has mentioned more than once finding it ironic that *most* of the emergency c-sections she has been involved that were for fetal distress, the babies almost always come out pink and vibrant with no signs of distress and had the mother been given longer, positions been changed, etc., she probably would have been able to push the baby out on her own. Not always, but quite often. If they are doing a c-section for true fetal distress, it’s called a “crash c-section”.

Hayley, sorry, I’m going to go with the opinions of doctors I personally know and talk with about these issues than someone posting on a website. I’m sure others feel the same about my comments.

And it’s not scare tactics, as I mentioned before, it’s called informed consent, which should be true regardless of the birth choices a woman chooses, including vaginal birth. Telling someone about the inherent risks of having major abdominal surgery is not a scare tactic. I’ve had abdominal surgery for other things and I wasn’t going to stick my head in the sand because it was scary to hear about what could happen. And it it involves the birth of a baby, I think the woman has an obligation to her child to learn what risks she is choosing to take. I also think the same things is true for vaginal birth when it is contraindicated, such as times when a VBAC would absolutely be the wrong choice. Women should even know that vaginal birth increases the chance of pelvic organ prolapse or tearing (obviously), and when a VBAC is chosen, she NEEDS to know that risks that fall within that 1%. We have an obligation to know the full extent and possible consequences we make with regards to our children.

But when a woman is fully informed of all the risks and benefits to a certain kind of birthing choice, then I support her right to choose whatever form of birthing is right for her and her family. Which is why I had no problem with the choice of the person I referenced above. As long as all risks are known, a c-section IS a valid birthing choice and should be respected as such.

Kate, Clomid is a fertility drug. The first line in fertility medications, with relatively few side effects,and a very positive safety record, yes, but a fertility drug, nonetheless. I’ve used it because of anovulation, so I’ve nothing against it, but let’s call a spade a spade.

woeisme on

And Jamie – just like how you left off the last part of the paragraph – some studies are quoted erroneously or even have incorrect data.One shouldn’t believe every study – any researcher can pretty much adjust the results to what they really want to have.Many studies are done by grad students at universities or scientists hired by pharmaceutical companies-both of which are looking for a good grade or a bonus.

Kate on

I personallly would skip the clomid and go straight to injectables. It’s really not a very effective drug.

Lauren on

I agree woeisme. Wikepedia is NOT a trustworthy site for factual information. Anyone can go on to the site and edit the information. Not a site I would base my information on.

Jen, It sounds like your experience is great and the Dr’s in your life know what they are talking about for you. Every Dr is different. My point was the statements you were making can be interpreted as facts and they are really the opinions of the dr’s you know.

Jamie on

@woeisme β€” you said “A baby born by c-section is less likely to have lung problems -not only because of these tests – but because the baby is so quickly delivered -unlike a vaginal birth.”

Actually, this is VERY incorrect. Babies born by c-section don’t have the amniotic fluid expelled from their lungs like babies born vaginally do. THIS is what contributes to c-section babies’ lung and breathing problems β€” not, as you stated, the rapidity of the birth.

Erin on

Dee, are you equating being pro-choice (in your words – pro-baby killing) with being intolerant with other decisions surrounding reproduction/child rearing? Because I’m pro-choice and have no issues with anyone who wants to make whatever choice works best for them and their kid, whether I happen to agree with the choice or not. Unless it’s something kooky like having a bottle of wine everyday when pregnant, or riding around with a baby on your lap while driving I can pretty much appreciate that folks are doing their level best to raise their kid.

I know it’s a sensitive subject, but the vast majority of abortions are preformed in the early first trimester, and even those are bound to nearly obsolete soon with the morning after pill and other scientific advances. (And hopefully people growing up and taking responsibility for birth control in the first place!) I don’t think of the examples above as baby-killing, but I respect that you do. I do think life is about making your own choices, and so it’d be slightly insane to say I’m pro-choice but butt in on other issues. I just want to convey that being pro-choice doesn’t mean being pro-nosy or pro-judgmental or anything else.

woeisme on

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie – you still don’t get it.Anything you write (or quote) I can quote something else.For example, this was on the internet , “Is it true that babies born via c-section will spit up more the first few days?
Someone had told me that babies born via c-section will spit up amniotic fluid for the first few days after birth and I was wondering if this was true. I heard the reason is because during a vaginal birth as the baby comes through the birth canal, its body (lungs) are compressed which allows the fluid to come out, and upon delivery they are nose and mouth is suctioned out. I know they suction all babies, but due to the fact that they are aren’t being compressed out like during a vaginal birth, is there a lot of fluid left over in their lungs?
Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
yes, it can be true, but it also depends on the baby. my sister has 5 girls, and they all were VERY spitty. And sh had them all vaginally, they all just had a faulty valve that took extra time to develop.”
Just about ANY position ANYONE has on ANY topic one can find the opposite opinion/fact.
I will go with my best opinion- ANYONE that is that consumed by whether c-section or vaginal birth is doing the best for their baby really needs to understand what being a parent is about – not sweating the small stuff and just loving your child unconditionally.

woeisme on

And oh-Jamie – those “facts” you quoted were from an internet site posted by MOMS having pulled “facts” from various other internet sites – not what I would call very scientific,LOL.But the real point is that an actress that we all very much like is having a very joyous event and I’m sure she and her husband are just so very very happy whether the baby is born one way or another.Good luck & good health to Catherine Bell!

Kristen on

woeisme: Nowhere did Jamie say anything about babies born by caesarean section being more “spitty.” She simply (and correctly) mentioned that since during a caesarean section the baby’s body is not compressed as it is during a vaginal delivery, not all the amniotic fluid can is expelled from the baby’s lungs. Some of it can be suctioned out, yes, but not all of it. This is what can turn into breathing complications later on.

I must note that no, Jamie did not have reputable sources to back up her statements. And I do agree that Wikipedia probably isn’t the best reference. However, the basic gist of her argument was medically correct.

I respect the opinion that each mother has the right to do what she’d like to do with her body and her baby. But each mother should take into account the side of view as expressed by Nan, Babyrama, CelebBabyLover, and Jamie β€” to have the birthing process go as naturally as possible when medically appropriate β€” as it is the one recommended by the National Institute of Health, the World Health Organization, and multiple other reputable and well-researched groups.

-Kristen H.

woeisme on

blah blah blah-this chat is really tiresome when dolts really think VBAC is nature’s way.I suppose all of you women who are touting VBAC’s and no to c-sections also choose not to vaccinate your children, not to use PLASTIC and paper diapers (only the best cloth for my child), no to baby jar foods, and breastfeed your children till they are 5 yrs old???People use midwives when they are not going to have a risky birth- any licensed midwife would be stupid to talk a woman into a vaginal birth when all indicatiors point to a c-section-ask the midwife sentenced to jail in Illinois.I don’t care one way or another who has vaginal, VBAC, or caesarian-it’s all about the next 18 years.Get over it-all of you self-righteous women who can quote anything from the internet and think it’s fact.LOL.

CelebBabyLover on

woeisme- I can’t speak for anyone else here, obviously, but I’m not saying no to C-sections. I’m saying no to ELECTIVE C-sections. I recognize that C-sections ARE sometimes medically neccesary, and I fully support those.

CelebBabyLover on

Taina- I agree! She clearly meant that, although she had help ovulating, conception happened the same way it would have if she hadn’t had the help: By she and her husband doing the deed, resulting in the conception of a baby.

My parents struggled with fertility issues as well. In their case it was my dad with the problem, so he was the one who took the medication. However, I still consider my older sibling to have been concieved naturally, since the actual conception happened the old fashioned way (the reason I didn’t say I consider myself concieved that way is because my parents were lucky enough to concieve me without ANY medical intervention! :)).

Feminist mom on

@Woeisme, First and foremost, I am so sorry for your loss. You are an inspiration and a testament to the power of the human spirit and the ability to bounce back and recover from one of the most horrible experiences a mother can endure. Thank you for sharing your story with this forum.

