Danica McKellar: “My Hope Is To Go Fully Natural – No Epidural, No Interventions”

What a woman! Danica McKellar, who first stole our hearts as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, is now inspiring us to get excited about math! Her New York Times bestselling books Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math challenges us to look at the way we socialize our young girls: “Society teaches girls that they have to choose between being smart and being attractive.” Her upcoming book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, hits shelves next month and encourages girls aged 13-15 to excel at – and enjoy! – math.

No only is she launching a new book, she’s also delivering her first baby later this year! Danica and her husband, composer Mike Verta, are preparing to “do lots of ‘babywearing’ in wraps/slings, and of course give the baby tons of love.” The 35 year old mom-to-be opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her passion to empower young girls, her pregnancy and her hopes for a natural childbirth.

CBS: Congratulations on your first pregnancy! How have you been feeling?

DM: “I’ve been feeling great! My first trimester I did feel a bit queasy, but now I feel terrific and am full of energy. I’ve been doing yoga. I actually made a yoga DVD called Daily Dose of Dharma and I’ve been doing it every day! And with my full appetite back, I’ve been eating tons of organic foods, staying away from processed sugars, white flours, and anything artificial. It’s the same as my normal regime, but I’m being even stricter, because everything I put into my body is literally building this precious baby inside me. As much as I may crave them, it’s not the time for donuts!”

CBS: Are you reading all the books?

DM: “I’ve read a nice variety of both birthing and baby books. So far I’ve read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth, also her breastfeeding book – two of my favorites. I’ve also read Hypnobirthing, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and I’m making my way through Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book which is like 700 pages long. I’ve read others, but those are my favorites.”

CBS: Do you plan on a natural childbirth?

DM: “Absolutely. That being said, I know we can’t always know what medical surprises may happen during childbirth. But my hope is to go fully natural – no epidural, no interventions. Wish me luck!”

CBS: What are some of the things you plan to do – and not do – with your baby?

DM: “I plan to breastfeed for at least a year. Mike and I plan to do lots of ‘babywearing’ in wraps/slings, and of course give the baby tons of love. The rest will work itself out.”

CBS: You have a degree in mathematics and you encourage young girls to embrace math. Tell us about your books and how you try to encourage young girls that ‘math doesn’t suck.’ Why do you think so many people struggle with math?

DM: “This society teaches girls that they have to choose between being smart and being attractive, and with my books, not only do I make math easy by teaching it in terms of topics they’re already thinking about (shopping, boys, etc.), but I show them that being smart is actually an important part of being fabulous!

Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math (for ages 9-11 and 11-13) are both New York Times bestsellers, and that makes me happy because I know I’m reaching lots of girls. I also get emails from them, telling me I’ve given them incredible confidence and I hear all about their greatly improved math scores. It’s an amazing feeling. My third book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, (for ages 13-15, or anyone taking Algebra) comes out August 3rd, 2010. So I’m delivering a book and then a baby later this year!”

Filed under: Celebrity Interview,Danica McKellar,Exclusives

Photo credit: Fame

  • Anonymous

    Oh Honey…you are truly living in LaLa land if you think you’ll have this baby “fully natural”. Of course you may, I wish you the best, but don’t be surprised or disappointed if the birth can’t be the way you want it to be.

    • Anonymous

      Um, did you not read the whole article? She said “I know we can’t always know what medical surprises may happen during childbirth. But my hope is to go fully natural”. Seems to me like she is fully prepared that it might not go the way she wants it to. It’s not like she flat out said, “I am GOING to have this baby all natural, no matter what!” Please read the whole article, not just the bit on the home page, before posting smart aleck remarks. Thank you!

      I am really happy to hear that she is HOPING to have the baby all natural, and that she plans to nurse and babywear! I love her mission to empower girls, and am looking forward to my daughters reading her books. Good luck Danica!!!!

      • nanpan

        Also, it’s not some impossible pipe-dream to have a child all-natural. I had my first daughter all natural, no epidural, nothing. It hurt like nothing in the world, but it’s what I wanted, and I was healthy enough to just do it. Would I do it again? Maybe not, it really was very painful (the pushing. Wow!), but I’m very happy I did it with her. The idea of having a needle near my spine, or being injected with narcotics didn’t jive with me.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’re living in LaLa Land if you think no one can have a natural childbirth. A friend of mine had two natural childbirths, in her own home. Now, it’s not the route I would have taken–the home part, that is, I’m not a fan of some of the drugs they use during labor–but it’s absolutely possible to have a child without any interventions.

      She also said that she understands that things may not go her way. Don’t take a “soundbite” and run with it; your high school English teacher should have taught you that.

  • Anonymous

    Danica is a beautiful woman!

  • carolyn

    She is so pretty! Hopefully her birth experience goes the way she wants it to.

  • patricia

    It can be done… I had 3 daughters natually with NO interventions. It hurt ALOT BUT i did it and so can she and other women if you put my mind to it.

  • Anonymous

    Haha. This kinda makes me chuckle.

    With my daughter 2.5 years ago, I wanted a “natural” childbirth. I kept my mind open though. And then the pain came! Holy heck! I was soooo happy for that epidural.

    So when my son was ready to come into this world 4 weeks ago, I wanted that epidural. I wasn’t gonna play the tough girl card this time! But then, even though I was in the hospital, my son had other plans. The doctor nearly didn’t make it to my room in time! So there was no epidural for me. I screamed like I’ve never screamed in my life. That was insane! But I did recover (for the most part) much quicker.

    So I read all these stories of mom’s not wanting epidurals, and it makes me laugh. I wanted one, and my son had other plans!

  • Desiree

    You go girl! My daughter was born at home with no drugs and I’d do it again.
    It’s absolutely possible and I wish you the best! 🙂

  • Shannon

    My first was an epidural hospital birth, my second was a natural water birth that I chose. My second was way easier at the time and in recovery. If you are hoping for an epidural and can’t get it, it’s not the same experience as a prepared for natural delivery. She has great book picks! Hope she shares her birth story!

  • Tanya

    Guess I’m living in la-la land. Since i pushed my breech baby out in my bathtub, unassisted, just 13 days ago…..

  • Elizabeth

    Hey there Tanya ; ). I’m here in sunny la la land too. My first was a hospital birth and then with my second I did my research including Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and had my second completely natural at home unassisted 2 years ago this November. It seems as though she’s doing great preparing and hopefully she will get the birth she wants!

  • doula jenny

    Ina may’s books are amazing and were a huge help when I was planning my natural births. Both of my kids were born easily without pain medication one at a birth center and one at home. They were two of the best experiences of my life. I felt very powerful and it was well worth it. Educating yourself about your options and takong charge is the key to a great birth. She sounds like Danica has the right attitude about her plans and I hope she has an amazing birthing journey.

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