I tend not to pay celebrity pregnancies any kind of mind. I mean, the stories always seem to whip up all kinds of innuendo, insult and hysteria—Beyonce wasn’t really pregnant! Jessica Simpson was fatter than a Beverly Hills McMansion! Mariah Carey got her body back three months after birthing twins, and every other new mom sucks if she can’t drop her baby weight quickly too! Right. But news of Amber Rose’s choice to have a water birth when she and fiancé Wiz Khalifa welcome their first baby is worthy a note, mos def.
Amber, 29, recently took to Twitter to shout out Ricki Lake and her film, The Business of Being Born, as the impetus for the couple’s decision to go with the unconventional delivery method. That documentary, which Lake executive produced, juxtaposes hospital deliveries against the growing popularity of at-home natural childbirths as it takes a hard look at America’s maternity care system.
Amber later said on the Los Angeles radio show Big Boy’s Neighborhood that she’s planning a drug-free at-home birth, with Wiz being intimately involved in ushering their child into the world. “I don’t want no medication,” she said during the radio interview. “We take home birthing classes to teach us how to do it, and we’re gonna have our midwife, and when the baby’s head comes out, he’s gonna be Dr. Wiz. He’s gonna be the first person to touch the child. No doctors, no gloves.”
Wiz said that while he’s nervous about what’s to come, he can’t wait to be a dad and he’s totally with the game plan. “We gonna have a midwife and a doula at the crib, and she’s gonna be in a pool, and it’s gonna be like a relaxing environment, and when she’s ready she’s gonna tell me when to stick my hands down there and I’m gonna pull the baby out,” he told Big Boy’s Neighborhood.
I can’t say I’m mad at Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa’s aggressively progressive stance on the birth of their baby. For sure, there’s a small but vocal community of doulas and midwives actively trying to change the tide of out-of-control infant mortality rates in the African American community by exposing black moms-to-be to birthing techniques of Africa, the Caribbean and the Deep South, and encouraging us to take a much more serious look at moving our deliveries out of the hospitals and into the hands of midwives and doulas who can assist in much more humanized at-home births. What a powerful pregnancy and birthing statement for Amber and Wiz to make, then, particularly in unconventional arenas like black radio and magazines like XXL. A round of applause for the happy couple—and others like them who use their platforms to promote more meaningful dialogue on black birth and parenting. We’re wishing Amber and Wiz’s new baby a safe journey!
1. Tackling Infant Mortality Rates—Without Stereotyping Black Mothers
2. Erykah “Badoula” And The Business of Birthing: Can Midwifery Help Stem Black Infant Mortality Rates?
3. Birthing While Black: This African American Mom’s Experience Was Anything But VIP
4. Going It Alone: Survey Says Black Mothers Get Little Help, Support While Giving Birth
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.
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I love this! They are doing exactly what I would like to do, however in my area it has been a little difficult to find the midwife and doula that I would like. We are not that progressive here, but kudos to them. I wish them well.
Blessings to them and glad they researched their options and chose whats best for them. I’m planning on having my 3rd home birth this summer and can’t wait!! Best experience I could be blessed with (and I work in a hospital!)
Congrats to the couple.
Deep down, we are all normal mamas having normal births. If you haven’t checked out Jennie Joseph’s work, you should.
Normal, out of hospital birth has lower mortality, lower cesarean, and lower long-term health issues.
It’s not unconventional to want to have your baby without having our 34% cesarean rate, over 50% induction rate…etc. It’s wanting to bring back the normal mother-baby connection 🙂 Connection is good.
Thank you for your comment. However, I have to say that your words rubbed me the wrong way. They wreak of condescension—go out of their way to suggest that this audience of mostly African American moms isn’t aware of the benefits of natural child birth, the dangers of cesarean births and induction and the causes of infant mortality. We have a history of chronicling those subjects here at MyBrownBaby, with a keen eye toward enlightening without debasing.
The fact is that natural childbirth, while increasing in our community, is still considered “unconventional” for a myriad of reasons; no doubt one of them is that black moms find it hard to trust a community that still acts as if black moms-to-be are clueless about their pregnancies, birth options and babies. We are not. But comments like yours can make black moms feel like dealing with a midwife/doula wouldn’t feel any more empowering than letting a bunch of doctors and nurses snatch our babies in a hospital.
What I’m saying is that tone and pitch is everything.
I didn’t get any offensive “tone” reading Shannon’s comments. Can you explain where you heard condescension in her voice?
I don’t know Shannon, I just want to find out where she offends. Curiosity, I guess.
Congratulations and Blessings for the new family! I had 3 home births,and they were all beautiful,and healthy experiences. I was also honored to be present for the unmedicated,midwife-assisted,birth of my nephew at a hospital. More moms are reclaiming birth options,and recognizing the sprituality of birth and parenting
Jennie Joseph is a hero! I am a community doula and I work with teens and this is such a fantastic example they are setting for women in this country. So proud
I thinks it’s wonderful that they are promoting natural birth and water birth specifically. I had a water birth with my third and last son and it was an amazing and beautiful experience. I would totally recommend it to anyone 😉
It’s nice to see all of the information and awareness around different ways to give birth. http://www.venusblogs.com
As a doula specializing with pregnant teens, this is wonderful! Thank you so much for posting. It can be so hard at times due to the maturity level of my teen moms to understand they have alternative and gentler choices when it comes to the birth of their babies, regardless what I say/teach in my classes. Having artists like these two, voice their plans for childbirth is so empowering to our younger generation of teen parents. Hope it will help educate them and spark an interest in self education and using their own voice to have the birth they desire. Happy Birthing to Wiz & Amber!!!!
Thank you for this kind, warm, introspective comment—it’s much appreciated. Something about your words make clear that you understand what was said here in this post, and that you choose to help rather than judge, unlike an earlier commenter, who was so busy trying to make her point about the use of the word “unconventional” that she failed to realize how condescending her comment is to MyBrownBaby and its readers. We appreciate the work that you do and certainly are so very happy you’re working to help young mothers recognize their power and voice in the delivery room—whichever one they may choose.
I am also a community doula working with teens and I agree 100% with everything you said!! They are a great example to help show teens that there is another way 🙂
This is wonderful! Maybe Amber can also be an ambassador for breastfeeding!
Most amusing was the part where he says he’s going to pull the baby out. Kind of terrifying.. I guess there’s a first time for everything.
Amber Rose is not Black, fyi.