Gisele Bündchen has spent decades effectively juggling her career as a supermodel and her role as a mother and wife. But as with many celebrities, her parenting choices have come under much scrutiny…
In the early days of a baby’s life, immediately post-birth, it’s considered important for a mother to provide as much skin-on-skin contact as they can. And Gisele has always taken this advice to heart.
On several occasions, she has been seen practicing this close-contact method, though it’s not something she talks about publicly. The most notable instance of this occurred in 2014 when the mother was seen carrying her young baby Vivian in a sling while on the back of an ATV in Costa Rica.
The Onion Treatment
The supermodel mom is also a huge fan of holistic care and natural medicines, openly preferring Mother Nature's natural ingredients to what is prescribed by doctors or sold in pharmacies. She'll even settle for using produce right off the shelves at her local grocery store or farmers' market.
Gisele even has a set of holistic routines for her children when they are sick, which has since raised some eyebrows. Every day she’ll rub their feet with aromatherapy oils, to promote circulation and flush out toxins, as well as places onion slices in their bedrooms to regulate their temperatures at night.
Laws for Breastfeeding
It's understandable that many mothers have different beliefs and practices when it comes to breastfeeding. In Gisele's case, she is a strict supporter of "all-natural" breastfeeding and strongly against products like Enfamil or Similac. She even told Harper's Bazaar that she would support a "worldwide law" around breastfeeding.
According to her, this law would compel mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months, explaining that "some people think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think, 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?'" Unsurprisingly many mothers spoke out against her passionate stance.
(Almost) No Candy Allowed
In fact, this mother is so committed to the health of her children that she has strict household rules around eating candy. For the Bündchen-Brady children, candy is mostly restricted, except at certain times of the year. Though Gisele hates these sugary treats, she allows them on Halloween.
Since giving and receiving candy is such a common practice on this spooky holiday, Gisele and Tom Brady's children don't want to miss out. They are given one piece of candy and donate the rest, as according to her interview with People, they "don't really have that kind of sugar in [the] house."
Another important milestone of early childhood is potty training. While children can usually rely on diapers for the first phase of their life, parents will try to move them into the toilet phase fairly early. For Gisele, the potty-training phase is usually complete after six months of training, though her methods are controversial.
According to her, their family uses a process known as “elimination communication,” wherein she only lets her children rely on diapers during the nighttime. Otherwise, she keeps a close eye on her children and uses eye contact as the main way of determining whether they need to use the bathroom.
Mind & Body First
Most folks don’t get a supermodel physique like Gisele’s without putting the work in! While we already know that she implements a strict zero-sugar regimen and favors healthy foods and ingredients, she also incorporates physical and mental exercise into her daily routine - including meditation.
In a 2017 interview with Vogue, Bündchen elaborated on her routines, saying, "it's important to give something to yourself, so you can give from a place of being full, instead of giving from a place of being depleted." She also encourages her children to join her in these pursuits, particularly her daughter Vivian.
While homeschooling children isn’t for everyone, it is pretty common to see celebrities doing it, as they tend to be put under much harsher scrutiny than regular people. But Gisele hasn’t let this bother her, as she has designed her own unconventional school curriculum for her kids.
This includes employing professional teaching experts to help her design custom teaching schedules for her children, according to their needs and Gisele’s preferences. For example, their lesson plans incorporate more creative and active exercises than the typical school curriculum, as well as cooking and gardening classes.
Plant-Based Family Diet
As we’ve seen, Gisele is extremely careful about what she puts into her body and what her children put into theirs. Their home pantry is typically stocked with whole foods and super-foods, with very little, if anything, that could be called “junk food.”
The supermodel mama is a plant-based eater and provides the same diet for her children, telling People, "It's not only good for our health and makes us feel good, but it is also good for the planet." While other parents may disagree, Gisele has stood her ground concerning her children's health and nutrition.
The Cold Milk Nighttime Ritual
Thinking back to her nightly onion rituals for her sick children, it should be no surprise that the Bündchen-Brady household has other unconventional au natural remedies up their sleeves. Her daughter occasionally develops a sore throat, and her mama has the answer - though it may not be the sweetest-smelling strategy.
Instead of onions, Gisele uses cold milk to help relieve her daughter's throat pain. "I pour really cold milk onto a cloth, cover the outside of the cloth in plastic wrap and arrange it around (Vivian's) throat," she explained. "It's a little stinky the next morning, but Vivi's sore throat is usually gone – I have no idea why."
The “Hardest Part” As Parents
Many parents around the world have taken issue with this, but Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady have claimed that for them, excessive wealth is the "hardest part" of being parents. On the Drive podcast, Brady claimed that "we have people that clean for us… make our food… drive us to the airport…”
"We get off a plane, and there's people waiting there for us…" he continued. "That's my kids' reality, which is the hard part to say, 'Guys, this is not the way reality really is.'" While their lavish lifestyle is not relatable for many families, it certainly explains how they can do parenthood so differently!
