Photo: Shay Mitchell via YouTube
Shay Mitchell is officially a mama! On October 21, the Pretty Little Liars actress shared the wonderful news that she had given birth to her bb girl with partner, and fellow Canadian, Matte Babel.
The pic is seriously cute (and gives us some major #TBT vibes to Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement from February 2018). It turns out that an Instagram debut pic isn’t the only thing Mitchell and Jenner have in common—later that same day, Mitchell posted the final episode of her YouTube series, Almost Ready, sharing her labour and delivery with her fans.
But while Jenner’s own delivery vid was heavily curated, edited and looked pretty much like a Kanye West music video, Mitchell’s video was *very* different. The PLL actress and Béis founder really took it there, folks, showing us the nitty gritty of childbirth. And you know what? It’s exactly the type of birth video we need. Here’s why.
From the moment the YouTube video started, we saw the usually very glammed up actress in a whole different light. Clad in a terrycloth headband, t-shirt and diaper, Mitchell informed the camera that her water had broken. And that intro pretty much set the tone. While it’s entirely up to the person giving birth how (or if) they want to share this moment with the world, it was refreshing to see how real Mitchell was. I mean, it doesn’t get much more real than pushing a literal human out of your hoo-ha.
We saw (almost) everything. From the star’s initial panic when she hadn’t felt the baby move in a while and her waiting 13 hours for labour to actually “start,” to footage of Mitchell squeezing a pillow on her bed, messy bun very messy, while her partner rubbed her back during contractions, it was legit.
We even saw the very relatable moment when the actress, hunched over and having not slept for two days, lamented about killing Babel who was snoozing like a baby while she was literally trying to push one out of her vag. Which is honestly so fair. If my partner did that, I think I would… kill them?
Birth isn’t necessarily pretty, and it was cool to see someone who pretty much makes their living off of being pretty acknowledge that—and take us along for the ride.
Love ya Kylie, but your video pretty much made it seem like you coughed and Stormi waltzed on out (which, maybe she did—everyone’s delivery is different).
As opposed to other celebrity birth videos, which feature some Insta-filtered footage from inside the room before cutting away as the real labour starts, Mitchell’s labour vid was actually really educational. Showing the BTS of Mitchell and Babel’s intimate experience allowed viewers to learn some kind of important stuff about childbirth.
Like, did you know that women can shake while they’re giving birth? The “labour shakes,” uncontrollable shivering, trembling or teeth-chattering that’s prompted by a serious change in your body’s hormones, are a real thing. At around the 8:30 mark, an exhausted-looking Mitchell is shown visibly shaking as she lies on her side. “The shaking, all of this is a part of labour,” a helpful nurse tells the star from off-camera. “It’s the thing that nobody tells you about, and then everybody hates it. That’s your bodies' natural response to labour.” Also, apparently you can only eat clear foods once you’re in labour? Honestly, that should be criminal.
Throughout the 11-minute video, we were also introduced to some very intense sounding words like Picotin (a drug that’s used to help hurry along labour) when Mitchell was induced after labouring for 13 hours (which, legitimately, bless her soul). It’s like being on Grey’s Anatomy, guys!
But probably the most interesting and informative part of Mitchell’s delivery was the inclusion of her doula. According to Today, a doula provides support for pregnant couples and families before, during and after the birth, ensuring the parents-to-be have a birth plan and understand the medical jargon being thrown at them. They also advocate on behalf of pregnant mothers. Mitchell’s doula, Andrey, who she introduced to us in episode four, seems like a literal ray of sunshine. Throughout the process, she is seen supporting Mitchell both physically and verbally, and provides informative info to the audience about the stages of labour and why Mitchell and her doctors are making the decisions they are. Plus, she stood up for Mitchell when Babel unknowingly misspoke, saying the actress “Tried to tough it out last night” before deciding to get an epidural. “She did great,” Andrey countered. “And she didn’t try, she did the damn thing.”
I want this woman not only at my bedside if I give birth, but also just generally in my life as a wise advisor. She is so freakin’ soothing. (Fun fact: “what’s a doula?” is currently trending, thanks to Mitchell).
Listen, giving birth seems like a truly terrifying experience. The idea of something literally coming out of your body of its own volition is… a lot. It sounds like a scene from Predator or The Exorcism. And that’s not to hate on childbirth—it is legitimately a miracle and I can’t believe that the female body can do something so incredibly badass. As Mitchell said: “My body is just doing something naturally. Oh, it’s so crazy.”
Having never been pregnant or given birth, Mitchell’s reaction to this experience—from the moment she announced her pregnancy to the moment she gave birth—has been relatable AF. The actress hasn’t been afraid to voice just how scared she was of pregnancy and childbirth, and talk about the issues that really concern her (and that are top of mind for a lot of young women I know who are heading into a similar stage of life) like fear about “losing” the body you’re comfortable in and worries about postpartum sadness or not feeling like yourself after baby. This vulnerable, not self-assured and, most of all, scared version of Mitchell is a side of her the public hasn’t really seen before. And that’s *super* relatable and hella endearing!
Mitchell’s vid simultaneously gave us the voyeurism we all love when it comes to behind-the-scenes celebrity content and the reassurance that pregnancy and childbirth is scary for everyone—so if Mitchell (a seemingly untouchable glamazon) is scared and unsure of herself, it’s totally A-OK for me to be too.
Also, it doesn’t get more relatable than this: