Karolína Kurková: Why I Chose Natural Childbirth

01/30/2013 at 11:00 AM ET

Karolina Kurkova Natural Childbirth Access Hollywood Live
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For Karolína Kurková, there was no place like home to welcome her first child.

Setting up a birthing suite in the comforts of her Tribeca apartment, the model mama admits her motivation behind her decision to deliver naturally was simple: childbirth is nothing new.

“Of course we had the midwife, we had the doula, but that’s something we really did a lot of research on and we wanted to do,” Kurková, 28, tells Access Hollywood Live. “We wanted to do it in our home where I felt comfortable.”

“[For] centuries, women have been giving birth naturally and I think your body adjusts to it and you get into a zone.”

Her active labor lasted 2½ hours — a process she calls “quite quick” — and, by keeping her concentration on seeing her son, little time was left to think of the pain.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a pain. I’m dying, I’m dying,'” the supermodel coach of The Face says. “It was so gradual you just kind of deal with it. You get in a zone, you really focus on helping this child to come out.”

With her husband Archie Drury preparing “green juice and coconut water” to keep his wife hydrated, it wasn’t long before Kurková’s midwife let her know baby boy was on his way.

“I really wanted to do it in the water because it’s better for the baby to be born in the water — from water to water — and it’s less painful for the mom,” she explains of her decision to deliver in a birthing pool.

“When he’s born in the water, there’s still the umbilical cord so until you clip it they can still breathe through it. He was born in the water [then] we put him on my chest.”

Recalling the big day as an “incredible experience” Kurková will “absolutely” do it all over again — eventually. Until then, now 3-year-old Tobin Jack has all his mama’s attention.

“I want to enjoy [Tobin] first and learn everything and really spend time with him,” she explains.


– Anya Leon

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Showing 106 comments

Jessica on

2.5 hours for her?! Lucky!! Took me 29 hours to have my daughter and that was hell especially after they pulled me from the epidural.

Lina on

Every woman is different. Yes women have been giving birth naturally for centuries, but many many many women died or the baby died, or suffered brain damage as a result of going completely natural.

She conveniently glosses over THOSE facts !

abigail on

Thank you Karolina for sharing a but of your birth story. It is wonderful to read something about natural childbirth that is positive and provides a picture of health without fear. Blessings to all!

BlueSkidoo on

I strongly dislike when people tell stories saying stuff like “YOU get in a zone.” Maybe she did, but stop telling other people what they’ll do. And seriously, 2.5 hours? No wonder she “got in a zone.” I’m sure she was in “non-active” labor longer, but 2.5 is still really short for active labor.

Katie on

i had a home birth with my third, in the water as well, and there was just no zone in the world that could take away the pain. I did feel like I was dying!

Lola on

What about babies that aspirate under water and die? Of course women have been giving birth for centuries but how many moms and babies died? I think it is selfish to put a baby at risk for your own experience. What about the baby’s experience?? Stupid stupid move.

BlueSkidoo on

For the record, I feel the same about women who say “You just get to a point where you need the epidural.” And I agree with Lina on other childbirth history being ignored.

rae on

I had a home birth too and I was on active labor for 72 hours. And yes, you do get in a zone. I think women hear horror stories about birth and they psych themselves out before hand and the second they feel pain they think its the worse and want the drugs. But, I didn’t allow myself to be afraid of birth, I embraced it and it was incredible!!! I will be having my next child in July and can’t wait to experience it all over again!

Cash on

Yes, women have been having babies for centuries…and the number one killer for women was CHILD BIRTH.

Christy on

Shame on People magazine for not even mentioning the dangers of home births. It’s all wonderful and natural until something goes wrong, and then in an instant the mother and baby’s lives are at risk without time to get to a hospital. Take one look at these websites for the other side of the story…

Lisa on

Lina, and people like you like to conveniently gloss over the fact that the very act of being in a hospital can *cause* many of those issues. It’s always “the baby died BECAUSE he was born at home”, yet “the baby died DESPITE being in the hospital”. The double standard really irks me.

keilanisma on

Why do some women get so worked up about Karolina’s birth experience?! She’s only sharing HER experience and does not speak for majority. Some people should not be allowed to voice their opinions, period.

rae on

Women and babies also die in hospitals..just because that happens, does that mean women should stop having children??? That’s just such a weak argument, I’m sorry.

Yes on

Agreed! And women are still dying in developing countries where they don’t have the luxuries of good medical care. This article is ridiculous. It’s fine for her to make her choice about how she gives birth, but she seems entirely uneducated about birth complications.

Yes on

And I should note I had a natural uncomplicated delivery in a hospital, but I’m educated about the risks.

Christy on

Lisa, it’s not a double standard – it’s a scientifically proven fact. The American Board of Obstetrics in 2010 found that planned home birth has a two to three times higher risk of neonatal mortality than hospital birth. Choosing not to have hospital support is irresponsible.

K.W. on

Yep – woman have been giving birth naturally for ever. And it used to be the number one cause of death for woman and babies. Love how woman craving a home birth try to ignore that fact when they advocate for the safety of their choice. Have a natural birth and even a water birth in the safety of a hospital – use a midwife and a doula but have a doctor there just in case -

rae on

Shame on people magazine for not mentioning the dangers of home birth???? Really???? So there is NO RISK at having a baby in the hospital? That’s a really bad way of thinking…what about all the unnecessary procedures done in the hospital? I.e – c-sections that could be avoided if the mom wasn’t hooked up to all those machines and was allowed to walk around.. oh, but you’re right…hospitals are the safest place to be, crazy me!

natural birthing mama on

Congratulations to Karoina! Why are people so judgmental? Seriously, what makes any of you think that you know what is best for her and her baby? Just because you aren’t comfortable with an at home water birth, doesn’t make it a poor decision for her. It is true that in the past women have died due to dangerous conditions, but they also suffered from nutrition deficiencies, lack of prenatal care, undiagnosed mal positioning.