Second, even though, the exchanges on this blog sometimes tend to get heated, I so appreciate each and everyone’s perspectives. Most of the comments are highly valuable and encourage women to do the research and make informed decisions. Thank you to all the mothers for sharing your very important perspectives. You are all taking the time to post because you feel so passionate and committed to educating women about their medical choices.

Finally, congratulations Catherine on this wonderful news. We are so very happy for you and relish in your joy to come!

hayley on

Jen i would hope you would listen to your doctors lol that was a point in my post before, πŸ™‚

all i was ever saying is that if a doctor tells you, you need a c section, its because you do, and it is scare tactics to then tell a women alllll the things that could go wrong with a c section, because once a women has made up her mind as far as i go thats the end of it. i can not stress this point enough what goes on in other peoples births in theirs and theirs alone, the amount of women who have to HAVE to have a c section that find this out early on and then have other women, not doctors telling them how bad c sections are and how easy vbacs are is…makes me wants to headbutt a wall lol lol

quote every fact to every women because its means nothing really, because every birth is different every women is different, every baby will handle it different, we can’t honestly tell a women every thing will be ok because we don’t no. vbacs are a wonderful thing when they go right, the look on a womens face when shes gives birth to her baby when she thought maybe she couldn’t is magic πŸ˜€ truly its just such an honour to be art of it πŸ™‚

the flip side, women who demand a vbac because they have been put of a c section by ‘facts’ from friends , when that 1% goes wrong…there are no words, its just terrible, and you have to remember when c sections go wrong which they do you are already in a surgeons hands , your right where you need to be to make sure you and your baby live, so no matter what any ones tells me on here no matter how many women will tell me they have had vbacs and all went fine i will always stand by this fact.

if a doctors tell you , a vbac is too dangerous for you its because it is, and the best thing you can do to make sure you and your baby go home together is listen. if a vbac is possible you will be given that option too but don’t judge any one who thinks c sections are best for them even if they have the chance for vbacs. their body, their birth their baby.

at least thats how we work in the uk. πŸ™‚

jeeeeeeeeeeez i have done toooooooooooo much talking, off to bed night shifts suck!! hahahahaha πŸ™‚

kit malloy on

I’m very happy for Catherine @ Adam. Since I have met them more then once and have chance to even meet Gemma, I know she going to make a awesome big sister. I wish Catherine and her family the best with this little guy and I know the joy they will have as a family.

I’m so happy that your dream of having other baby has come true for you guys.


Jen on

Jamie is absolutely correct. Babies born by c-section are more likely to have breathing difficulties immediately after birth and they quite often require more suctioning than babies more vaginally (many of whom require no suctioning).

This is planned, emergency, or crash c-section.

Jen on

Lauren, I’m not sure that I consider the findings of the NIH to be “opinion”, but whatever. Sure, I guess the extensive experiences of the OB’s could be seen as just opinion, but when they’ve seen the same evidence present itself time and time again, then I take what they are saying as more than opinion.

The FACT remains that a c-section comes with all the same risks of other major abdominal surgeries, and women should know the risks, regardless of whether or not the c-section is medically necessary or elective.

Lauren on

Jen, you are not a doctor, correct? I want to be sure people understand that the information you are providing is second hand. I do feel some of what you are saying is an opinion b/c my dr (who is one of the BEST in Chicago) doesn’t agree.

fuzibuni on

I appreciate catherine’s response and that she shared such personal information with us.

However, I feel the need to comment on one part of her response: “Gemma was Frank Breech & refused to turn despite trying several things to turn her. C section was the only option.”

I don’t know if there were additional complications in her daughters birth, but for the sake of informational purposes, women should know that frank breech presentations do not necessitate a cesarean.

These days, many doctors are uncomfortable delivering frank breech because they have been told that it is problematic and that c-section is the best way. However many skilled practitioners can deliver a frank breech with the same success as normal head first presentation.

I say this not to criticize any woman who has had a c-section … it is not the mothers fault. Pregnant women are following doctors orders and just want to do what is best for their unborn baby.

Just keep in mind that the current state of affairs in obstetric medicine is to use c-section as a way to avoid medical liability, even though they often cause more problems for baby after birth and higher maternal death rates.

