Who Joined The Home Birth Ranks In 2011?

311's front man Nick Hexum helped deliver his second child at home due to a speedy labor on the part of his wife. What other celebrities shunned the hospital and chose home birth instead? Read on to find out.

Home-birth-celebs

Home birth has become a popular option -- for Hollywood couples as well as the rest of us -- and several celebrity mamas chose birthing at home in 2011. With the popularity of Ricki Lake's eye-opening documentary, The Business of Being Born, more and more low-risk mothers around the country are opting for a delivery in the safe and comfortable confines of their own home.

Maxine's exciting arrival

Nick Hexum, lead singer for the band 311, and his wife Nikki had planned for a midwife-assisted home delivery, but Nikki's sudden and quick labor left him in the catcher's position when their midwife didn't make it to their home in time. Maxine arrived on May 1, joining her big sister Echo, who was also born at home.

Maxine's birth was an exciting one, as she became lodged in the birth canal and Dad had a moment of panic. He told People, "I reached my fingers in there and felt the shoulders and rotated the baby back and forth," helping smooth the way for her entry. The midwife arrived just in time to cut the cord.

Who else stayed home?

Here are several other celebrity couples who took the plunge and decided to stay home for the births of their little ones:

Owen Wilson and his girlfriend, Jade Duell, had a home water birth in January at Wilson's Hawaii home. They named their son Robert Ford Wilson.

Jennifer Connelly gave birth to her daughter, Agnes, on May 31. She and her husband, Paul Bettany, welcomed little Agnes Lark into the world at home in a birthing pool.

Evangeline Lilly, best known for her role on the television drama Lost had a baby boy named Kahekili at home in May. "We decided to have the baby at home," she said on The Tonight Show, "because we wanted it to be a natural birth, and it turns out that it was 30 hours of natural!" She did hint that she wasn't totally happy with the experience, probably due to the length of her labor and an extraordinarlily long pushing phase, which was reported to be as long as eight hours.

Anna Duggar, wife of the oldest child of the famous Duggar family, had her second baby at home in 2011. Michael James made his appearance on June 15 and is named after both of his grandfathers. Their first baby, Mackynzie, was also born at home.

What are the risks?

In 2009, in a major study of over 500,000 low-risk women and their babies, it was reported by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology that "[a] home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low risk women, provided the maternity care system facilitiates this choice through the availability of well-trained midwives and through a good transportation and referral system."

It is a personal decision you must come to with the help of your partner and family, but if you do go the home birth route, you are in very good company.

More on home birth

How to handle an unexpected home birth
How to plan a homebirth
Home sweet home birth

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