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Shay Mitchell's boyfriend objects to epidurals—but he's not the one giving birth

Shay Mitchell has been super open about her journey into motherhood, sharing the story of her earlier pregnancy loss and the progress of her current pregnancy.

The Pretty Little Liars actress is currently expecting a baby with her boyfriend, former Much Music VJ Matte Babel, who just voiced some problematic opinions about childbirth in the third episode of Shay's YouTube Originals series, Almost Ready.

In the reality show-style video, Shay's boyfriend states he's against choosing to formula feed and against epidurals during birth.

😳

It's totally possible that Babel is trolling us. Every good reality TV show needs a villain, after all. But whether he's serious or not his comments are seriously damaging and need to be addressed.


In the episode, Shay and Matte attend a private birthing prep class and go shopping for baby supplies. In the store, Shay says she's "terrified of giving birth."

Later, when the couple is discussing breastfeeding Babel says he's "against" women choosing not to breastfeed if they can.

"I just think if you have the innate ability to breastfeed and the kid latches, why wouldn't you want the best for your baby?" he says, doubling down on a very problematic and unfortunate statement.

For Matte and anyone else who is confused about this issue, let us set the record straight: Mothers do not have to breastfeed, even if they are physically able to. Choosing to use formula is a perfectly legitimate choice that should be supported.

As Shay points out in the video, "formulas are good, too."

Babel's cringe-worthy opinions on maternal choices didn't stop there, either. As the couple discusses their birth plan Babel says he would prefer Shay not have an epidural.

"Am I partial to no epidural? Yes," he says. "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."

Matte may not be meeting very many women because about 60% of American women receive epidurals during labor, according to the CDC, and there is absolutely no shame in being one of them.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) respects a mother's choice to get an epidural, stating that "a woman who requests epidural analgesia during labor should not be deprived of this service". ACOG recognizes that "there is no other circumstance in which it is considered acceptable for an individual to experience untreated severe pain that is amenable to safe intervention while the individual is under a physician's care."

Unfortunately, Babel doesn't get this. When Shay points out that you wouldn't expect someone to undergo a root canal without pain medication he says: "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."

Where do we even begin here?

While the ACOG states that there are some risks associated with epidurals, the best person to make an informed decision about those risks is the person that's actually having the baby.

Babel's comments suggest that he doesn't totally get this, but the comments section on his Instagram page shows social media users are schooling him on the concept.

On a recent photo of pregnant Shay posted to Babel's page a commenter wrote: "Go Shay! Go get your epidural girl! The baby isnt coming out of him so he has NO say #boybye"

Well said, random Instagram user. If Babel is trolling, the moms on IG are trolling him right back.

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    An expectant mama's to-do list can feel endless… but here's the good news: A lot of those tasks are actually really exciting. Planning your baby registry is especially thrilling: You get a say in what gifts friends and family members will buy for your new addition!

    But it can also feel a bit overwhelming to make sense of all the gear on the market. That's why we suggest mentally dividing your registry into two categories: items you need to prepare for your baby's arrival and items that sure would be nice to have.

    Here at Motherly, our editors have dozens of kids and years of parenting experience among us, so we know our way around the essentials. We also know how mama-friendly the registry-building experience is with Target, especially thanks to their recently upgraded registry and introduction of Year of Benefits. Just by creating your baby registry with Target, you'll snag a kit with $120 in discounts and samples. The savings keep coming: You'll also get two 15% off coupons to buy unpurchased items from your registry for up to a year after your baby's expected arrival. Change your mind about anything? The Year of Benefits allows for returns or exchanges for a full year. And as of August 2020, those who also sign up for Target Circle when creating a baby registry will also get the retailer's Year of Exclusive Deals, which includes ongoing discounts on baby essentials for a full year.

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    Target's baby registry is easy to create from the comfort of your own home. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with the Year of Benefits featuring exclusive deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

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