April 7, 2006

Giddy romance leads Katie Holmes to silent birth

by Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After the giddy fanfare of their
highly public courtship, actress Katie Holmes is expected to
give birth to Tom Cruise's baby any day now as quietly as
humanly possible.

The "TomKat" baby may be the most hotly anticipated
celebrity birth of the season, but it is expected to be
delivered in line with the little understood Scientology method
of quiet or silent birth.

Cruise, 43, is one of the best known adherents of the
Church of Scientology founded by L. Ron Hubbard, who believed
that the best possible start in life for a new baby is a calm
and loving environment free of screaming obscenities, chatty
doctors or shouts to "push."

"A woman who wants her child to have the best possible
chance will find a doctor who will agree to keep quiet
especially during the delivery, and who will insist upon
silence being maintained in the hospital delivery room as far
as it is humanly possible," Hubbard wrote.

Scientologists have spoken out in support of Cruise and the
silent birth principle despite rumors and media criticism.

The "Mission Impossible" star this week denied one tabloid
magazine report that he had bought an adult pacifier to muffle
the moans and groans of his 27 year-old fiancee.

According to another report, large posters have been given
to the Catholic-raised Holmes reminding her to "Be Silent and
make all physical movements slow and understandable."

Scientologists John Travolta and his actress wife Kelly
Preston were among those explaining the method. "Screaming is
fine....it's the words. If you can avoid saying certain phrases
and words...Of course you're going to groan and yell. It hurts.
Just keep it to the minimum," said Preston, mother of two.

"As a mom, I am going through a very painful experience and
my child is going through a very traumatic and painful
experience. So I didn't want to say anything that could affect
him later in life," Preston added.

Scientologist believe that all the traumatic experiences
and words in life are recorded in the subconscious including a
child's memories of his or her own birth.

Michelle Seward, a Los Angeles financial planner and
Scientologist who had a silent birth, told Reuters, "We're not
trying to achieve absolute silence necessarily. And if the
mother has to have an epidural, that's OK."

The baby will be the first for Holmes, best known for the
TV show "Dawson's Creek," and the first biological child for
twice-married Cruise. He adopted two children with actress
Nicole Kidman before their marriage ended in divorce in 2001.

Cruise and Holmes have yet to announce a wedding date after
a whirlwind romance starting in April last year that was played
out on television and paraded before the world media.

The once intensely private Cruise was mocked for a manic
couch-hopping appearance on "the Oprah Winfrey" show in May in
which he effusively declared his love for Holmes. A month later
he announced their engagement at a news conference in France.