The growing C-section rate is always the subject of debate and is one that is closely associated with Hollywood. Though the home-birth movement is gaining momentum among celebs, one-third of all births still come via surgery. Whether moms are “too posh to push” and schedule their deliveries in advance or end up going under the knife after hours (and sometimes days) of labor, plenty of Tinseltown mamas first meet their lil ones in the operating room. Check out 23 celeb moms who’ve gone this route.
1- Gwen Stefani
2- Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera famously scheduled her C-section for her first child, Max, during her 37th week of pregnancy, saying, “I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!”
3- Britney Spears
We’re not sure if Britney Spears scheduled her C-section with Sean Preston or if it happened once she was in labor, but prior to his birth, Britney said she hoped to have a C-section because she didn’t “want to go through the pain. My mom said giving birth was the most excruciating thing she’s ever gone through in her life.” She went on to deliver Jayden James through a second C-section.
4- Elizabeth Hurley
5- Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham is the namesake for the “too posh to push” label placed on women who opt for scheduled C-sections. The expectant mama delivered her three sons via planned surgeries, and rumor has it that she prescheduled the delivery of her daughter in 2011.
6- Marcia Cross
Marcia Cross welcomed her twins via C-section, commenting, “And whoever said that was easy?! I did not enjoy that, not for one minute . . . I heard Savannah come out cause I knew she was coming out first and I was waiting and waiting for Eden. But I didn’t realize they got them out so fast that they were both out. I was thinking something is wrong and she was already out.”
7- Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s long-awaited twins were welcomed via C-section. About the experience, J Lo said:
“I had a C-section, but my sister gave birth six months later — we got pregnant around the same time — and she asked me to be in the delivery room with her, and I was, like, ‘Wow!’ Because I had twins and that was recommended for me to have a C-section, and there was a part of me [that] had thought, ‘I didn’t get to do it the way that everybody else does.’ But when I saw my sister pushing that baby out, I was like, ‘Maybe this was all right! Maybe this was a better out.’ So that was an experience.”
8- Jenny McCarthy
Jenny McCarthy pushed for three hours before baby Evan’s heart rate dropped and the doctors sped her into the operating room for an emergency C-section. Later, Jenny said, “It’s horrible, it’s horrible — it’s hard when they have you strapped down ’cause you’re like, ‘I just want to hold my baby!'”
9- Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields is a double C-section recipient, having labored for 24 hours before an emergency C-section with her first daughter, Rowan, and scheduling the delivery of her second, Grier. She described the difference between the two experiences, as Rowan being “whisked away . . . this time I got to feel Grier, kiss her, and they put her right on my chest.”
10- Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet lied to friends about giving birth to her first child, Mia, via C-section. Having tried for a natural birth, she covered up her emergency C-section, telling friends she “had a natural birth because I was so completely traumatized by the fact that I hadn’t given birth. I felt like a complete failure. My whole life, I’d been told I had great child-bearing hips. There’s this thing amongst women that if you can handle childbirth you can handle anything. I had never handled childbirth and I felt like in some way I couldn’t enter the ‘powerful women’s club.'”
11- Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie escaped the paparazzi and headed to Africa to bring baby Shiloh into the world. Angelina described her C-section: “We were in this little hospital in Africa when Shi was born. I don’t think there was anybody else in the hospital. It was just a little cottage, the three of us. It ended up being the greatest thing . . . I had a C-section and I found it fascinating. I didn’t find it a sacrifice and I didn’t find it a painful experience. I found it a fascinating miracle of what a body can do.”
Pink and Carey Hart may have been planning on a natural birth for their baby, Willow, but the tot had other plans.
“We watched Ricki Lake’s documentary The Business of Being Born early on. It was so enlightening and empowering. We took all kinds of classes and decided to work with midwives at The Sanctuary . . . I was really looking forward to the whole rite of passage — giving birth perfectly present, unmedicated, in the way nature intended . . . She was in the frank breech position, which is head up with her legs up by her head in a pike position. We tried everything to turn her around. Turns out this little girl had other plans — she is my daughter, after all. It all turned out perfectly in the end, even though it wasn’t what we intended, because she is healthy and happy and so am I.”
14- Jessica Simpson
Despite plans for a natural birth in a decked-out birthing suite, Jessica Simpson reportedly gave birth to Maxwell via a scheduled C-section in May 2012. She went on to schedule a C-section for baby Ace’s birth the following year.