Samantha Harris on her best advice, being a working mom, and more

04/05/2008 at 03:06 PM ET

SamanthaharrisjosselynDancing With the Stars co-host Samantha Harris received a lot of advice during her pregnancy, but the most important piece of information she gleaned was to keep her and husband Michael Hess’ name ideas private.

Best advice — to keep the name choices for the baby a secret until he or she is born. It was nice not to have anyone sway us away from the boy and girl names we loved. No ill advice was given. (Shocking, right?!)

The arrival of Josselyn Sydney was a big surprise — Samantha, 34, and Michael had chosen to find out the sex at delivery, and their daughter arrived two weeks early. With everything moving so quickly, Samantha cites her epidural as her must-have to get her through the birth.

I received it within 15 minutes of being admitted to the hospital and it allowed my labor and delivery experience to be quite blissful.  Seriously!

Click below for a typical day with Josselyn, being a working mom, and Samantha’s best advice.

Now that Josselyn is 6 months, the family has been able to settle into more of a routine — although it still includes very early morning!

Josselyn has the biggest eyes and they are wide open at 5 am, but sometimes she’ll take a pacifier and snooze a little later. The day is all about changing diapers and feeding her — but we get a lot of playtime in as well. She loves lying under the music and lights of the baby gym and being strapped to us for walks.

Samantha returned to her duties at Dancing With the Stars last fall, but the most recent edition, which began March 17th, is her first full season back at work.

Just as many women have done before me — I am juggling motherhood and full-time work.  Thankfully, I work for wonderful people who are helping the transition from maternity leave to working motherhood be as smooth as they possibly can.

Having experienced mommyhood for a half-year now, Samantha shared that her best advice is to just live in the moment.

Have fun and drink-up every second of those first months — the baby grows so fast that in those bleary-eyed moments of exhaustion, it’s easy to want her to fast-forward to walking and talking. Enjoy this time, though!

For more from Samantha’s interview, visit the Mom To Be Depot.

Momtobedepotlogo_2The Mom to be depot is a resource for new moms that provides advicefrom national experts, "must-have" products, and information about howto take excellent care of yourself — while you are pregnant and after.

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tiffanyyy on

Love the babys hair!

aNNA on

As much as I appreciate all the choices women have for pain management in labour, I wish more women can put trust in themselves and their bodies to handle labour drug-free. We are designed to give birth and we should embrace it.

Kate on

I’m curious…

I thought you couldn’t get an epidural early on in the labor, before some real dilation. Has that changed? Can you now get an epidural throughout most of the labor?

Thanks, Kate.

Sarah’s note: I’m not sure. I do know Samantha had said things moved really fast and Josselyn was born in the middle of the night, so I wonder if perhaps she was quite dilated by the time they actually got to the hospital.

Danielle, Celebrity Baby Blog Publisher on

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’s (ACOG) position is that they support a woman’s request for pain relief during any stage of labor is sufficient medical indication to provide it.

Previously, it was believed that epidurals administered early often lead to caesarean-section delivery, but a study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005 found “it is unclear, however, whether this increase in risk is due to the analgesia or is attributable to other factors.”

Southern girl on

That baby girl is too cute…love that hair!
My sister got an epidural when she was only dialated to a 1! She had been that way for SEVERAL hours and was in a huge amount of pain, I didn’t think they gave them until you were at least half way dialated, but I guess it just depends on the individual. I was a 6 when I got mine, but only about two hours into labor, mine went very quickly.

tink1217 on

anna, would you have surgery or would a man have a vasectomy without anesthesia? I am not saying everyone needs to have an epidural, of course not. But we all individually know how much pain we are equipped to handle and we all make choices based on that. What matters is a healthy baby and healthy mom…not whether you had a drug free birth.

Aside from that…Josselyn is adorable!

Jadie on

I had no idea who Samantha Harris was until I read this article. Thanks CBB for covering so many celebrities. I’m sure I’m not the only one on here to discover celebrity moms, dads and children I’d never heard of because they’re not featured in the magazines/news readily available to me.

Back to the topic: Josslyn is a litte cutie pie and I adore her hair. I can’t wait till my seven month old has enough hair for me to put up in to a litte bobble.

