Shay Mitchell may be ready to welcome her first baby, but she and her boyfriend have some very different ideas of what her birth will look like. The Pretty Little Liars star and her boyfriend, Matte Babel, have been candid about her pregnancy, but their latest reveal has the internet—and honestly, the two of them—divided.
In a recent episode of the actress’s YouTube series, Almost Ready, the two the couple shared their disagreement on whether or not Mitchell should get an epidural while giving birth.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about this birth plan and I feel like we need to be more on the same page with this,” Mitchell says. “You say no epidural, I say epidural.”
*Record scratch* That's right—Babel, who is male and not pregnant, believes in giving birth without the the assistance of any drugs. “Am I partial to no epidural? Yes,” he said in the video. “Why? Because I’m a hypochondriac. I’m afraid of drugs. My mom didn’t use an epidural … I meet women all the time who didn’t choose to use epidurals.”
Mitchell, however, stood up for herself—and her decision to use an epidural. “Would you get a root canal without any drugs?” she questioned. “You’re in excruciating pain and I’m holding the medicine like this and I’m like, ‘You can have it and it wouldn’t do any harm, but you don’t want it. Do you want to be a fighter? Fight through it.’"
Babel, however, fired back with something that really has the internet up in arms: “A root canal is not comparable because you’re not born to go through a root canal. As a woman, your body is genetically engineered to give birth,” he said. For sure, dude.
Let's be real for a sec here: Babel is right, not all women get an epidural (which, btw, is an anesthetic-analgesic combination administered in the lower back to provide pain relief and decreased sensation in the lower body during labor and childbirth). But many women do—more than 50%, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
And, despite Babel's resistance to them, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says epidurals are quite safe. Because pretty much all medications have some side effects, the most common ones associated with epidurals for babies include a change in heart rate, breathing problems, drowsiness, reduced muscle tone, and reduced breastfeeding—all of which are temporary. For mothers, risks include a decrease in blood pressure, headache, soreness, and fever; and very rarely, injuries to the spinal cord and nerves.
Regardless of what her boyfriend thinks, Mitchell isn't about to change her stance: “Well listen, next time you can do this,” she said. Preach, girl.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter