Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Poor Gisele

I am not one to read the newspapers or follow the famous folk, and I've been really out of the loop since I was out of wi-fi range for two weeks. But suddenly I started hearing confusing remarks about Gisele Bundchen Brady and her comments about home birth and breastfeeding.

Here's the most balanced article I have seen so far, if you want to catch up on the story before I dive in with my own personal comments:


From the little I know, she's a famous model, birthed her son at home with a water birth, and has said that she believes everyone should breastfeed for at least 6 months.


What is the problem everyone has with this?

I was fortunate enough to have a home birth. I loved it. It was the most amazing, incredible, empowering, and intense experience I have ever had and ever expect to have. I didn't use drugs and didn't need to. I would encourage every woman who wants a home birth and is able to have a safe one, to do that. And if I loved my birth experience, is that a reason to say a negative comment about me? I realize that not everyone can have this experience, but I would still encourage moms to keep it as natural as is possible. And don't hate the people who work really hard to accomplish something like a home birth. (I consider it an accomplishment myself because there is a lot of prep involved and I mean that in many ways). I felt it was safest for me, my baby, and it was how I wanted to welcome her into the world. And whether one argues that it is lucky, or a simple birth to have no complications, I think simply staying out of the hospital in the first place reduces complications overall. (Of course, I realize that some births do require medical interventions, but I would put that in the 10-15% rate, not the majority of cases.)

And should every woman breastfeed for at least 6 months? In most cases, yes, at least try it, and 6 months is probably light. If the entire WORLD did this, it would save billions of dollars and many lives. Not to mention the health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding. There will be women who can't breastfeed for medical or personal reasons, but we should still be able to see an 80-90% breastfeeding compliance rate. (That was proposed by WHO-the World Health Organization).

And then I heard Gisele was criticized for losing weight and getting back to modeling quite soon after. What is the problem there? For moms who are worried about losing weight, try breastfeeding. The pounds will melt away. Hasn't Gisele's life revolved around her health and diet and exercise? Of course, she will lose the weight right away. I'm just a regular person and I lost the baby weight within 8-12 weeks.

I am happy to see a celebrity who is speaking as an advocate for natural birth and breastfeeding. Why do her choices seem more crazy than opting to, voluntarily, have a baby by c-section? Or introducing a foreign food hours after birth? As women, we should be supporting each other in such holistic decisions.

Stop picking on her!

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