The fact is that more and more women are being told they need c-sections these days, but it is not lowering the infant mortality rate. So educate yourselves and do what is you feel is right… but know that for the most part, ob/gyns are doing what they think is best for their liabilty insurance and hospital budgets.

Feminist mom on

I also wanted to add that I recently had my second c-section. My first baby ended in an emergency c-section which ended up saving my son’s life. He had inhaled meconium and had the cord wrapped around his neck among other issues. Because I am extremely overweight and an older mother, I had a very difficult pregnancy. For my second baby, I so very badly wanted to experience a natural birth and attempt a VBAC. My OB in Chicago was extremely hesitant in my case to allow me to go past my due date for a trial run VBAC. She indicated that because of my size and the extra tissue (nice way to say “fat”) present in my stomach, that she did not feel comfortable that she could safely perform an emergency c-section in the case of a rupture as quickly as she needed. She explained that doing an elective c-section in my case would give her the time she needed to minimize, as much as she can, some of the risks associated with a c-section. She could essentially take her time during the surgery. Of course, I understood that there would still be great risks associated with the c-section. Unfortunately, I never went into natural labor and eventually delivered a healthy but large baby boy by c-section. Despite not being able to have a natural birth, I have never looked back and feel so incredibly blessed to have two heatlhy children especially given my age and health issues. I thanked my OB for listening to me, respecting my decisions, and taking the time to educate me about the risks associated with my particular case. Although I had a friend who successfully delivered by VBAC with my doctor around the time of my birth, it was not the best option for me considering the extraneous factors in my case.

As many of you have pointed out, it is such a personal decision and each case is different. The most important aspect is to educate yourself, to see a good health provider that you feel you can openly communicate with, and get all the facts pertinent to your case.

Again, I want to thank all of the women on this forum for offering their very important perspectives. These are not easy decisions and you all point to the need to educate and empower ourselves!

Cyndy on

I think the judging needs to stop. Pregnancy and delivery is amazing regardless of the route. We are too hard on each other. It’s sad

Jen on


Many OB’s today are not even taught how to deliver frank breech. I’d be willing to deliver a frank breech baby with a skilled provider who had experience doing so.

But a doctor who hasn’t been trained to do it, no way!

Jen on


I would listen to my doctors, as long as it was clear to me that they were recommending a course of treatment that was in the best interest of me and my baby, not their careers and not their liability. I don’t believe doctors are correct simply because they are doctors, they are human, they make mistakes, and they sometimes make decisions based on what’s good for them and not what’s good for the patient. I want evidence based medicine, and that’s not what obstetrics are based on in the U.S. The system is obviously responsible for this, but doctors also have a responsibility here too.

Frankly, it scares me that you, an apparent midwife, seem to be advocating AGAINST being as educated as possible but that you do seem to advocate putting 100% faith in doctors. I find that absolutely terrifying.

And, simply because it irks me and not because it lessens anything you have to say, but it’s “know” and not “no”.

hayley on

jen ……….

you misunderstand me,

‘Frankly, it scares me that you, an apparent midwife, seem to be advocating AGAINST being as educated as possible but that you do seem to advocate putting 100% faith in doctors. I find that absolutely terrifying’

what scares me is women like yourself trying to talk/judge other women who have c section or going to have c section on the advice of their own doctors out of them. thats how i read your post, thats how they come across, like you thin all doctors our out for themsleves and some how you are more informed.

we go through all these facts with women, but once more it up to her and its NOT fair to try ad scare women out of it, doctors in the uk work through the nhs so their is no gain in giving c sections here there and every where so we do them because we NEED to, yes doctors make mistake, but they save more lives every day buy making tough calls like c section.

at the end of the day jen its not your baby, not your body , not your birth so neither you nor i have no right to tell any one how they should or shouldn’t give birth nor try and change their minds if they have already made them up.

at the end of the day , i tell women that thy should make up their owns minds take our advice and do their own research and we will fully support them.

there have been to many times when i have watched things go badly ….because a scared mum wouldn’t listen to her doctor because her poor head was filled with terrifying facts, facts shared to her by other mums whith no medical information just thigs they ‘know’ to be true …its not your call nor mine. as a mums we have a responsibility of knowledge, and its impotant its used its support other women.

so lets agree to disagree shall we, btw i no its know i just use short hand …… a few others on here sorry if that bothers you but at leats its not txt talk.’ if u c wht i mean’ lol.