The facts are that C-sections and unnecessary inductions are more dangerous for children then a natural vaginal birth. Certainly there are times when it is medically necessary, but certainly not at the 30-50% c section rate that is currently impacting the USA right now. Quit being so defensive, holy cow!

Priscilla on

I had a c-section with my first. 2nd was with midwife and doula in hospital. 3rd was with midwife and doula in hospital. I would never use another male doctor for childbirth, it was terrible. I used no drugs, no epidurals, only a general for the c-section. I am not one who would do it at home, but I have friends who have and with no issues. I think it’s great this mom opted to have a midwife and doula with her while she home birthed.

I agree with the zone… with my 2nd the nurses would come in and ask if I was asleep during active labor… no, just in the zone. I feel epidurals and pitocin are used way to frequently, planning to have a baby born on a certain day really irks me. Maybe the baby isn’t ready to be born!

Anyway, between this and breastfeeding, people will get downright irate that their views are the *right* views. Everyone just do what is right for YOU and your family. Who cares that a model did a home birth, why do YOU care?

Karen on

I had gone through 16 hours of labor beforehand. I got an epidural as soon as I could. I never felt I had anything to prove by going through needless pain any more than if I had a root canal and chose to show how brave I was by refusing anesthesia.

Home births are all well and good unless you need an emergency c-section i,e the cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck or is in some other distress. Then it’s an emergency. As far as women giving birth at home “naturally” for centuries, the infant mortality rate was horrific centuries ago. I’m all for women coming up with their own birth plan. I’m well over some feeling superior because of their choice.

RKF on

Another supermodel who thinks she’s God’s gift to childbirth. And she conveniently doesn’t mention (or is uninformed) of the potential risks of this type of birth plan. And considering she is married to a Scientologist, I would never take a word she says seriously. Great – you had a healthy child and easy childbirth, but you’re no expert on anything but looking pretty for the cameras.

BlueSkidoo on

rae, it’s a total cop-out and totally uninformed to assume that women who had trouble in labor or used other options simply “fear” it. Much like those who assume hospital births are automatically safe, I suggest some research before making blanket statements like women being “psyched out.”

Mira on

I absolutely agree with her point about the pain. I feel it’s extremely accurate. Both the women who scream bloody murder and those who claim they felt no pain, I think, are off the mark. Those who claim the pain is earth-shattering were just paranoid and brainwashed from all the negative images of childbirth that we’ve all grown up with. Those who claim there’s no pain are misrepresenting the facts, usually because they are ardent activists for natural childbirth. I had a natural childbirth too and I’m all for promoting it too, but I think the “no-pain” gang are doing the cause a disservice.

Sandra on

It’s wonderful to see celebrities sharing natural birthing experiences. Hopefully one day soon American women will start to see they don’t need inductions, epidurals, cesareans and all other manner of interventions.

Anonymous on

There plenty of quality journal articles out there that refute the idea that “from water to water” is better for the baby. First of all amniotic fluid isn’t water. Second, there is plenty of data out there that suggests that water birth puts babies at increased risk for life threatening pulmonary complications, including severe pneumonia from swallowing bathwater that, during birth would be by no means sterile.

I think celebrities without medical degrees need to stop propagating nonsense. Yes, water birth can alleviate some discomfort for mom, but no, it is not better for baby. In fact, it puts baby at significant increased risk.

H. on

I have had 2 home births- having had a “land” birth and a “water” birth- I have to say the water was extremely relaxing and helpful with my second home birth experience (3rd baby)… But I also think babys position plays a big part in that too… My second baby had her arm over her head and her head cocked ear first- OUCH!

She said 2 1/2 hours of ACTIVE labor- that means from 5-10cm – that’s the hard part. Her EARILY labor could have been days long!

Every one is different, they made the decision that they felt was best- and no one else is better or lesser for making different decisions. Seriously, why do people have to get so huffy when some one is different? OWN YOUR OWN CHOICES!! Your body, Your baby, Your birth- good for you!

I say, good for her!

lovely123 on

“and it’s less painful for the mom”, yeah, and the moon is in line with the planets of Zen…Okay, to each her own. I was thinking how happy I was to get an epi for the three 9.5 lb babies I have had over the last 5 years. The last was 10.5! Less painful…painfully full off …

Jennifer on

Some of us are high risk and have no choice but to deliver in a hospital with medications. I was on: two heart medications, a blood pressure medication and an anti seizure medication when I delivered. You know what? I don’t regret it because that is what ended up being necessary to have both my son and I come out of it alive and healthy. I started my pregnancy perfectly healthy and developed issues during the pregnancy that I had no idea would happen.

She and others ought to just be grateful to have the option to do the type of birth that they want without preaching to us all about the “right” way to do it, and how long women have been giving birth. What is right for one mother is not right for all. We all gave birth, we just have different ways of doing it. Just because other women do not give birth YOUR way (or my way) doesn’t mean it’s not the right way!

rae on

Ohhh, believe me I have done my research and I’m just saying that if you have a home birth with a trained midwife, the risks are the same. But to say that home birth is completely wrong to encourage is idiotic and they need to do their research.

And also, you mean to tell me there are not those women out there that hear the horror stories and before even going into labor opt for the epidural? Of course there is and if they were educated about labor and that its not scary, then they may have a different attitude.

lovely123 on

Oh, and the first was 8.7, second was 9.5 and the last one 10.5 lbs. All went through the “Tunnel of Love”. i will take the hospital any day of the week.