I had a drug free labour, however, I really did want an epidural because the pain was excruciating. I was unable to have one due to me dilating so fast. My labour started when I was already in hospital being prepped to be induced. They didn’t have a chance to even get me up to the delivery suite – I had to give birth on a ward with four other patients round me.

Christine on

Anna, have you ever given birth naturally???? just a question because until you actually have , you shouldn’t judge other women…. I gave birth to my son with an epidural and it was a piece of cake for me…. now with my daughter, i progressed very fast and there was no time for an epidural and it was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life and I actually thought I would not be able to get her out!!!! I was not at all prepared for a drug free delivery so that did NOT help lol….

brooke on

I saw a recent pic of samantha’s baby when she was on the rachel ray show this week, baby looks a lot like samantha.

kate on

Thank for the info!

I watch the baby story quite a bit, and I always hear the docs telling women they must wait for their pain relief, or the epidural will wear off, or stall labour. But then I hear of women who say they only felt a bit of pressure because the epidural was so strong…

Anyhow, I appreciate your knowledge, sarah and danielle.

Margot on

Best advice — to keep the name choices for the baby a secret until he or she is born. It was nice not to have anyone sway us away from the boy and girl names we loved. No ill advice was given. (Shocking, right?!)

Samantha’s absolutely right – there’s nothing worse than hearing a well-meaning grandmother-to-be belittle the parents-to-be’s choice of name for their child. At least if the baby has arrived when the name is announced, people are less inclined to argue with you about whether or not it’s a good idea! When my fiance and I go down the parental path, we won’t be sharing our chosen names until the birth (my mother is far too opinionated for that – she keeps trying to sway me towards Alexander, which is a lovely name, but not when the future child’s father has a grandfather, uncle, cousin and second cousin all with that name! There’s such a thing as TOO MUCH!)

Josselyn is a dear little girl – so much hair!

Jennifer on

My Dr. allowed me to get the epidural basically when I wanted it–which I wanted very early on and really even before I had major pain (I think I was dialated to a 2 or 3)!! I was so happy once I got the epidural… until towards the end, it just wasn’t working anymore (even after they gave me more!), AND I had very bad back labor on top of it. I am 5′-5 1/2″ and my pre-pregnancy weight was 120lbs. I ended up giving birth to a 8lb. 14.9 oz daughter who by the way, came TWO WEEKS EARLY!!! Even though at the end the epidural didn’t work for me, I still say THANK GOD for epidurals!!! To each their own, but for me, I’m really glad I made the choice I did 🙂

aNNA on

Tink 1217 – the definition of a surgery is the following Surgery (from the Greek χειρουργική, or chirurgical, and latin chirurgiae meaning “hand work”) is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance, or sometimes for some other reason.

As far as I am concerned you cannot lump a surgery or vasectomy in the same category as birth since birth is not a disease or an ‘ailment’ that has to be ‘corrected’.

gigi on

i totally agree with keeping the name a secret! we did. when we found out we were having a boy, we told everyone what our girls name would have been and the insults rolled right in….so we kept our boys name to ourselves so noone could put in their 2 cents!

AZ on

Josselyn and my little girl were born days apart. So, I like hearing about her–the same with Valentina Pinault. I just love Josselyn’s hair. My little one does not have half as much.

Further to the topic of epidurals, I chose to have a drug-free homebirth, which is not for everyone. Yes, my body handled labour beautifully for 22 hours:) And that experience made me well aware that not everyone has to deal with labour that way. Being a mother has humbled me in many ways. If a woman chooses to have an epidural, I do not judge her. If she chooses not to breastfeed, she knows why she does so.

emily on

Well said, AZ. That’s awesome…unfortunately it seems your views aren’t shared with a lot of other natural-birthing mothers.

Anna – if all our bodies were designed to give birth, there would be no need for emergency c-sections, nor would there be maternal deaths during childbirth.

fay on

i think keeping the baby’s name a secret is a good idea too… especially for the person you’re telling it to…

when my boss was pregnant, she told me the name she picked… and i made a face… i don’t remember whether or not i said i didn’t like it, but my FACE definitely said so…

that’s her little boy’s name now… and it just feels kind of weird that she knows i think her babies name is lame…

Lin on

i don’t think it is anyone’s right to tell someone they should or shouldn’t have an epidural. but i guess this subject is always up for a debate. i just think that is a personal choice. i had one (at 2 centimeters)…..and i was in labor for 18 hours. they told me he’d only weigh 6 1/2 lbs and he weighed 9!!!! i am 5’2″ and weight 105lbs before i got pregnant… was long and hard and i am glad i had mine and wouldn’t change the experience for anything.

