Celebrity Baby Scoop: Mayim Bialik says women don’t need to fear their bodies and birth

January 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

By Desiree Fawn, McClatchy-Tribune

Attachment parenting advocate Mayim Bialik has been highly vocal in promoting a natural take on family life. The former child star, who first stole our hearts as Blossom in the 90s, is now raising two young boys Miles, 5, and Frederick, 2 with husband Michael Stone.

Earlier this month we happily announced that Mayim will be joining the Celebrity Baby Scoop team as a guest blogger. Recently we had a chance to chat with the “Big Bang Theory” actress about everything from home births to breastfeeding, and the challenges that come with completing a Ph.D. in neuroscience with two young boys at home.

Celebrity Baby Scoop: Please share your birth stories. How can we help shatter some some of the fear-based myths about childbirth? Please give us some statistics on the benefits of home births and intervention-free births.

Mayim Bialik: I think the ultimate message is that for those that want to have a natural birth; there are ways to do it successfully and healthily. It is beneficial to the mother and the baby. I refuse to give in to a set of beliefs that makes women afraid of their bodies and birth. I have been very open about our birth stories; my first son was born in a hospital after a weekend of labor at home, but I didn’t use any pain medication and my second son was born at home unassisted until pushing, with my almost 3-year-old watching the whole thing from his highchair. It has been documented that most births can proceed successfully if left uninterrupted and without medical “interventions” — but you need to be surrounded by a community that understands that birth doesn’t progress a centimeter an hour. That’s not normal nor has it ever been.

CBS: How did you manage your PhD studies with newborns/sleep deprivation?

MB: I had my first son when I was done with my coursework, so by the time he was born; I was in the data collection phase of my graduate work and could be with him all the time. I’m still sleep deprived (I am still nursing my younger son 4-6 times a night), but I have the support of women who help me manage to get my head around this new way of life through support groups such as La Leche League. It’s when we fight, get angry or become resentful about the lack of sleep that we “can’t function.”

CBS: What is your best advice to new moms who are struggling with breastfeeding? Do you believe that some people just aren’t ‘cut out’ for breastfeeding?

MB: Barring extremely rare genetic conditions, 99 percent of all women can successfully breastfeed if they are given the proper education and resources to do so. Can some women not tolerate the challenges breastfeeding sometimes presents? Yes. But, it’s not for me to tell them to do so if they choose not to pursue it further. We all do the best we can with the support and resources and education we have.

CBS: How do you manage motherhood and career?

MB: I have a husband who’s completely dedicated and committed to being with our kids while I’m at work. I pump when I am away from my son, and I give my boys all of my time as their caregiver when I am home.

CBS: Do you want your kids to enter showbiz? Why or why not? Why do you think so many child stars have struggled?

MB: I don’t think show business is compatible with our lifestyle and our kids. They don’t have the personality for it really- they don’t smile on command; they’re very shy. I think the reason why some child stars struggle, or have struggled is because mental illness is pervasive in our society whether you’re in show business or you’re not.

CBS: How do you and your hubby keep the romance going, do you have special date nights?

MB: We don’t use a nanny or babysitters (laughs) we haven’t had a date in 5 years! Our time together is when they go to sleep; that’s why they go to bed at 6p.m.!

CBS: We love you on “Big Bang Theory” and recently read that you said it was the most challenging sitcom you had worked on. Please explain.
MB: “Big Bang” is a show where they keep you guessing. They play with the lines until the very last minute. It’s a very creative, keep-you-on-your-toes sort of set.

CBS: Any other upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?

MB: I’m coming out with a book about parenting by intuition. It will be published by Simon and Schuster in the spring of 2012. It will focus on holistic parenting and will have anecdotes from our experiences from an attachment parenting household.

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