Cass on

Sandra – That’s such a sweet sentiment to hope for a day when American women will start to see they don’t need inductions, epidurals, cesareans and all other manner of interventions. I’m glad to hear you are hoping for a day that my son and I did not survive his birth. I’m sure my husband would have understood being left widowed and childless to promote the understanding that inductions, epidurals, cesareans, and all other manner of interventions are not needed.

As for me? I think I’ll stick with hoping for a day when people start to see that everyone’s childbirth path is different and no way is better than the other since every way is specific to every mother and child.

Kelly on

My ‘zone’ was after the epidural kicked in! Seriously, I’m all for natural…but if you are given pitocin or if the baby is coming sunny side up…do whatever you need to make you feel comfortable and relax.

Lisa on

The problem is that many women want to do this kind of birth, but wind up having major problems. I agree that People should mention that there are definite dangers to giving birth in a non-medical setting!

rae on

Cass – I think she was talking about unnecessary use of induction, epidurals, c-sections, etc. When a mom needs them, then they are really good to have. But, there are mom’s who do not need to be induced or need c-sections.

Suzanne on

I found it amusing that she mentions women have been giving birth for centuries considering everyone who ever lived was given birth to by a woman and that’s a lot longer than centuries… it just gave me a good laugh.

I do find it annoying, though, when anyone makes a general comment about how YOU (implying everyone) get in a zone, etc. I appreciate that was her experience, but when you give a public statement like that perhaps they should consider prefacing it with ”in my experience” because a lot of us out here did have bad experiences and felt we were going to die because the pain and complications were terrible over a much longer period of time.

rae on

Lisa -I’m sorry, but if they are going to put that “warning” about home birth, then they should also warn mom’s thay hospital births are dangerous too. Child birth is risky either way.

BlueSkidoo on

“And also, you mean to tell me there are not those women out there that hear the horror stories and before even going into labor opt for the epidural?”

I never said that. But your comment very clearly implied that it was not some women, it was everyone who didn’t do it your way, they must’ve just been scared and uninformed. That’s simply not true, anymore than it’s true to make a blanket statement that home births are dangerous and hospital births are safe.

Karen on

I remember watching an episode of “A Baby Story” years ago where the pregnant woman waxed on and on about her birthing plan complete with a pool in the living room. She “roared like a lioness” through the pain. It was all very entertaining until the baby’s heartbeat dropped dramatically and was in real trouble. Suddenly, the doula was as useless as a screen door on a submarine. It was this big dramatic scene rushing to the hospital to save the baby. There ARE risks.

Karen on

And the woman on “A Baby Story” need a c-section to save her life. I remember when my friend needed a section but felt badly about it (because of the obnoxious women who look down on them) Her dr. told her that if this was 100 years ago, “We’d be waiting for you and the baby to die.”

Monkeyfarts101 on

Well I tell you what. I had a 2hr natural labor, from start to finish, and there was no “zone”. There was no “gradual” climb of pain. For me anyway. I very much felt like any moment I would die.

So if she was able to zone away, then more power to her!!! :D I do love hearing stories like this though, I sometimes wonder if people have natural childbirths anymore. It seems like so often they’re “scheduled”.

Kristin on

it is a nice story. I wish I would experience something like that when I have kids.

Iris on

The U.S. has one of the WORST mom/baby death rates in the world (not including those countries stricken with disease/poverty/oppression). And that statistic worsened when birth was taken out of the home and put into the hospital. The fear tactics like the possibility of death, defamatory or brain damage is what keeps woman in the hospital. If you’re high risk, the hospital birth makes sense. But, if you have a normal pregnancy, let your body do it’s work (it’s meant to).

rae on

Ok, well I apologize. Because that’s not what I was meaning. I know there are women who do need help with an epidural or whatever. But, there are a lot that do not.

Jen DC on

so, what, now every celebrity who has a baby needs to give you guys your personal disclaimer about their lack of expertise in any birth or health issue other than their own? obviously YOU KNOW the dangers of a home birth… and i’m assuming you have your own OB/GYN whose responsibility it is to advise you regarding your birth plan.

as many have said: things go wrong at the hospital, too. the point is that you undertake only the risks with which YOU are comfortable, and leave everyone else the h3ll alone.

Crystal on

Bottom Line!!!! Birth is personal! No one has any right to tell another woman how to deliver her kid unless they have actual medical evidence that proves she is going to harm her child. Why does this piss people off so much. Worst case scenario, her child is harmed or dies. SHE is the one that has to suffer the potential consequences of her actions, NOT US. Do what you want to do, just don’t bash other people for their actions. It’s not her fault so many people have such low self confidence and go around beating up others who are confident in their actions!!

bkable on

I think its easy to judge women for not having a natural birth when you only did 2.5 hours of active labour. I would think it be hard to “stay in the zone” for 19 hours… but then again I don’t have kids lol

Laney on

She looks older than 28. Is that her correct age?

Traci on

I had a normal pregnancy and labor with my daughter. Had she been born at home she would have died as she was not breathing when she was born. Had a neonatologist not been present my daughter would not have made it…but fortunately we chose a hospital and she is fine today. Please do not listen to this garbage that people have been delivering for years at home…it is not as safe as she is making it sound.

bkable on

Man, after reading these comments, makes me never want to get pregnant. Not because I don’t want kids but because apparently there is no RIGHT way to give birth lol

To each their own, but keep your judgements to yourself and don’t make obnoxiously general comments like Karolina and you should be okay :)

mommyof2 on

However the baby comes into the world, as long as they’re healthy, that’s what is important.

