'Factually incorrect and insensitive': Miranda Kerr's 'drugged up baby' comment sparks backlash from furious mothers
22:16 GMT, 6 July 2012
Miranda Kerr's recent suggestion that epidurals negatively impact a baby at birth have caused a backlash from mothers and parenting websites.
The Victoria's Secret model and wife of Orlando Bloom told Harper's Bazaar UK that she opted for a natural birth because she didn't want her son, Flynn to be 'drugged up'.
But what was most likely intended as a loving dedication to her son, has stirred controversy among those who see the medically flimsy argument as a dig at mothers who have chosen pain relief during labour.
Happy and alert: Miranda Kerr has revealed how her choice to forgo an epidural was motivated by her belief that her baby would be 'drugged up' at birth
Adding to the furor was Kerr's flippant assertion that she 'wanted to give him the best possible start in life I could.'
One commenter on MailOnline griped: 'What a stupid thing to say. Firstly it's factually incorrect and also it's really insensitive. Some people have no choice but to go down the epidural route.'
Another reader compared the statement to Gisele Bundchen's famous quote about breastfeeding, a parallel that was also drawn by popular parenting blog, Cafe Mom.
'Seriously, what is it with these models Are she and Gisele comparing notes or something' Wrote mother, Mary Fischer in a 'Rant' post. 'I was in labor with my son for 24 hours, and I actually wound up having an epidural and a spinal block to manage my pain.
'And you know what When my little guy made his entrance into the world, he was about as alert as newborn babies can possibly get.
'Even the nurses were all commenting on how “present” he seemed in the moment.'
Christine Proudfit, MD, Assistant
Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology, NYU Langone Medical Center backed up the sentiment.
'Seriously, what is it with these models Are she and Gisele comparing notes or something'
She told MailOnline: 'The wonderful
thing about an epidural is that because it works by directly bathing the
nerves of the spinal cord with anesthetic medication it can provide
excellent pain relief for a laboring mother without any medication
getting into the bloodstream of her baby.'
Kerr's inaccuracies she continued: 'Careful studies have shown no
effects of epidurals on babies soon after birth or in the long-term, and
such safety concerns should not be used as a reason to not get an
However, other pharmacalogic pain
relief methods such as narcotics, she continued, can have an immediate
impact on a baby's breathing efforts when given intravenously.
Ayla Yavin, an acupuncturist specializing women's health and pregnancy in New York, supported the distinction made by Dr Proufit.
She told MailOnline: 'Labor is possibly
the most intense and potentially empowering event in the woman's life.
It is because of this that every woman must choose the type of labor
that is right for them based on their own research and self knowledge.
Giddy up! The 29-year-old's comments have angered mothers and critics
'Epidurals do have side effects but mostly on the mother herself, not the baby. Narcotics such as Demerol (frequently given in labor) have a much stronger effect.'
Either way, said Ms Fischer, 'pregnant women should respect each other for their individual choices when it comes to childbirth instead of tearing each other down and trying to make each other feel inferior.
'It's all well and good that Miranda wanted to go the natural route when she had her son, but choosing to forgo an epidural doesn't make her any sort of martyr, and it doesn't make her any better than moms who decide having an epidural is the best plan for them.'
In fact, according to AmericanPregnancy.org, 50per cent of women who give birth at hospitals opt for the epidural, the goal of which is to 'provide analgesia, or pain relief, rather than anesthesia which leads to total lack of feeling.'
The most glaring advantages of doing so is to give a mother a chance to rest and recuperate from a long labour and stay positive and focussed on the birth itself.
As another MailOnline reader pointed out: 'If the mum gets stressed, so does the baby and it can have serious implications!'