Sun Healing Activation
For those who have followed Gisele and Tom’s lives as celebrity parents, they will know that the pair have always subscribed to a more “bohemian” lifestyle, particularly Gisele. This includes her beliefs in holistic wellness, meditation, and a healthy plant-based diet. It also includes a love for the sun!
Gisele loves sun-gazing and sees it as a part of healing activation. The website Healthline refers to sun-gazing as "a method of meditation that attempts to harness the healing power of the sun." Gisele and Vivian frequently head to the beach to sun-gaze, even waking at 5 or 6 am to do so.
As mentioned, Tom and Gisele’s career success has allowed them to provide their children with a lush and comfortable lifestyle. But they have also raised their children to understand the value of work and responsibility, and their kids still have to do chores just like any other family.
In fact, all of the Bündchen-Brady children have to complete their morning chores before anything else. Vivian does the dishes while her brother Benjamin feeds their pets before they all sit down to breakfast, teaching their children that they need to work hard to be rewarded.
Breakfast of Champions
Speaking of breakfast, the meal has a very important place in the Bündchen-Brady household - in Gisele’s eyes, it’s the most important meal of the day! Naturally, Gisele shuns the typically sugar-heavy American breakfasts for something much healthier.
She fuels her children with morning superfoods, such as lemon water to "balance the body's alkaline levels and kick-start the digestive system," a "super-vitamin smoothie" and "fresh fruit, eggs, avocados, gluten-free bread, and coconut butter," according to an interview with Vogue. And on the weekend? Oatmeal pancakes!
Less Screen Time
There’s no end to Gisele’s unconventional parenting methods, and another example is her approach to technology. While many children today are glued to phones and iPads, Gisele puts her foot down and seriously limits how much time her kids can spend with screens, preferring that they go outside and use their imagination.
She discussed this aspect of her parenting with Marie Claire, explaining that her children have daily time limits on how long they can use their iPads, and at certain times of day, they are banned altogether. For example, Gisele considers dinner time "a time we use to reconnect and catch up about our day," so no screens are allowed!
Say Less, Tom
As many can imagine, having a world-famous supermodel and NFL star as parents means that life can be hectic and stressful at times. They have extremely busy schedules throughout the year, but Gisele has always insisted that they do not let this affect their children.
When Tom comes home after a long day of work, Gisele accepts that he needs an outlet for his stress, which often manifests in him passing out the second he gets home, as reported by Radaronline. But she makes no excuses for impatience, anger, or bringing undue stress into the household and "feels he should be more patient."
Breastmilk for the Win
Not only does Gisele love the breastfeeding stage of motherhood, she even saves leftover breastmilk for future use! And despite the criticisms that have come her way, she isn’t backing down. In her eyes, breastmilk has untold uses when it comes to keeping her children healthy.
In her interview with People, she insisted that "My kids never got sick when I was breastfeeding" and that her leftover breastmilk acted as a cure for childhood maladies. Not only would she use it for sore throats, but she also put milk in her children's irritated eyes and in their noses during flights to defend against "bacteria."
Timing Is Everything
During her early career, Gisele established a strict routine for herself, particularly when it came to sleeping and eating. And as she grew older and started a family, those routines only became more ingrained. For her, the right nighttime routine was key to a healthy mind and body.
She raised her children to expect dinner "between 5:30 pm and 6 pm," according to her Vogue interview, which in her eyes, are the ideal times to promote healthy digestion. This way, their bodies have time to cleanse and produce energy when they wake up in the morning. We do wonder what her kids think.
Goodbye Public School
Though they now have a dedicated homeschooling setup for their children, before 2022, Vivian and Benjamin both attended public school. And considering the status of their parents, it could be a little strange for the two star kids. When their dad retired from the NFL in 2022, everything changed.
Although Tom took a year to return to the field, their family had already moved away from Boston and had to start a new life. Gisele felt that due to their busy schedules, and the stress of settling into a new school, it would be easier to establish a homeschooling curriculum for the kids.
The More Languages, The Better
When it comes to exercising and expanding the brain, perhaps few things are as useful as learning multiple languages. And Gisele knows this better than anyone - she speaks both English and Portuguese fluently and is a competent speaker of German, Italian, Spanish, and French.
And she wants her children to have the same multilingual benefits, even though they have only lived in America (Gisele herself was born and raised in Brazil). However, she has raised her children around her monolingual Brazilian family and regularly teaches them Portuguese.
Super Bowl Support
As we already know, Gisele has her own approach to raising and teaching her children. But one particular incident raised a lot of questions when this momma explained to her daughter Vivian why her father’s team had lost against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 Super Bowl.
Gisele explained that "sometimes you have to let other people win… We have to share. Sharing is caring." This didn't sit well with The View's Whoopi Goldberg, who said, "Didn't the Eagles bust their behinds and earn that? It's not like [Brady] said, 'Shhh. Let's let them win.' Na-ah. They beat you. And that's what happens."
