The following types of people can have valid personal opinions about childbirth:
- Medical professionals
- People who have experienced childbirth or are about to
- Literally no one else
It seems actress Shay Mitchell’s boyfriend did not get that memo.
Mitchell, 32, who was born in Mississauga, Ont. and is known for her role in “Pretty Little Liars,” is also pregnant. Her partner, Matte Babel (a music manager, former Much VJ and fellow Canadian), is the father. This, let’s be clear, does not give him rights over Mitchell’s OWN BODY.
Yet, in a new episode of Mitchell’s YouTube series “Almost Ready,” Babel voices several controversial opinions about epidurals and breastfeeding, all along the lines of only what’s “natural” is best.
“Am I partial to no epidural? Yes,” said Babel. “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.”
Dude. Stay in your lane. You’re veering very dangerously here.
Mitchell then makes the argument that people use drugs when they get root canals, and Babel responds, annnnd that’s when we go blind from rage.
“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.
Oh, and lucky for us, Babel also had strong opinions about breastfeeding, saying he’s “against” those who choose not to breastfeed.
“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 said.
OK OK OK, Let’s break some of this down.
These kinds of comments are harmful, because they perpetuate the false idea that natural is best, and make women who choose or end up having epidurals, C-sections (even though they may want to have drug-free births) feel like failures. It’s dangerous if a woman pushes too hard to have a “natural” birth when medically it is no longer safe for her or her baby.
When it comes to breastfeeding, while the world’s top health experts do recommend exclusive breastfeeding until a child is six months old, campaigns such as “Fed Is Best” point out that women often feel immense pressure to only breastfeed their newborns, “even when they do not have enough milk to do so.”
And if a mom chooses to bottle feed, it is exactly that: her choice. In fact, in 2018, the Royal College of Midwives in the U.K. released a position statement encouraging more support for those who bottle feed.
You know who should be spearheading this support? The partners of those actually doing the birthing and the feeding. Because that shit is no joke, no matter how you choose to or are able to do it.
WATCH: The gross things no one warned you about motherhood. Story continues below.
Speaking of joke, it’s entirely possible this episode of “Almost Ready” was completely orchestrated to induce rage and reaction. The producers had to know Babel’s opinions would be controversial. And in the previous episode, Mitchell revealed she wore adult diapers, which also got people talking.
Mitchell, for her part, isn’t swayed at all by Babel’s stance, and later on in the episode, gets him to wear a pregnancy suit and attach a device to torso that will help him feel what it’s like when she’s kicked from the inside.
So maybe these aren’t even Babel’s real opinions, or they’re exaggerated, or he’s joking.
Whatever the purpose of these toxic statements (which were already viewed nearly 90,000 times the same day the video was uploaded), we’re not laughing.