It kills me, however, when people crow that certain methods such as waterbirth, or no epidural, or what have you are ‘healthier’ for the baby.

I think that’s what really aggravates other moms. It’s that proclamation that somehow the person who did it ‘better’ for their baby is ‘better’ than all of us.

Gal Capone on

The title of the article is: Karolína Kurková: Why I Chose Natural Childbirth. Not why YOU should choose natural childbirth. Y’all b!tches crazy. Get over yourselves. Yikes! I would hope that everyone you tell your personal birth stories to doesn’t go all bat$hit because it’s not the same path they would have taken.

shayne on

Lina,
You’re crazy! Babies and mommas die natural or doped up on drugs. There is no one way that has a higher risk. You are actually more at risk of harm to you and your baby at a hospital due to infection or interventions like pitocin (or the other drugs that are similar) and c-section. Do your research.

Megan on

Get your facts straight. Lots of women used to die in childbirth because we hadn’t discovered germ theory yet and doctors didn’t know enough to SANITIZE THEIR INSTRUMENTS BETWEEN DELIVERIES. So tired of uninformed people spouting about how many women used to die in childbirth when they have no idea what they’re talking about. Those deaths were caused by doctors not natural childbirth.

Neo on

I’m a neonatal doctor and. just for the record, regardless of where you deliver and how……..the baby cannot “breathe via the cord” after it’s born.

Wolfgang & Prunella's Mum on

I’m never clear on why Americans (who arguably have one of the most highly-medicalized systems of childbirth in the world) are so arrogant about what’s best for delivering a baby.

The safest way to have a baby is to have a skilled, experienced birth attendant with you throughout your labour – often something that doctors often cannot do, but a principle to which midwives are committed.

The facts speak for themselves:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/maternal-health-numbers/story?id=15172525

Tara on

Yes they are rae. It’s a decision every woman makes for herself, don’t judge. But if you checked the CDC.org statistics hospitals are the safest place. However, if you are fine with the risk and the pain… God bless!

Morgan on

I don’t think this woman is bragging about the natural childbirth. I think she was simply stating why she chose to have one.

Yes women have been doing natural births for centuries, but at the same time, it has consequences. There was no medical care back in the day to prevent a woman from dying at childbirth. I wanted to do a natural birth in my current pregnancy until I was talked out of it by my husband and father-in-law. I did so much research before my father-in-law said “I want you to be around for another 50 years.” My first pregnancy was easy, no complications until I had to push when I was fully dilated. I was pushing for a long time until the doctor I had thought the baby was going to get stuck in the birth canal and ended up having an emergency csection. If this happened at home I would have died.

With my current pregnancy I chose a doctor who was not against having a VBAC. My husband and I made the decision to have another csection because we didn’t want to endure the outcome I had first time around. My doctor also suggested that my pelvis was not wide enough to push a baby out of my petite frame. We agreed. We’ll be welcoming our second child this Friday.

Every woman’s pregnancy is different and no other woman should not get angry over another’s choice on how to deliver a child. Not everything goes according to plan, but it is nice to have a backup one just incase.

Jill on

The thing is we all have a choice…and we all have our experiences. In my case we had a brand new beautiful hospital open up during my pregnancy, right down the street form my home.. I toured the birth rooms…it was AMAZING. However, the NICU would not be up and running when I delivered. Because of that and despite having no known complications, my doctor suggested being safe and delivering at another (further away) hospital.

Thank God we did…my daughter’s lung would not inflate and I hemorrhaged due to my placenta ripping away too soon. I knew of NO complications but there were some. A home birth wouldn’t have put my daughter or myself in capable hands as quickly. So yes, we all get to decide…but for me the choice seems pretty obvious. Also, to all the folks debating pain…pain tolerances are very different for medical reasons not just “getting psyched out”. Pain is pain and it is different for everyone.

Shauna on

Home birth can go terribly wrong. make it about the safety…it’s not about the mother…its about arriving safe. Get a midwife…have a water birth…but do it in a hospital with a NICU, doctors and life saving drugs.

Stephanie on

I am all for women having a plan of how they want everything to take place. I HAD to have a C-section. My hips did not move correctly. The third trimester, my hips popped . My doctor– one of the best in Birmingham- told me from the start that I would probably have to go with a C-section.

My Husband’s cousin had both of her children with no medications. I do not have a problem with how you want to have YOUR children. Do not hold it over other peoples heads as your better as you had no medications. Some people don’t have the choice. I would prefer to have a healthy baby than to prove anything.

Lily on

According to a little organization called the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION… the US had the highest mom/babe mortality rate of developed countries. It has the highest number of OBs & csections per capita, the least number of midwives & homebirths per capita, of developed nations. Clearly the US is doing something wrong. Countries were there are more midwives &/or homebirths per capita have a lower mom/babe mortality rate than the US. Recent studies have shown that homebirths ARE AS safe as hospital births for LOW RISK pregnancies…not all pregnancies, LOW RISK pregnancies. Of course we need OBs & csections, & we know they save lives, but there are also risks involved with interventions & csections that aren’t medically necessary.

Kat on

LOL I knew all the bitter women would come out and spew nonsense about her chosen method of birth. Anyways, Kudos to People for sharing her birth story (and others too!)! Childbirth doesn’t *have* to be scary and the more we read beautiful stories like these the more empowered women can be about birth in all its forms.