An All Natural Birth
Most mothers tend to give birth in hospitals with medical assistance, but of course, Gisele is not one of them. She insists on an all-natural birthing bed - when pregnant with her son Benjamin she endured 18 hours of labor without medical intervention, undergoing a water birth at home.
While Tom stood by her side, he was skeptical of her methods, though Gisele held firm to her decision. In her Vogue interview, she remarked that "He (Tom) was like, 'You're not going to do that, because you're going to die.' I made it clear that this is my body, and I'm going to decide how I give birth."
Saving Mother Nature
In every area of her life, Gisele promotes natural alternatives to everything and seems to have a strong connection with nature. Not only does she prioritize healthy family connections and physical and mental health, but she also prioritizes the health of the planet.
When spending time with her children outdoors, they can often be seen planting trees or working in their home garden. “I feel we are all so blessed we get to live on this beautiful planet…” she told People. “In a way, we are all Earth trustees, and we need to make sure we leave it in a better place for future generations.”
Enemy of Sunscreen
For someone who loves spending time in the sun as much as Gisele, one might think she wears sunscreen every day. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, the supermodel mama detests UV-resistant products, despite decades of scientific research that indicates it is very effective in preventing skin damage.
According to her, sunscreen simply doesn't suit her beliefs or lifestyle. "I cannot put this poison on my skin," she said to the Daily Mail. "I do not use anything synthetic." Instead, she does not sun-gaze when the sun is hottest and uses alternative skincare products to protect from sun damage.
Of course, Gisele has also chimed in on life for post-partum mothers. As many of us know, pregnancy is a difficult time for women and can leave them with everything from stretch marks and scars to significant weight gain and some serious cravings.
But Gisele has managed to cruise through 3 pregnancies without many of these issues and only gained 30 pounds at most while carrying her children. This is largely due to the healthy lifestyle she continues to maintain, as well as avoiding the intense cravings that she has stated turn women into “garbage disposals.”
Beauty Is for Babies Too
There’s another particularly controversial child-rearing topic that Gisele had weighed in on - ear piercing! Many parents choose to have their children’s ears pierced as babies, while others wait til they are old enough to choose for themselves. After all, this cosmetic choice can really sting.
At just eight months old, Gisele had her daughter Vivian's ears pierced, and the reception online was very mixed. However, one apt commenter noted that "this is something that's very popular in Gisele's culture. She's Brazilian, and in Latin America, it is very common to get your infant daughter's ears pierced."
No Laziness Allowed
When it comes to leisure, every mom needs some time to herself. But Gisele never spends a spare hour sitting on the couch watching TV, or sleeping in late. For her, “lazy Sundays” don’t exist, and all of her free time is spent moving her body and getting things done.
In another interview, this time with Elle, she elaborated on this. "I love outdoor sports, like volleyball, and I play them whenever I can. But my secret is that I watch TV maybe twice a year. I'm not a potato sack; I've never sat on my couch. If I'm home, I'm cleaning, feeding my dogs, and doing stuff. Life is too precious to waste time."
The Power of Words
This may be a surprise to many, but growing up, Gisele experienced her fair share of bullying from neighborhood kids in Brazil. She was made fun of for her height and lankiness, which later proved to be essential for her career as a model. And though she has come far since then, those years had an impact on her role as a mother.
She now teaches her children to understand the power of words and how they can hurt others when not chosen carefully. And most of all, she teaches her children to celebrate the differences of others, instead of belittling them. That’s one approach to parenting we think everyone can agree with!
A Working Housewife
With a joint net worth like Tom and Gisele’s, paying for some household help just makes sense, especially because, in Gisele’s eyes, a tidy and organized house is conducive to an organized state of mind. But even with help, she still likes to pitch in and do a considerable amount of housework herself.
All the way back in 2009, she spoke openly about the pride she took in housework, doing everything from vacuuming and cleaning to taking care of the laundry and cooking healthy meals for the whole family. Even though they hire a cleaner every week, her "perfectionist" tendencies mean she's always adding some finishing touches.
A Battle of Names
Child-rearing is an important job, but there’s a lot of preparation leading up to birth as well. And for many parents, choosing a name is one of the hardest parts. Especially when they’re a celebrity, and so many celebs favor unique baby names! Nevertheless, Gisele and Tom settled on Vivian, Benjamin, and Jack.
But according to Gisele, their names would have been different if it wasn't for her insistent partner. She originally wanted to call her son Benjamin 'River' - a tribute to the concept of a flowing part of nature. But eventually, despite also vying for 'Reinaldo' after her father, Gisele and Tom agreed on 'Benjamin.'
Divorce & Co-Parenting
As of October 28, 2022, things have changed drastically for the Bündchen-Brady family: Gisele and Tom have officially finalized their divorce. The proud parents are embarking on two separate chapters of their lives, but both remain committed to their family unit.
The two celebs are now 'co-parenting,' with Tom labeled the "calm and cool" parent, whereas Gisele is the more fun-loving mom who is always taking her kids on outings. Nevertheless, Tom assured he wants "to be a great father to my children and always try to do things the right way as well." We can't wait to see what comes next…