Jenny on

With regards to the epidural- my cousin just had a baby in January and at the hospital where she gave birth, the epidural they used can be started at any point….and doesn’t run out….I sure hope they use that method when I have a baby!!! She got the epidural when she was at 3cm and only felt pressure…no pain….throughout the entire labor. I know people that live 30 minutes from us and had babies at a different hospital, and they had the traditional method, where you have to wait until a certain point to get the epidural, and then if the labor is long it may run out.

aNNA on

Emily – I am not insisting that all women are perfect but there is an american trend to belittle and scare women by doctors and nurses to not opt for a drug-free birth. The WHO recommends a 15% ceasearean rate. Why 1 out of 3 American women get a ceasarean?

abi on

I think Josselyn is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby! I love her hair and think she is just a cutie!

emily on

Anna, I agree with you about unnecessary c-sections. That why in my first post I said ’emergency c-sections’, like for women who have a disproportionate baby head to pelvic ratio. I chose before giving birth to have an epidural, and it drove me crazy to hear women tell me that my body was designed to give birth. How can anyone, including me, say that until AFTER I’ve given birth? The pelvic bone/head ratio thing alone is enough reason to stop saying that we were designed to give birth. I won’t even go into women who struggle with infertility…

Also, there are many reasons that could possibly explain the high cesarean rate in the US…one explanation could very well be that women or doctors choose to go that route. Or it could be the US possibly has higher cases of Herpes, which usually causes the woman to need a cesarean. Or extreme cases of HPV are the same way, though most doctors will tell you it is unnecessary. Obviously, I’m not privy to the details on the reasons why we have a too high c-section rate, but I do realize there could many explanations.

Lin on

Amen Emily!!!! I chose to have an epidural before as well. I ended up having an emergency c-section because they couldn’t get him to turn around (he was face up instead of face down), then his heart rate started going up and i started to get a fever. and to be honest, i healed just fine and had no pain once i got home. i realize that isn’t the situation for everyone who has a c-section. i was in the hospital for 4 days after (standard for c-section) and i was up and walking fine and taking NO pain meds by the time i left the hospital. i know a woman who had her first 3 kids natural and had her 4th with an epidural and she said she’d never have another child without one!

K on

Anna-I wonder why it is that you are so judgemental of others? How on earth can you have ANY perspective on ANYONE other than yourself? Who are you to assess another, or dane to tell any other human being how she should or should not conduct herself. Don’t SHOULD on me. You have no sufficient knowledge about other women’s labor decisions, or what rationale drives those decisions (i.e.: Trust or one’s body as you say, or something else.)You know, it is sad that you and many others believe so vehimently that it is your place to weigh in on other people’s choices. Perhaps you should keep the focus on yourself. It’s called live and let live. Try it and do us all a favor and stop judging anyone other than YOU.

mrsL on

Anna, I totally agree with you. BTW, I saw Ricki Lakes’ “The Business of Being Born” and made my teenagers watch it. A very important film IMO!

grace on

look at all that hair sticking up! so cute:)

in terms of all the comments, i believe that every woman has a right to choose whether she wants an epidural or not. i had one with my daughter and my mother made me feel so guilty about it, almost like a failure. it still was a “natural” labor, unless a baby comes out of your nose i think it’s considered natural. my epidural eased the contractions, but believe me i still felt plenty, you can ask them not to put so much medicine in the line so you still feel pressure and some contractions. one thing i’ve noticed about labor these days is the amount of inductions and scheduled c-sections, i have many friends who work in labor and delivery and they all say the same thing..doctors are just getting lazy, they hate to be called in at 3 am and prefer to know when their patients will be delivering so it doesn’t interupt their life. people looked at me like i was crazy when i told them my water broke at home when i was 39 weeks. my doctor tried convincing me for 6 weeks that i wouldn’t be able to deliver vaginally for many reasons and begged me to schedule a c-section. i think it’s really sad that so many doctors do that because my delivery was perfect and i’m glad i didn’t listen to him. either way, the mortality rate for mothers and infants during childbirth has gone down dramatically, so whatever advances they have made are obviously working:)