No Name on

I got 2 words for natural childbirth HELL NO LoL

Hospital and getting that shot in your back is the way to go :) LoL

Lyoness on

2.5 hours… Well…that’s nice and quick. Anywho… I think I’ll go for a happy medium. Try to find a hospital that has a birthing suite or unit that will let you bring in a midwife or doula or let you do a water birth. In case something goes haywire, you’ll have backup. That would calm alot of nerves. I’m on the side of hospital births because I was a preemie. So much can go wrong SO quickly. Medicine isn’t the enemy.

Momof1 on

I think it is clear from the comments here that every woman has her own opinion about what constitutes a safe or normal birth plan.

I had hoped to give birth naturally, but due to my son’s size (10 lbs +), I had to be induced. I tried to last as long as I could, but the pain from the medicine they were giving me to begin labor got so intense, I had to get an epidural. After 36 hours of labor, they moved forward with a C-section, and my son was delivered safe and healthy (thank the Lord.) I personally think that I would have suffered complications due to his size if I had had a natural or home birth.

I just hope that every woman does the necessary research for whatever birth plan she chooses, to not put the baby or herself at risk.

maria on

This is HER birth story…HER moment to shine…stop making it about YOU. Go to therapy if you aren’t happy with how your birth experiences turned out!

JE on

All I have to say is that I hope anyone considering natural delivery at home does not encounter “back labor” as I had with both of my children. It is pure hell, and I had that feeling of “I’m going to die” with both until I got the epidural. Back labor is a whole different ballgame, and I had to wait until it was almost out of time to even get the epidural due to both of my kids being preemies with pre-term labor.

Janae on

“Neo,” are you freaking kidding me? Until the placenta detaches and the cord STOPS PULSATING the baby is absolutely still receiving oxygenated blood via the umbilical cord. You must be a reeaaaallll great doctor. Ugh.

Others:

1) Doulas are not midwives.

2) Midwives are trained to deal with neonatal emergencies and to pay close attention to laboring women so that emergency situations can be appropriately transfered to the hospital expediently. Transfers occur when birth deviates from “normal” and becomes a medical issue.

3) Babies and mothers die in the hospital, they die at home, they just don’t all survive. Pregnancy and childbirth is inherently dangerous no matter where you are. Hospital birth has it’s own set of risks, different than the risks of homebirth but in the end the amount of risk in either location is about equal.

4) Only low risk women with full prenatal care are even eligible for homebirth. So stating that “childbirth was the number one killer..” blah blah They didn’t have the monitoring (and don’t have it still in many countries) that would alert the birth professional to any onset of an issue and RISK YOU OUT of a homebirth.

Good grief people. Everyone is looking for healthy moms and babies – at home, in the hospital, outside, wherever. Stop all the judging and assuming about someone elses experience.

anna on

People died in home birth back in the day because EVERYONE home birthed. Including high risk moms, mom’s who were carrying unhealthy babies (no way to know back then), moms who delivered prematurely, etc… obviously people who are going to be high risk are referred to an obgyn. There are always red flags during labor that indicate needing a possible transfer long before things actually become a real “emergency”. Midwives don’t just show up with no equiptment and deliver a baby. People need to do their research instead of spewing off uneducated comments that simply are not true.home birth is safer than a hospital where baby is exposed to sick people and illness. A healthy baby doesn’t need to be in filthy hospital period. That’s a risk all on its own.

Naomi on

Oh my. Just because she made a decision DIFFERENT than you would make that doesn’t make her decision uneducated, stupid, or wrong. It was HER decision. Lighten up!

Are there risks in childbirth (whether at home OR in hospital)? Of course! But it is still a NATURAL and BEAUTIFUL process that a womans body was designed to do. Women nowadays are programmed to be afraid of childbirth and think that a doctor must be there to deliver the baby. If more woman learned to just give in to their body’s natural process and let go of the fear, child birth would be less painful, quicker, and require fewer interventions.

My labors were 2 and 1.5 hours each (and by labor I mean contractions that made me really notice discomfort). And I truly believe it was because I just let my body do what it was designed to do and I wasn’t afraid of it. But that’s just my opinion.

Penelope on

I’m sure she considered the facts of home birth before she had her kid. Women are so threatened by other women who give birth without meds and at home. It’s not like these stories have created this massive up tick in home births. It’s not like anyone is condemning other women for going to the hospital and having epidurals. Do what you want and be happy with your choice.

God bless them! on

To Lola and all the other ignorant folks criticizing for putting the baby at risk.

Midwives are far better trained than the average OB-GYN. OBs are trained to perform surgeries, such as C-Sections! They are not trained on how to deliver babies naturally! When you are in labor, the midwife is monitoring everything and there are tell tale signs to things possibly going wrong. They would NEVER put a mom or baby at risk! Unlike hospitals that rely on monitors, birthing centers and home births rely on hands on experience and instinct to for safe deliveries. They are with you from the time they take you on as a patient, until you deliver. You as an expectant mother are responsible for participating in your care. They are with you from beginning to end. You are NOT just a number and there is NO other pressing thing that requires them to intervene just because they have schedules to keep. They will only intervene when all other measures have been tried and exhausted.

We fired our OB at week 36 and I have ZERO regrets. The final straw was them telling me that as a 1st time mom they would give me 12 hours to deliver, after the bag of waters had ruptured, to deliver the baby as they could not wait around any longer due to scheduled C-Sections and paper work they had to do. So glad we left that practice and went with competent midwives who took the time to educate us on what to look for, when to call them and when to come in for delivery. We did just as they said, arrived at 7cm dilated, ruptured membranes and delivered a healthy baby girl within a couple of hours of arriving. No interventions, NO IVs, no monitors, moving about freely and letting nature take its course. It CAN and is done, every day!