πŸ™‚ this was always going to be a hot one, but i think we would all agree we just want mum and baby to come through it ok, thats all that matters πŸ™‚

woeisme on

Per the NIH conference in 2/2010 :

Short-Term Infant Outcomes of TOL Versus ERCD

Perinatal death: Overall, perinatal death was rare, regardless of mode of delivery. Eight studies provide low to moderate strength of evidence that the risk of perinatal and neonatal mortality is statistically increased with TOL (1.3 deaths per 1,000 births [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.6 to 3]) versus ERCD (0.5 per 1,000 [95% CI: 0.07 to 3.8]) for perinatal death.

Respiratory conditions: There is conflicting evidence regarding whether VBAC or ERCD results in more transient tachypnea of the newborn. Two studies found significantly more infants required intubation for meconium among those mothers undergoing TOL versus ERCD (moderate strength of evidence).

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): The strength of evidence on the HIE of the infant for VBAC versus ERCD was low due to lack of consistency in measurement and the low number of studies. While studies consistently report higher risk for HIE after TOL compared with ERCD, it is not possible to know the true relationship due to the low strength of overall evidence.

Sepsis: Three studies reported sepsis in the newborn with only one study reporting proven sepsis. The overall strength of evidence for the impact of route of delivery upon infant sepsis is low due to imprecise and inconsistent definitions and the low number of studies. While it appears that there is no significant difference between TOL and ERCD, serious limitations prevent a true understanding of the relationship between route of delivery and sepsis.

Birth trauma: The overall strength of evidence for the impact of route of delivery on birth trauma is low largely due to few studies. While existing studies suggest that there is a nonstatistically significant increase in birth trauma for TOL, serious limitations prevent a true understanding of the risk of birth trauma for VBAC compared with ERCD.

Apgar scores: Four studies found no differences in Apgar scores of less than 6 and 7 at 5 minutes in infants undergoing a TOL versus ERCD. One study found that a very low Apgar score (<4) was rare but occurred more frequently in infants whose mothers attempted a TOL versus ERCD.

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions: No studies defined the criteria for admission to the NICU. The majority of the eight studies reviewed found no significant differences in frequency of NICU admissions between TOL and ERCD.

Relevant Factors Associated With Benefits and Harms to the Infant of TOL Versus ERCD

Impact of mode of delivery on subsequent pregnancy: Two studies reported the frequency of stillbirth in subsequent pregnancies among women with a prior cesarean delivery. These studies produced conflicting results, with one study showing that prior cesarean increases the risk for unexplained stillbirth in the next pregnancy and the other study showing no difference in risk for stillbirth in the next pregnancy.

Impact of induction on infant outcomes: Evidence for the impact of induction of labor on infant outcomes is inadequate to make conclusions.

Macrosomia: There is evidence for a decreased likelihood of VBAC in infants weighing 4,000 grams or greater.

Fetal presentation: No studies were found that measured the impact of fetal presentation on the benefits or harms of a TOL versus an ERCD.

GA: There are insufficient data to determine whether GA in term neonates influences benefits or harms to the neonate undergoing TOL versus ERCD.

Long-Term Benefits and Harms to the Infant of TOL Versus ERCD

Breastfeeding: No studies were found that explored the effect of a TOL versus an ERCD on breastfeeding initiation or continuation.

Neurological development: No studies were found that measured the impact of a TOL versus an ERCD on neonatal neurological development.


