Skip to Content Skip to Footer

jewish celebrities

Yael Stone of ‘Orange is The New Black’ Shares Her Traumatic Birth Story

Yael Stone

When Orange is the New Black actress Yael Stone says something, she clearly means it. So when she promised to be transparent on social media, the Jewish actress openly shared her traumatic 21-hour childbirth story on Instagram.

“I want to be honest, to be raw, to be real,” the Australian wrote. “So I’m sharing the most vulnerable moment I’ve ever experienced.”

Stone and her partner, John Bancroft, planned to welcome their daughter through a water birth at home. But after 18 hours of grueling labor, the mom-to-be was rushed to the hospital. During the first 10 hours, Stone said she “felt like a warrior,” but the following eight, she wrote, “had me questioning myself, digging deeper than ever before and still not making the progress that our baby needed.”

The 33-year-old said she “felt like a failure” when she couldn’t deliver her daughter, Pemau Stone Bancroft, at home. By the 21st hour of labor, Stone received an emergency Cesarean section.

“When our beautiful daughter arrived she needed help to breathe and I needed help stay conscious,” Stone shared with her 1 million Instagram followers. “Without modern medicine and the expertise of the doctors and nurses our baby would not be here, I would not be here.”

View this post on Instagram

By hour 21 of labor I was being rushed off for an emergency C section. When our beautiful daughter arrived she needed help to breathe and I needed help stay conscious. Without modern medicine and the expertise of the doctors and nurses our baby would not be here, I would not be here. Our birth experience was not what I’d wanted for but I know how lucky I am to hold my baby and feel her heart beating next to mine. I wrestle with what to do with this experience, it will take time to make peace with it. In searching for the positive I learned about the @aminatafoundation who are saving mothers and babies in Sierra Leone where you are 200 times more likely to die giving birth than in Australia, where I was lucky enough to give birth. I’m grateful to Aminata and part of my healing will be making a donation. Link to their website in my profile. Image by @alexvaughanphoto

A post shared by Yael Stone (@yaelstone) on

Post-delivery, Stone is grappling to make peace with the traumatic experience. As part of her healing process, the actress said she’ll make a donation to the Aminata Foundation — and she’s encouraging others to do the same.  The organization provides medical care for mothers and newborns in Sierra Leone, where women are 200 times more likely to die in labor than in Australia.

“Our birth experience was not what I’d wanted for but I know how lucky I am to hold my baby and feel her heart beating next to mine,” Stone said.

Baby Pemau was born on May 30. Mazel tov to the happy couple!

Skip to Banner / Top Skip to Content