Mina on

Good for Karolina for making an informed choice to have a home birth, and I’m glad that she had a pleasant labor experience and healthy baby boy. But she doesn’t speak for all mothers, nor does she seem to be trying to do so in this interview. She’s simply describing her own birth experience. Every pregnancy is different, and every mom-to-be should make the choice that’s best for her and her baby.

I’ve never regretted giving birth in a hospital. And, in my birth plan, I was always open to the possibility of getting an epidural if I needed it for pain management. As it turns out, labor pain caused by blood pressure to rise to unsafe levels, and so I ended up needing an epidural to bring my pain levels and blood pressure back down. At that moment, I sure was happy to be in a hospital! At the end of the day, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and that’s all that mattered.

I’ve come to realize that there are certain incredibly polarizing topics that people will argue passionately about, but never agree on. In addition to religion and politics, there’s un-medicated/home birth vs. medicated/hospital birth, and breast-feeding. There’s no point in preaching or arguing about it, because you’re never going to change anyone’s mind.

China on

I wonder what was in that green juice to put her “in a zone”!! Which I knew then…

molly.one on

While I think it is great she was able to have a wonderful birth- the way SHE wanted to do so, I don’t think it is necessarily right for all women. I gave birth naturally- no drugs and it was relatively quick as well- the way I envisioned and hoped for (maybe I was lucky and maybe I was prepared a bit, too in wanting to try it naturally) but I can’t stand it when you read about these interviews and women toss out “the way women have been birthing for centuries.” Agreed that that IS true- we have been giving birth for a loooooong time, but I also think we need to remember that women and children used to die a lot more often during child birth b/c of lack of modern day advances that are now preventable.

Also – some women just don’t want to experience a natural childbirth. While I probably feel more similar to Karolina Kurkova in wanting something natural I don’t feel we do any justice to anyone to sound preachy and judgey towards women who have different paths or ideas as to what they want out of childbirth and mothering.

Marg on

i love how these models love to talk about how easy labor was and how you dont need drugs, spare me. i tried that with my first and was one of those who wanted an at home ” natural” birth. well so glad my hubby put the kibosh on that. hours into labor i almost broke the bedrails before i got an epidural then the umbilical cord was wrapped around my daughters neck. people should do what they are comfortable with and what safe not whats trendy or some airhead celeb does

Keely on

To all of the insecure women commenting on this story, it is ok that you wanted to be drugged during labor and not feel and be part of the most amazing thing a woman’s body in capable of in your own home or a hospital. You don’t need to lash out at an article just to make yourself feel better about your decision. It’s ok no one is judging just you guys.

Becky on

I had my second child at home in a birthing pool too. While I never got into a zone, and the pain was unbearable, I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. The moment she was out, the pain was gone. I LOVE that I had this wonderful experience with her. There was no stress for me or my daughter. I am so glad that someone is bringing home birth into a positive light.

Joni on

I had my third baby in the UK at home. It was a completely practical option there (at my first appointment, they asked me “hospital or home?) and I was attended by two midwives who came very well prepared with emergency equipment, etc. I had my first in the hospital and second in a birth center — every birth is different and I would never say that home birth is for everyone, but I know my experience was extremely positive and I felt far less stress having to relocate to the hospital, and I felt more supported in my own environment. It was a very sweet experience and I’m grateful to the NHS for helping make it happen.

Jessica on

Mira, the pain for me was mind blowing for 26 hours hard labor. Who are to judge someone else’s pain? I am also a person who has an extremely high pain tolerance and was not scared for labor or “psyching” myself out. I literally could not walk, I could hardly breathe, and it was the most intense pain anyone could imagine. That was just 8 months ago for me. Do not try and make anyone else’s pain something you can be the judge of. Your very ignorant and sound ridiculous.

Jessica on

H – Actually 5 to 10 isn’t the hard part.

Sarah on

Rae, RELAX!!

Every pregnancy is different and EVERYONE handles pain differently! There are risks involved in pregnancy from start to finish. I would never say “you just get in the zone” as this doesn’t apply to everyone; however, if she wants to share that “she just got into the zone” then good for her, but it doesn’t always happen like that clearly. She may not feel the same way about her 2nd pregnancy!

Kim on

I think its strange these days they say ‘she CHOSE natural childbirth. Like seriously, natural childbirth should be the only option unless there’s medical reason to get baby out quick or baby too big etc etc. Absolute craziness that people are choosing major abdominal surgery just so they can choose their kids birthday or make an awards show or convenient timing for both partners. My sister in law just had her second bub (both c section) and her feet have swollen up more than pre-birth, she’s in constant pain, they keep checking to make sure no infection in the cut and she has had breathing issues from having the surgery. Natural is as nature intended its funny how its an ‘option’ these days instead of just practice unless otherwise required. lol Yes I had two natural births and I am the biggest sooky la la on earth but its manageable pain, you get through it and it’s normal to hurt but it goes away and you cann have drugs lol

guest21 on

my first i had a natural birth with no medication or intervention and my labor was only 40 mins long. from start contraction to when baby was born

my sec was even faster, i was about to give birth in the ambulance but thnkfully made it to the l&d room, once my pants were off out came baby..

so it is possible to have a speedy birth, and yes it was pretty much painless.

Bianca on

Natural vs Intervention

Women complaining about women being proud of their natural birth is OLD!

Let a mother be proud if she wants after all it’s a big accomplishment. If YOU didn’t, don’t rain on her parade.

She’s not preaching she’s just sharing her story because obviously by all the comments people are interested in knowing.