Overall, the evidence on infant outcomes was assessed to be of low to moderate strength. Perinatal and neonatal mortality rates, while rare for both TOL and ERCD, were statistically significantly higher for TOL; however, the literature on other neonatal outcomes was insufficient. The majority of studies lacked definitions or consistency of definitions for infant outcome. Outcomes of interest were generally classified by delivery mode regardless of exposure to labor. Future studies could be strengthened with closer attention to consistent definitions of infant outcomes and efforts to reduce classification bias.

woeisme on

After I read this info on the National Institute of Health website (I more than ever feel that all of you VBAC proponents/midwives/know-it-alls really don’t know what you are talking about.It seems to me all those facts you presented are the complete opposite of what was presented at this conference.

And to those of you who are considering multiple vaginal pregnancies here’s a health concern you may not have thought about:

Uterine and Bladder Prolapse:

The uterus and the bladder are held in their normal positions just above the inside end of the vagina by a “hammock” made up of supportive muscles and ligaments. Wear and tear on these supportive structures in the pelvis can allow the bottom of the uterus, the floor of the bladder or both to sag through the muscle and ligament layers. When this occurs, the uterus or bladder can create a bulge into the vagina. In severe cases, it is possible for the sagging uterus or bladder to work its way down far enough that the bulge can appear at the vagina’s opening or even protrude from the opening. When the uterus sags downward, it is called uterine prolapse. When the bladder sags, it is called bladder prolapse, also known as a cystocele.

Various stresses can cause the pelvic muscles and ligaments to weaken and lead to uterine or bladder prolapse. The most significant stress on these muscles and ligaments is childbirth. Women who have had multiple pregnancies and vaginal delivery are more likely to develop prolapse. Other stresses that can lead to prolapse include constipation with a habit of frequent straining to pass stool and a chronic cough. Obesity also can strain the pelvic muscles. Support problems in the pelvis become worse after menopause because the pelvic tissues depend on estrogen to help them keep their tone, and estrogen levels drop after menopause.

Some doctors estimate that half of all women have some degree of uterine or bladder prolapse in the years following childbirth. For most women, these conditions remain undiagnosed and untreated. Only 10% to 20% of women with pelvic prolapse seek medical evaluation for symptoms.

per “”

woeisme on

My sister had 4 live vaginal deliveries by the age of 35.She experienced bladder & uterine prolapse within 10 years & had to have a hysterectomy.

Eliza on

Woeisme, thanks for posting the NIH report, it was interesting reading. However, it failed to convince me that in a normally-progressing pregnancy and labor, natural is not better for the mother at least since she doesn’t have to have drugs put into her body.

Marla on

a healthy mom and baby is the goal of it all, is it not? i appreciate the clarification by the mom of the article (you are beautiful, but i have no idea who you are). she is informed and has made her choice.

i am passionate about this topic, but feel message boards on the internet don’t really convince anyone. i will say we live in an extremely litigious, entitled society and that i will not make choices on my my children’s health (in utero) or otherwise, based on the fear of me suing my doctor(although i can understand their perspective).

educate yourself, as this actress has done, and make a decision from there. my 3 vaginal deliveries were absolutely incredible experiences and i am thankful i avoided c-sections. and i had insanely long, slow-moving labors w/ big babies, but my OB let my boys take their time, despite drops in heartrates, etc. but i would’ve loved my little boys just the same, no matter how they ended up in my arms.

Marla on

and woeisme, glad you’re concerned about my bladder and pelvic floor. afer 3 vaginal deliveries, it’s just fine, thank you.

i run regularly and hold my bladder. i laugh and hold my bladder. scaring women into major surgery over the possible, minor issue of incontinence is unfortunate.

and anyone could cut and paste statistics.

woeisme on

I wasn’t trying to scare – just giving the facts.Apparently you only care to hear the supposed facts of cesarian delivery?So it’s OK to scare then but not when it’s a VBAC???The only true thing you said was what is most important which is what I have been saying all along – the most important thing is the beautiful baby that you can love unconditionally forever.

woeisme on

Also, Marla, I would hardly call your bladder or uterus actually hanging out of one’s vagina a minor inconvenience of incontinence, or the need for major surgery when one is older and perhaps physically weaker.When you talk like that you really sound like a dolt.

