Kate Middleton still hasn't had her baby, but don't let that stop you from wondering intrusive, personal things about how she'll give birth and raise her child. This is the future British monarch we're talking about, after all! These things are important. Or so all the journalists camped out in the parking lot of St. Mary's Hospital for the second week (and counting) would like us to believe. Below, an assessment of which mothering trends — most of which are far more popular on mommy-blog discussion forums than in real life — the duchess is most likely to try for herself.
Likelihood rating: 8
The Duchess is rumored to be using a technique called hypnobirthing during her delivery. Sadly, this does not mean she’ll get hypnotized and give birth in a trance; it’s basically just a fancy word for practicing deep relaxation methods like breathing, visualization of rainbows and oceans, and listening to gentle music instead of hollering, freaking out, and slapping Prince William when he tells her she’s doing great (although she’s allowed to do that too). Really, who wouldn’t use whatever means necessary to remain calm throughout labor?
Likelihood rating: 2
The use of a wet nurse — a servant who actually fed her own breast milk to her employer’s child so that the real mother didn’t have to be bothered — was common among British gentry well into the 1800s. (One legendary wet nurse named Judith Waterford could produce up to two quarts of milk per day, and was still able to lactate when she was 81 years old, in 1831.) Nowadays, women who aren’t able (or choose not) to breast-feed but don’t want to use formula can turn to breast-milk-sharing programs, which allow them to procure milk that other women have produced and either donated or sold to local “banks.” The palace has not commented on whether Kate plans to breast-feed her child, but she’s been pressured by the public to do so, and research shows that breast milk is usually better for infants’ health. However, in the rare case she has trouble lactating, perhaps she’ll try one of the above alternatives.
Likelihood rating: 1
Sure, sometimes it's just easier to let your fussy baby sleep with you. But the royal infant will have several lovely cribs of its own, thanks. Plus, co-sleeping is discouraged by experts, and widely considered dangerous for infants — heaven forbid Prince William rolls over on it.
Likelihood rating: 0
Popularized by celebrities like Tom Cruise and January Jones, some believe that eating the placenta post-birth has beneficial effects. Some believe that it helps replenish nutrients and increase energy levels, while others say it has anti-aging effects, although there’s no scientific evidence to support either claim. Questionable science and squeamishness aside aside, why would Kate do that when she’s got a full menu of lamb chops, Mediterranean grilled chicken, and Champagne to choose from?
Likelihood rating: 0
The palace has stated that Kate will give birth in St. Mary’s Hospital under the care of Queen Elizabeth’s former and current gynecologists, doctors Marcus Setchell and Alan Farthing, respectively. Chances are they’re into more traditional settings — i.e., a hospital bed — than a Gisele-style bathtub birth.
Likelihood rating: 0
After a video portraying vegan-lifestyle advocate Alicia Silverstone “baby birding” — feeding her young son pre-chewed food from her own mouth — went viral, the actress insisted that "people have been feeding their kids that way for thousands of years" and hailed it as an important part of the weaning process. Meanwhile, the rest of the world deemed it the latest weird mommy trend. Kate is probably in the latter camp.
Likelihood rating: 9, but not the weird stuff
Characterized by the maintenance of close physical and emotional bonds between parent and child, a certain level of attachment parenting is normal these days. (Some of its more extreme methods — breastfeeding one’s 3-year-old, for example — are not.) Kate has proven herself to be very family-focused, and she plans to cook her child’s meals and spend more time with it than previous generations of royalty, according to former Kensington Palace chef Darren McGrady. She’ll probably be the most hands-on mother the royal family has ever had.
Likelihood rating: 0
This is another unusual practice employed (supposedly) by Katie Holmes that Kate hopefully won't observe. In fact, she should scream and shout and curse Great Britain to hell as much as she damn well pleases. It's one of her few chances to do so, so she might as well take full advantage.
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