Jessica Biel Shares Why A Natural Birth Isn't Always A Perfect One
When Jessica Biel gave birth to her son, Silas, in 2015, she had every intention of having a natural childbirth. She had a doula, midwives, and had meditated quite a bit to prepare—but at the end of the day, she ended up needing an emergency C-section.
In Connie Simpson's new book, Nanny to the Stars, Jessica Biel got real about how her "natural childbirth" plans really ended up. "Our story with Nanny Connie started the day we brought our son home from the hospital," she wrote. "We had two midwives, one doula, one meditation birthing class, a ton of hippie baby books, and a lovely home in the Hollywood Hills that we had turned into a labor facility...when all our plans fell apart and the serene, natural childbirth we had envisioned ended with a transfer to the hospital and an emergency C-section, we arrived home exhausted, delusional, and totally in shock."
Biel admitted that at the end of the day, despite her best intentions for natural childbirth, the majority of it ended up being out of her control. The truth is, this is a common experience for so many women—and doula Erica Chidi Cohen suggests women stop using the term "natural birth" altogether.
"It’s important that we get rid of what I consider to be paternalistic, emotional language to describe the birth process," Cohen explains. "Instead, it helps to take the charge out of it and replace emotional language with universal bio-medical terms that can help you advocate for your needs with care providers. Birth is an experience that really deserves more color and shade and less reductive thinking."
Want to learn more about what a doula does? Here's everything you should know.
Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist and former Senior Relationships Editor at mindbodygreen where she analyzed new research on human behavior, looked at the intersection of wellness and women's empowerment, and took deep dives into the latest sex and relationship trends. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis. She has written for HuffPost, Glamour, and NBC News, among others, and is a certified yoga instructor.