Besides, I quoted all of that stuff for the other dolts on this blog who somehow think there are only positive facts to support a VBAC. I could really care less about anyone’s choice of delivery – I only care that one of you dolts could possibly pass on your misinformation or “facts” to a new mom-to-be who may be completely inexperienced with the medical profession.Also, you should scroll upwards and reread my posts so perhaps you would have a better understanding of my position.It’s not what you stated.

woeisme on

And if Catherine Bell is reading this – I wish you to have great health, great medical care, and a wonderful family experience.PS- I love you in Army Wives and JAG.

CelebBabyLover on

woeisme- I can’t speak for Marla or anyone else, but I know there are risks involved with a vaginal birth as well. All I’m saying (and I think it’s what the other posters are saying), is that a woman should be completely educated about ALL of her choices, and steered toward whatever is the best one for her. πŸ™‚

CelebBabyLover on

Also, I agree with hayley. I think it’s time for all of us to agree to disagree. Clearly at this point, we aren’t going to change each other’s opinions!

Kristen on

Honest to Heaven people, I mean really. She’s pregnant and she wanted to be and that is wonderful! Why can’t we be happy for someone that by every report read by fans and every impression given in public is a very nice person.

She wanted to have a child and not wait until her middle forties and that was wise. She had the ability and the desire to bring a child into the world and raise him, I’d kill for that ability, I can’t have children.

She can provide for the child and not live off the government and people are slamming her because she took some pills to help nature along, give me a break!

So what if she planned a C-Section? If that is her choice for her body and her baby and the doctor supports it, fine. I had a friend who’s doctor recommended a C-Section, she refused and her baby that she tried for 7 YEARS to conceive was still born because of how he presented and her refusal to have the procedure.

Why can’t we either be happy and congratulate her or mind our own business? There are plenty of problems in the world that really need some attention, chew on some of those for awhile.

Jeananne on

It is very obvious to me, that some of the people that are writing here, have far too much time on their hands. Isn’t it enough to simply feel joy about this woman and her family and now her new baby. This is not one of the fake, talentless nitwits that walk the red carpet wearing $150,000 dresses and has a hard time remembering her name. This is a woman who has been married for a very long time, is faithful to her husband, has not been associated with the drinking and the drugs and the witless Hollywood scene. She did an absolute great job with “Jag”. Some of the material was absolutely assinine, but she did her very best with what she had to work with. Catherine and her co-star DJE, who also falls into the same catagory as she, as far as the Hollywood scene where his wife and family are concerned, gave us two beautiful in spirit and in body, charactors that will remain in our memories for a very long time. She has done some outstanding scenes in “Army Wives” and also the other movies that she has done. From what I have read, Catherine Bell is a real, decent, honorable and happy woman. We shall all strive for these attributes and should also try to remember that her personal life is just that…her very own. Congratulations to you, Catherine, to your husband and to your little girl. Enjoy this baby boy. Your children are the greatest gift that you will ever receive. God bless you and your fAmily… Jeananne

Alia on

Woisme, my mother had the same thing, although hers was a little later than 10 years down the line. She had four vaginal deliveries (the last at age 30) plus a mid second-trimester miscarriage. She had a hysterectomy last year because of bladder and uterine prolapse.

Marla, it does happen, so do not knock woisme for presenting her personal (or rather, her sister’s) experience. And from what my mother described, it was a bit more than just incontinence. It is a very real complication. My mother wouldn’t trade her natural childbirths for anything, but she did experience repercussions from that later in life.

MOM on

Did i miss something but i thought scientology didnt do any kind of drugs or did she convert to a different religion??

annica on

congrats to you Catherine . bless you and baby, how you got pregnant is not the issue. Bringing a life in this world with your love wrapped around it , is all that is needed. I my self had 4 C-sections the first truely was not my choice , but needed to be done or else. Each child was concieved out of love and each birth a
c – section so there would not be further complications to me the mother, It is major surgery, and recover may be slow. So do not hurry your self , you will know when you can,you need to heal. Good luck

Anonymous on

Wow some of you are is her body and her choice. Who cares how she brings a precious life into the world. She is doing it just fine happy, healthy and expanding HER family! Some people need to get over themselves and take a step down off their high horse! I know free speech but also free choice!

