After a pregnancy lived under a media microscope, Khloé Kardashian gave birth last week in Cleveland. And while there was one major hitch—the pre-birth flood of infidelity rumors surrounding her boyfriend and father of her child, Tristan Thompson—the elaborate security choreography surrounding Khloé’s trip to the hospital and her stay there was seemingly flawless.
Khloé had a high-level security detail installed at The Cleveland Clinic and made everyone who met her baby sign an NDA, according to ET. The outlet said that the new mom, “arrived to the hospital with police escorts to ensure protection of her and her family.” Security guards were, “positioned in the parking garage, at the elevators, and on her floor at the doors.” Visitors were required to check their phones and cameras, and only family members that had been pre-approved were permitted to visit. Kris reportedly organized the security plan.
These measures may seem extreme, but according to Domino Kirke, co-founder of Carriage House Doula—a collective of birth and postpartum doulas—they’re warranted. As Kirke explains, “Like every mother, [a celebrity is] concerned about birth and the level of privacy that they need. It’s so overwhelming to have people know your business on that level.”
As a doula, Kirke has worked with a number of celebrities and provides both the assistance and discretion that they desire. “There’s a level of closeness that really appeals to people if they are in the public eye. Everything just feels a little less daunting. But the celebrities I know and have worked with, they need it more than most people.”
Not all choose to keep the entire experience private. “Some of the families I work with are more relaxed, like DJ Khaled and Nicole Tuck, who opted to Snapchat Asahd’s birth,” says Latham Thomas, who has also been a birth doula for Alicia Keys. “Khaled’s posts created a commotion; fans showed up to the hospital during the labor and the hospital security had their hands full.”
Privacy doesn’t come easy to celebrities. “We have a person from our security detail working with the hospital staff from the moment we head over to check in and secure the private entrance for a secret entry,” explains Thomas.
Concealing the due date, delaying posting on social media, and taking a fleet of different cars to the hospital are other methods to throw off fans and reporters.
“There is a head of operations or VIP person at hospital that helps arrange a safe way in and makes sure the [celebrity is] protected and secure in their room,” says Lori Bregman, a birth doula whose clients include Molly Sims, Kelly Rowland, and Jessica Biel. “Once they get into a room to labor, they stay in that room. Some bring their own security, some don’t.”
VIP suites come with a hefty price tag and are technically subject to availability. Kim Kardashian’s birthing suite, where she welcomed her son Saint, reportedly cost $4,000 a night. But celebrities like a Kardashian/Jenner usually have a guaranteed spot. A 2012 New York Times report on the birth of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s daughter Blue Ivy described how the musician couple allegedly paid more than $1 million to rent and redecorate a wing of Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan as a private labor and delivery suite.
The measures were so intense that they sparked protests among other patients. As the Times reported, “partitions had been put up, the maternity ward windows were completely covered, and even the hospitals’ security cameras had been taped over with paper. Guards with Secret Service-style earpieces roamed the floor.”
Nothing of the sort has been reported from The Cleveland Clinic, where Kardashian is currently recovering. InStyle reached out to the hospital for comment, but the staff declined to answer on account of confidentiality, given that “a patient is potentially involved.”
“I suggest families register under an alias so guests and families members who come to visit can enter with ease while keeping the mom and baby’s identity unknown to the public. We also usually ask all staff to sign iron-clad NDAs,” says Thomas. “Often, we choose which nurses will work alongside the doctor or midwife so everyone is familiar. We minimize photography; usually I am the only one allowed to take photos aside from the birthing mother/couple. I usually inform the publicist at the time of birth that the baby has arrived.”
Exiting the hospital is a whole different story, of course, as by this time the paparazzi usually gets the wind of the birth and is competing to get first snaps of the new mother and the baby. “Leaving the hospital usually involves bringing the family out at night with the baby completely covered in a carrier so there aren’t a lot of people around,” says Thomas. “There are usually two bodyguards and a driver. One monitors the floors and another is near-to or inside the room. They clear a path for us and also help get security clearances.”
The First Photo
Given the amount of babies they’ve welcomed over the past few years, the Kardashian-Jenner clan clearly has the hang of the hospital security process. While fans eagerly anticipate the first photos of Khloé’s newborn, the family is said to have complete control over how and when the pictures should be released.
"[Khloé] has already planned exactly how she wants her first mommy-baby photos to look," a source told ET.
Meanwhile, an anonymous insider told People that Khloé is overjoyed and, “her daughter is very cute with lots of black hair.” No word yet on when fans and the media will get a glimpse of the newborn.
“There is something beautiful and intimate when it can be just shared for a bit between them and their partner, family, and close friends," says Bregman. "Once the media gets wind of it, it becomes a different energy."