Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Silent Birth

By Deana Nall

Baytown Sun

Published October 19, 2005

We have something new to blame on our mothers.

Have you felt kind of traumatized your whole life? Do you have certain fears you can’t explain? Well, according to the Church of Scientology, your problems could have resulted from your mother screaming during childbirth.

This is why Scientologists advocate a birth method called “silent birth,” during which the mother does not express pain. Use of music is also discouraged, as well as medical personnel communicating with each other. The idea is that sounds during birth can traumatize the baby because “any words spoken are recorded in the reactive mind and can have an aberrative effect on the mother and child,” according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

If you’ve never heard of the word “aberrative,” that’s OK. Neither has my spell checker.

Oh, and the Church of Scientology also frowns upon the use of painkillers during childbirth. No drugs and no yelling. This should make for an interesting combination.

Silent birth has been in the news lately because Katie Holmes, fiancée of Scientologist Tom Cruise, has opted for this birth method when the couple’s baby arrives in a few months.

Katie is so fortunate to have landed a guy like Tom, what with everything he knows about psychiatric disorders and childbirth and all. He’s a real gem. Congratulations, Katie. I’m sure you’ll be as happy as Tom’s first two wives were.

Anyway, reading up on silent birth got me thinking. I’ve always been afraid of heights. Even standing on a chair to change a light bulb makes my head a little swimmy. And I’ve never understood why.

Until now! I raced to the phone, dialed my mom’s number and asked her something I had never asked her before.

“Did you yell when you were giving birth to me?” I inquired.

“No, I probably just moaned a little,” she said.

I should mention here that the Church of Scientology approves of a little moaning during silent birth. “Then why am I afraid of heights?” I wanted to know.

“What?” she asked.

What, indeed. I’m thinking this silent birth thing holds about as much water as Scientology’s stance against medication for psychotic disorders. No drugs and no way to express your pain. This doesn’t sound like a birth method to me. It sounds like a recipe for a messy celebrity divorce.

I’ve come up with my own birth method. It’s called “harsh reality birth.” I think the mother should scream her lungs out during birth, if she is so compelled. And she should scream things like “Welcome to the world, where gas prices and divorce rates are at an all-time high!” and “If you’re ever going to hope to afford college, you’ll have to start working full time by age five!”

Hey, life is hard. Might as well let the kids know about it as soon as they get here.

As for my own birth experiences, I was pretty quiet during my C-sections. As soon as my first was born, I do recall anxiously asking the anesthesiologist if the baby had any hair. Well, she didn’t. Until she was almost two.

I’m sorry, Julia. I should have kept my mouth shut.

Deana Nall's column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is


  • At Wed Oct 19, 08:09:00 AM, Blogger GraceSaves said…

    Lol, you crack me up. That's why I sooo look forward to Wednesdays! =D Well, I will tell you from experience that without drugs, screaming is a necessity. Me screaming so much I nearly passed out was prolly what got me through Aurora's birth. It was my drug! Don't know how that girl plans on doing that. =/

    ><>In HIM<><

  • At Wed Oct 19, 08:28:00 AM, Blogger Karen said…

    That is too funny. I did give birth sans drugs (4 times) and other than all the chattering I did during labor, my births were fairly silent. I am blessed with easy labors/deliveries.

  • At Wed Oct 19, 01:05:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    Ditto to what Michelle says. wednesdays wouldn't be the same with out you!

  • At Wed Oct 19, 06:32:00 PM, Blogger elizabeth said…

    This sounds so horrible, but I really hope Katie has postpartum depression! I wonder what Tommyboy would think of Prozac then?

    Silent births....Did a man think of this?

  • At Wed Oct 19, 06:33:00 PM, Blogger Paige Robins said…

    Wow. I can't speak from experience, but having watched numerous episodes of "A Baby Story," I can tell you that silent birth will not be the method I choose. Does your spell checker recognize e-p-i-d-u-r-a-l?

  • At Wed Oct 19, 07:47:00 PM, Blogger Hoots Musings said…

    Oh my, I am snorting with laughter.
    Katie Holmes has not married Sweet Tom, and she may not after she has to break down during childbirth and ask for an epidural and demerol. I also hope she doesn't tear too badly because some vicodan or darvocette really do come in handy.

    When her post partum depression kicks in she may be moving in with Tom and coming to her senses.

    Thanks Deanna!

  • At Wed Oct 19, 07:48:00 PM, Blogger Hoots Musings said…

    Ugh I meant to say Katie may be leaving TOMcat and moving in with Brooke Shields.

  • At Wed Oct 19, 08:15:00 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    Love your blog, Deana. Your comments on Mike's and Brandon's blogs make me laugh out loud. I like the way you think!

  • At Mon Oct 24, 09:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a mother of 2, my 1st was breach, what if that happens to Kate? She and the baby will be at GREAT risk,this "ritual" of a silent birth is barbaric. I feel the child,who has been hearing mama's voice should hear it at birth and music is so sweet and soothing. I wish Tom was going through was she is about to. IT's WRONG!!!! Connie Hatfield

  • At Wed Oct 26, 10:56:00 AM, Blogger Jana said…

    Love it, Deana. Love it!!!


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