Laila Ali Loving Her "Perfect" Pregnancy

07/30/2008 at 07:00 PM ET

Laila1 When she first learned she was pregnant, Laila Ali admits that, like so many women, she feared the worst. "I went into it thinking I was going to be miserable with morning sickness and nausea, and that I’d get huge," the 30-year-old boxer and American Gladiators co-host tells Parenting magazine. But after realizing that life is what you make it, Laila said she "changed her mindset" — and has enjoyed a "perfect" pregnancy ever since. She adds,

The whole thing has been great…I think a lot of it has to do with being positive. When you expect something to be bad, that’s usually what ends up happening.

The baby boy — to be named Curtis Muhammad  — she’s expecting with husband Curtis Conway in early September will no doubt benefit from having a father who has navigated life with a newborn before. Curtis, already dad to 13-year-old twin sons Cameron and Kelton and 9-year-old daughter Leilani from a previous marriage, earns rave reviews from Laila, who says,

My husband’s already an exceptional father with his three kids — he’s probably going to take better care of the baby than me!

Click ‘continue reading’ to hear Laila’s thoughts on her pregnant body and unsolicited belly rubs from strangers!

Laila says she was a realist when it came to accepting the physical changes that accompany any pregnancy. "Because I love to eat and I’m already a big girl — I’m 5’10"" and 175 lbs when I’m not pregnant — I had to accept that I’d be a big pregnant woman," she says. And while she’s tried to "embrace" her pregnant form, there are also times she admits that a glance in the mirror leaves her thinking "Oh my God, look at my butt." As quickly as the thought occurs, however, Laila says she pushes it away.

I get over it. That’s a part of life, that’s what women go through.

Another thing pregnant women go through are unsolicited — and at times unwanted — belly rubs, often from complete strangers. Laila, who has not been immune from the phenomenon, shares,

Do I look like someone who wants her belly rubbed? There have been some little people who just won’t take a hint and manage to get by me — they come at me with their hands already out! 

Source: Parenting; Photo by Apega/

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News , Parenting

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FC on

Ha, she cracks me up talking about the constant rubbing of her belly by complete strangers. They better watch it. She might just bust out and deck them and lay them out cold…lmao. Maybe not, but they should remember who she is and what she could be capable of the next time anyone does it. 😉

She has more patience than I think I would.

MB on

I’ve decided…some stranger rubs my belly, i’m going to rub their’s back, and they can see how they like it! lol

Hilda on

Her husband’s daughter’s name almost sounds like her name. She looks great and fit. People of all ages rubbed my belly too, and I enjoyed it, cuz, they meant well. Instead of thinking it was rude or intrusive, I saw it as a blessing for the baby.

Sadaf on

“Muhammad”? That’s a Muslim name. I’m surprised it’s being taken as a surname for the baby. Wouldn’t her husband want his own surname to come after his baby’s name?
For us Muslims, Muhammad is one the best and most blessed names we can give a boy! I guess she gets the honor of giving the baby her father’s name! Good of her husband to let her do that.

Jen on

LOL W/ MB! That’s a great idea!

Stephany on

Haha, my SIL talks all the time about those belly rubs from strangers. The other day some lady came up to her and didn’t say a WORD, just rubbed her belly. I don’t get that! Haha, MB, I love your idea! Great idea!

bebe on

People rubbed my belly when I was pregnant. I didn’t mind. It was a good intention.

Also, “he is really great with his other children!” He divorced his previous wife to have another family with another woman. I don’t think this makes him a good father. It basically says to his first children, “hey you are not good enough, so I’m going to make another child, with whom I’m going to live with.” I doubt those other children live with him full time. I think that if you decided to get a divorce you should NOT have more children with someone else.

bebe on

What does that mean, “little people”…. ??

Belly rubs are sweet. They are just something that will happen. She should relax and just enjoy it. And what does that mean, “Do I look like someone who wants their belly rubbed?” You can’t tell whether or not a person does or doesn’t want their belly rubbed…..

kori on

bebe–i think she was referring to children. why would someone be offended or confused about belly rubs? well, there’s a pretty long history of the intrusion of women’s privacy, and the normalization of said intrusion. especially for survivors of abuse, touching before asking can produce an often involuntary, visceral reaction. plus, some people, both women and men, just don’t like to be touched by people they don’t know very well. i would think it’s a pretty common reaction that makes sense in regard to primal instinct–you are carrying and protecting a baby, and in the wild, there is no reason to trust a stranger not to hurt that baby, or fetus, depending on the stage of growth.

as for me, i would be rather amused and try to keep that emotion neutral. i like MB and hilda’s suggestions–i think i would rub their tummies back AND take it as a blessing for my child. that way i would get to bless them back :-D. i’d certainly like to see the look on their face after receiving a smile, belly rub and a ‘Well bless you, too!”.