Pam on

Taking a drug to help conceive is not “natural.” Sorry, I know this is being picky, but conceiving “naturally” is doing it the “old-fashion” way.

Rachelle on

I’m on the fence. Yes, all Clomid does is regulate your ovulation but it’s still a medication so not considered “Natural.” And about the C-sections, I totally agree with the fact that they are done way more often than necessary. I live on a military base overseas and if you labor for more than a couple of hours, they give you a C-Section. Food for though, a new study has found that the mortality rate for both mother and unborn baby is higher now, than it was 20 years ago.




Mom of 4 on

Good grief people! What’s with all the negativity? I only read this b/c CB is one of my fav actresses. I didn’t even know she was expecting but when I read all these ridiculous comments, I had to share. First off congrats to Catherine and her fam! As for all you out there that are so passionate about VBACs and no drugs, it’s NOT YOUR BODY! I had 3 c-sections (one twin preg) all under general anesthesia. I attempted epidurals with each one, but a spinal injury as a child rendered them ineffective. My first was due to the fact that at 42 weeks, that baby wouldn’t budge and he was going into distress, the 2nd, wasn’t even an option (pre-eclampsia) but I did ask about a VBAC and the doc said not just no but he## no. Too risky. The third AT AGE 42 was just assumed, again, with age and prior c-sects, the risk of uterine tearing rises significantly. As for all those drugs used to put me out and the heavy morphine after delivery. Hmmm my oldest son is now in his 3rd year at the top computer university in Tokyo (completely bilingual), twin #1 is 3rd year at Va. Tech, twin #2 is in the USAF, and my 3 yr old is so intellectually off the charts that she starts kindergarten in the fall .. at 3 yrs. Don’t think they worked out so bad for us, now did they? All bashers out there — you do what you want with YOUR body and let CB, her family and docs decide what’s best for HER. I think it’s awesome she was so kind as to share her story, but only SHE knows what’s best for her and all of her circumstances behind her decision. Good luck and congrats, Catherine!

Jen on


You completely misunderstood me.

The fact that I educate and advocate for myself with my doctors means that I work WITH them to find the best solution. I don’t just take a doctor’s word for it and move on, I want my doctors to explain to me why they think a particular course of treatment is necessary and why it’s better than others. I have great respect for doctors, and have four in my husbands immediate family, but I also know that they are human and aren’t necessarily ALWAYS motivated by what is best for their patients. It’s why I pick my doctors carefully and have left a practice over feeling disrespected.

And you’re going to have reread my previous posts because I’ve said more than once, that if a woman is educated about all her birthing choices, including the risks and benefits of each, then I absolutely support her right to choose. Like I said, I know someone who had a c-section simply because she didn’t want to bother with my labor, and I totally respect that she made an *educated* decision about what she felt was the right path for her.

And woeisme, every woman’s body is different and responds to labor and delivery different. My aunt have seven unmedicated vaginal deliveries. Her oldest is now 50, her youngest is 35. She doesn’t have ANY problems with urinary incontinence or organ prolapse. It happens and for sure there is a higher risk in a vaginal delivery, but it’s very rare. I’d still chose that over the catastrophic possibilities of a c-section. And FYI, the NIH ended up recommending that women be given a TOL unless a VBAC was aboslutely not indicated. I watched the conference and the testimonY (streamed it live).

We can all agree that a healthy baby is what is most important, but the FACT is, that certain modes of delivery hold higher risks of others, and some of those risks can be catastrophic. Women should be educated and be making decisions WITH their doctors.

CelebBabyLover on

Pam- But they DID do it the old fashioned way. The concieved the same way they would have without Clomid….by having sex.

2csectionmomma on

What’s wrong with having a baby after 40? I had my first child at 38 and my 2nd 3 days before I turned 41. I had c sections with both as my first was thought to be over 10#. No they are not easy but I knew when I got preggo with #2 it would be a repeat! Congrats to Catherine!

lewis on

Catherine es the most beatiful woman I have seen un muy life