Angie on

Oh, Lina… no one suffers brain damage from the act of having a natural birth. I am not necessarily putting my baby at risk by not having an epidural. Statements like that are damaging to others. Of course technology has improved in all types of birth, including home, hospital, and birthing centers. The midwives of today are educated medically and holistically and know more about the birth process than most OB’s. Please don’t make statements that you know nothing about. Yes, many, many, many women died in childbirth years ago just as many many people died from the flu or chicken pox. Times have changed, natural child birth has progressed right alongside traditional medicine.

Julie on

Just my two cents: I gave birth to all my kids at home. We researched our options and that’s what we felt most comfortable with. Some of the labors were unbelievably painful others I barely felt a thing. Some were long some were short. I enjoyed my experience. I don’t judge a woman on the type of birth she chooses, be it a home, a birth center, hospital, with meds or without, vaginal our csection. Each experience is our own. . One’s choice isn’t better than an others. It just is.

rachiecake on

no picture of her medal? I mean, you do get a medal for having a natural childbirth right?

Amanda on

I say good for her. Contrary to popular belief, most women don’t need to have their babies in hospitals unless they have to have a csection or she has medical problems. Pregnancy is not a disease.

OBDOC on

“When he’s born in the water, there’s still the umbilical cord so until you clip it they can still breathe through it. He was born in the water [then] we put him on my chest.”

So, this is just factually wrong. And if this is indicative of the “research” she did in order to decide on an out-of-hospital birth, all I can say is that I am very glad that she was lucky enough not to be in the small minority of women who have an unexpected emergency during child birth.

Jennifer on

Enough, enough, enough! I’m so tired of women crowing about natural childbirth. Two and a half hours – how lovely for you. Try three days of back labor and being awake for every single hour of it. Thank God for epidurals and hospitals.

I have NO problem with women birthing natural and trying to do it, but do we really need to hear about it ad nauseam?! The answer is no.

You had a baby. That’s wonderful. But I, for one, am tired of this “I went natural” blabber. Back when all women went natural, women and babies died EVERY day.

Torgster on

I’m confused. Are things that bad with the US health care system than you can’t have a natural delivery in the hospitals? All these comments make it sound like every hospital delivery means interventions?

I delivered both my kids in Canadian hospitals and simply said no to all the crap I wanted no part of, and they respected my desires.No monitor, no drugs, no interns or students etc. It was just me and hubby, my GP and a L&D nurse in a birthing suite.

Anonymous on

Jennifer (and others that likely shared the same view point. I didn’t even bother to read most of the comments, as I knew that with so many, most of them were probably negative!)- If women who use medication during labor or have a C-section can share their experiences, so can women who birth naturally!

Why should they have to be censored just because you don’t agree with them (and btw, it goes both ways. I’d be saying the same thing if this article were about a celebrity giving birth with the aide of medicine and people were basically saying she shouldn’t talk about it!)!

Anyway, I’m glad Karolina got the birthing experience she wanted!

kirsten on

Congratulations, Karolina, and thank-you for sharing this story! My 2 babies were born safely at home under midwifery care, and I was pleased to bring them gently into the world in a comfortable environment.

While doctors and hospitals are many times life-savers, homebirth and/or natural childbirth can be a wonderful option for a low-risk and healthy pregnancy.

I appreciate People.com covering this story.

MDC on

My aunt wanted a home birth. She had a doula. The baby was in distress. The did not recognize it soon enough. Rushed to the hospital. The baby was badly brain damaged and died her arms hours after birth. It was horrible. It could have been prevented by her giving birth at the hospital where the baby would have been monitored.

CW on

Here’s the thing… I work in sub-saharan Africa on issues of maternal and reproductive health. The estimated rate of all births requiring a c-section is around 10%. That means for some mothers with a perfectly normal pregnancy, you WILL need a c-section or you and/or the baby might die. The 30% rate in many hospitals in the US is way too high and leaves women and their babies exposed to much unnecessary risk. But to argue that hospitals aren’t necessary is absurd.

For those 10% of births, without hospitals, people would die. And, beyond that 10%, there is another large percentage of women who experience PPH–something that can usually be controlled outside a hospital with Cytex/Misoprostol or Pitocin, but sometimes can’t. And sometimes requires a blood transfusion. That’s not possible in a home. And these are just a select few of the possible maternal complications –not even the neonatal issues.

As much as we’d like to romanticize the idea of “natural” birth, natural birth (meaning without intervention, not without medication) does, flatly, kill some of us and our babies. Thank god we live in a place where medical care is accessible. If you are comfortable with the possible risk of what could happen in the 10 minutes it might take to transfer you to the hospital, that’s great. If you aren’t comfortable with it, pick a different option.

But don’t pretend risks don’t exist. In a hospital, you can have a drug-free “natural” birth. You can refuse a c-section – you have to sign a consent form. And many midwives do have privileges to deliver in hospitals, so you could have the best of all worlds.

As for me, I had a birth center birth the first time around, had a massive hemmorhage and almost died. The midwives and birthcenter handled it fine–I was fine in the end. But it was terrifying and made me all too aware of what can happen even when there are no risks or indications ahead of time.

We’re expecting our second in August and I’ll be in a hospital.

Tam on

I’m hoping I will have a natural childbirth experience in a birthing center. I’m not sure about a water birth, maybe I’ll just sit in the tub and try to relax during labor.

Suzi on

Once again, so tired of celebrities and their attitudes that home birth is the only way to go and hospitals are horrible. And YES! Shame on People Magazine for not listing the dangers of home birth.

After 35 hours of natural labor, a pitched umbilical cord and, my son’s head stuck in my cervix, I had to deliver immediately by c-section. I delivered a very blue, non-breathing, non- responsive baby boy. It took over 2 minutes with doctors and the readily available equipment to save his life. Why doesn’t People magazine do a story on all the babies that were saved during delivery because they were in a hospital or perhaps talk to all the families that lost babies because they choose home births.

