Supermodel Gisele Bündchen: I Had a Waterbirth at Home Without Pain

by Danelle Frisbie © 2009

While I am not much of a 'star-gazer' myself, it is always beneficial when those in the media do things that shed light on natural and gentle birth and baby-care practices.

Recently, another celebrity mom joins the list of those who have birthed babies peacefully at home. Supermodel, Gisele Bündchen, brought her son, Benjamin, gently into this world via home waterbirth on December 8th. Media headlines rumored that Bündchen had gone into labor and was whisked away to a Boston-area hospital. Rather, she corrects reporters, "I gave birth at home in my bathtub."

Bündchen birthed in a physiological manner - no drugs, no interventions. "I wanted to be conscious and present for what was happening," she said. "I didn't want to be anesthetized. I wanted to feel." Her homebirth team consisted of her husband, Tom Brady, her mother, sisters, and her midwife.

It is part of the gentle wonder of waterbirth (and especially of homebirth) that women everywhere have come to love giving birth in this way - often without pain. This was the case for Bündchen as well. She says her birth "wasn't painful, not even a little bit. The whole time, my head was so focused – every contraction, the baby is closer, the baby is closer. So, it wasn't like, 'Oh, what pain.' It was, 'With every contraction, he is getting closer to me.'" How perfect! Just as birth should be.


After birth 'recovery' was equally as quick for Bündchen as other waterbirth/homebirth moms across the world have found. "The second day, I was walking, I was washing dishes, I was making pancakes in the kitchen."

Prior to birth, Bündchen did not know the sex of her new baby and wanted to keep it a surprise for her birthing day. "I wanted the emotion of finding out [at birth] if it was a boy or a girl,” Bündchen told the press. Although Brady knew they would be welcoming a son, he kept the news to himself at Bündchen's request. "I'm really the only one that knew,” Brady, 32, said. “She's a very intelligent woman. I wanted to find out and she didn’t. So she said, 'Go ahead.' It would be a surprise for her."

The most difficult part of Bündchen's birthing day ended up being the selection of a name for her new son. The couple wanted a name that would sound good in both English and Bündchen's native tongue, Portuguese. Bündchen liked David (pronounced 'Davi') but Brady was not a fan. She also had Joaquim as a selection... but in the end, it was Benjamin that was chosen. Benjamin will also share both last names, and learn of his dual heritage as he grows. "He's also Bündchen, he's not just Brady," notes Bündchen. "And he certainly won't stop being Brazilian." But no matter what life brings the supermodel and her new son, "for me, there is no name. He is my benzinho (beloved)," said Bündchen.

Bündchen, from Três de Maio, Brazil, is currently the highest paid model in the world, and also the 16th wealthiest woman in the entertainment world. This past fall, Bündchen was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, and said she was doing her best to maintain a healthy, natural family lifestyle while settling into her new home in the Boston area (where her husband is quarterback for the New England Patriots). A recent reporter described Bündchen as having such, "simplicity and spirituality" that she "shows she has concern with living well, being happy, and now, with being an excellent mom."

9 comments:

  1. That's great!

    I am planning a natural waterbirth at the hospital because they have a birthing suite there. I am so excited!

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  2. Another TLC channel celebrity Anna, the Duggar couple daughter-in-law, birthed their firstborn daughter at home.

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  3. Hurray for celebrities who birth at home! We salute you Ricki Lake, Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore, Dave Matthews, Christy Turlington, Thandie Newton, John McGinley, Maria Bello, Noah Wylie, Lisa Bonet, Pamela Anderson, Ani DiFranco, Mayim Bialik, and Woody Harrelson!

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  4. Absolutely fantastic - congratulations Giselle and thank you for bringing another little soul into the world in such a gentle and beautiful way. If all babies were born into such peace and love the world would be a better place.

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  5. I tried for a natural homebirth waterbirth and FAILED. Due to a lower back spinal fusion, I physically was unable to birth naturally. Pushing at home for over six hours, I finally was transferred to the hospital for a c-section. 50 hours after birth I was released from the hospital, came home and did laundry, cooked dinner, and did dishes. I guess I am a fast healer. Six days after surgery I was mopping my floors on my hands and knees, clean out the fridge, and back to normal. I only took one pain pill at home.
    My CPM told me I will never be able to birth babies naturally. She actually wondered if my pelvis had been broken in the past as there was a bony point that protruded out, causing the baby to not be able to descend.
    Maybe I can get a brownie point for trying?? :)

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  6. Anonymous,
    You get a brownie point for having a baby--period. If GB had a water birth, good for her. But no woman, regardless of how she births or what choices she makes as to her birth style, should ever be judged for how her baby comes into the world. A home birth is no more special than a cesarean birth. A home birthing mother is in no way superior or 'better' than a cesarean birthing mother. It's the mothering that takes place after the birth that ultimately counts:) I'm proud to say that I'm headed to see my friend's newly born baby boy later today! He was born pink and healthy and strong. He was born via cesarean yesterday morning and both mom and baby are doing absolutely wonderful:)

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  7. I agree with Anon 1 & 2. I have given birth to two, both via c/s... neither planned. I wish by body would cooperate and I could give birth naturally, but after my attempted vbac, my midwife believes my pelvis won't allow my babies to descend. I hold onto the fact that I have two healthy kids and that we live in a time that these kind of body issues don't mean a death sentence for me or them!

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  8. No one believes me when I say that my daughter's birth was completely pain free. I'm happy to see someone who says the same!

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