If your doctor or hospital does not allow you to have a natural birth and respect your wishes that no medication be used then you need to find a new doctor and hospital.

Janae on

“Me and/or my baby would have died at home!”

You are apparently not paying attention. Your midwife would have been able to asses the situation as critical and transfer you for medical care. There are very few situations that arise that are unexpected, with sudden onset, and critical in nature. VERY few and they are not common by any means. The problematic situations that are more common, such as questionable fetal heart tones and maternal high blood pressure, give enough time for the midwife to identify the issue and transport for medical care. Very few c/s happen as “crash c/s” meaning it must happen that very instant. I’ve seen emergency c/s before and there is at least 30 minutes from acknowledgement of the “emergency” to operating room.

kristin on

i had an 18 hour labor. was it painful yes. but i did get in the “zone” with both of my kids. i ignored pretty much everyone around me and would get myself through each contraction. it worked beautifully for both of my children. First born in a hospital second born at home.

it is ridiculous to think that women should not share their positive experience. because you know obviously not everyone gets one.

get over yourself if you dont like this article or what this mama did. it was her choice. And there are plenty of mamas who agree. just as there are plenty of others who NEEDED to be in a hospital with an epi or a c-section or just the reassurance of a hospital. She was relaying what worked for her. not saying that this way is the only and best way to bring a babe into this world.

Jennifer on

Anonymous, to answer your question, I am not opposed to women sharing their birthing stories – natural or otherwise. I had two best friends go natural in a hospital setting with doula support and enjoyed hearing about their births. It is the *way* the NCB community presents natural birth as the only “right” way to have a baby that tires me out. Speaking frankly, while I would support any woman who wants to go natural (esp. if you labor for only 2 hours!) I think going natural is not the only way to give birth, nor do I think it is even the “better” way to give birth, and I think the NCB movement does a LOT by shaming women who don’t go natural. Hence the dozens of birthing shows that show women hysterical and upset when they didn’t get to give birth the “right” way.

And as for homebirth – I think it’s straight up irresponsible. Look up Hurt By Homebirth and see the stories for yourself. Certainly hundreds if not thousands of women give birth safely at home each day, but how could you forgive yourself if you were that 1 person who lost your child because you wanted the birth experience “you” wanted.

There’s a lot of narcissism associated with the homebirthing/NCB movement, it seems – which is why it’s linked to celebrities. There’s a lot of “getting the birth I want” type talk and being one of the few and the proud who can do birth “right.” The birth is not about you – it’s about the baby. Your “experience” is honestly not nearly as important as the life of your baby, but I don’t get that sense from much of the NCB/homebirth crew.

Suzi on

To Janae – Apparently you were not in the delivery room when 2 doctors and a handful of nurses rushed in to my room to give me an Amnio-Infusion, medication to stop my contraction, and oxygen when the monitors indicated that my baby’s heart rate was dangerously low and not recovering from contractions. I do believe that midwives are wonderful and extremely educated on what to do in cases of emergencies. However, as a healthy mother, laboring naturally with no indications of any high risks, complications did arise and although I live 15 minutes from my hospital, I would have never made it there fast enough to get the emergency care I needed.

I respect any women’s right to birth the way she chooses in an atmosphere that is most comfortable for her. But I think it is irresponsible that the dangers of home births are not reported in stories like these. It is wrong to criticize all doctors and hospitals or label them the “enemy in birthing” because of a few bad apples that want to hurry up and deliver. If you have a doctor or hospital that doesn’t allow you to be control during labor and birthing then that is your own fault!

Amanda on

Karen, what makes you so sure that the complication wouldn’t have happened even if the woman had been in the hospital? That’s what cracks me up…”She was trying to have a homebirth but the baby’s heart rate dropped and she had to be rushed to the hospital for surgery.” What isn’t mentioned there is that these complications would likely have arisen even if the mother was in the hospital. The problem wasn’t that the mother was at home. The problem was that there was a problem, which would have occurred even if the mother had been in the hospital. BIRTH is risky. Homebirth is just as safe, if not safer, for moms with no pregnancy/health/blood pressure problems as hospital birth is. This is a fact. Statistically, it’s safer to have a baby in Kuwait than here. There are over 20 countries where birth is less dangerous than in our own country.

ana on

of course it depends on each woman. she is a supermodel, she exercises and I’m sure she exercised during her pregnancy, she has a healthy body and nowadays there are some many ways to know that your baby is safe. So if her baby was safe, she is Young, she is fit , it’s not the same that all those fat women that get pregnant and become lazy and overeat. Also, she was with a midwife, if the widwife realizes that things are going wrong, they take you to the hospital. So much medical intervention is needed because nowadays people are fat, lazy and don’t eat right, of course they are not healthy .

kml219 on

It is sad how uneducated people are willing to spout off opinions like this, and especially considering it makes no sense. First, it is ridiculous to compare birth now to birth even 100 years ago. Many factors contribute to infant and maternal mortality and home birth is not among the major contributors. Did you know that women with who give birth at home are 3-4 times less likely to contract bacterial or viral infections? Hospitals can be very a dangerous environment when considering cleanliness and there is research to support that statement. Also, while research has been somewhat conflicted over the years, most empirical data today concludes that there are little to no differences between hospital and home birth when considering safety. Now, to address the last and most absurd thing you said. How, dear God, can one possibly think that a natural birth is worse than having drugs pumped into her system?! Our bodies are designed to endure the stress of childbirth; although it may feel like you’re dying. How scientifically ignorant to make such a statement. Please go read some research studies and other empirical data before promoting uninformed “opinions.”

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