Laila Ali: Prepping Before Baby Leads to ‘Best Birth’

04/08/2011 at 03:00 PM ET
Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Following the arrival of son C.J., now 2½, Laila Ali knew she wanted to try for another natural birth — but this time, under supervision at the hospital.

“I had some issues [with C.J.] that meant I wasn’t able to do the homebirth, because you have to have a 100 percent normal birthing situation,” the new mother-of-two, 33, tells Best for Babes.

“I had to be on bedrest with this pregnancy as well, because there were a couple of times where I got an ultrasound and there were growth issues again, but then everything kind of leveled out.”

With the help of doula and a doctor she could trust, Ali developed a birth plan and prepared for a peaceful hospital environment.

“The bottom line is that you have to have a baby in the way that you are the most comfortable because that is when you are going to have your best, easiest birth,” she explains.

“They knew that I don’t want my baby taken out of the room, I want the baby in here, I want all the testing done in the room with me, don’t offer my baby a bottle, all these different types of things that you can be in control of.”

Now the proud mama of Sydney J., born Monday, Ali admits her number one priority was to deliver a healthy baby girl.

“To me, when you decide to be a mother and give birth, it’s not just about having a little cute baby and dressing the baby up,” Ali says. “A lot of women look at all the positive, cute sides to it, but it’s a real job, one of the hardest, most rewarding jobs you’re ever going to have in life.”

For more from Laila’s interview, visit

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 16 comments

amw on

congrats! and good for her for speaking about this kind of parenting and showing that it starts from birth. having your baby with you, breastfeeding, being with them as much as possible in those early months is SO important. and im glad she mentioned a doula. all wome should check them out. even if you have a wonderful husband and supportive family. i am aware of doulas who volunteer their services too, so it shouldnt just be viewed as something for wealthy women.

Mira on

I like her. Congrats to the family and welcome to Sydney.

Shannon on

She is so pretty. Can’t wait to see Sydney!

Allison J on

Congrats on the birth of baby Sydney!

I’m glad Layla got the birth she wanted, and that she mentioned having a doula (birth coach) in the room.

I had a doula for my child’s birth 10 years ago, and it was a HUGE benefit for both me and my husband.

My hubby wasn’t too keen on having another person besides him coaching me through the birth, but afterwards, he told everyone that the money we spent on the doula was “the best money we ever spent!”

Marla on

I am happy she got the birth she wanted. And I love her philosophy on being a mother.

Congrats to her and her little family!

Kelly on

what a wonderful attitude she has!! I absolutely loved her on DWTS and have followed her ever since…she is so beautiful and seems like such a well rounded person and mom.

blessedwithboys on

I’m sorry you weren’t able to have your HB, but SO glad to hear you speak up in favor of advocating for yourself and your baby in a hospital setting.

Good on ya for nursing, too! This story made me teary. 🙂

skunknuggets on

So she had a VBAC? Yay for her!

As for a 100% normal pregnancy for home birth? I don’t think anyone is ever 100% normal, but it is for those who don’t have major issues. I had my second and third VBACs at home so it’s not out of the question. I did have my first VBAC in a hospital so I can understand that desire. Whatever was best for her is what she should have gone with and I am glad it went well for her.

skunknuggets on

And my doula was awesome all three times. I even sort of named my child after her (the baby’s middle name). LOL

skunknuggets on

Ok, I’m wrong. I did a search and it doesn’t look like she had a c-section with her first. For some reason, I thought she did. But yay for her for having her baby!

Jessy on

It’s nice to see a celebrity sit back and try to do things the way nature intended rather than looking ahead to the next step in life. Child birth is a wonderful moment that you will always remember even when the kids are grown. I have distinct memories about each of my births (4) and while all different, each impacted me tremendously. Congrats to the Ali/Conway family, for doing it their way and for adding another blessing to their family.

Kresta on

She has such a lovely face. She’s so pretty and her smile is the kind that would light up a whole room. I have high blood pressure and I wasn’t able to have home births but I had peaceful hospital births where I felt in control and was able to follow through with my natural birth plans.

Lisa on

Why is home birth and breastfeeding soooooo great? I would not even consider either, ever. As an aside, i have five children ages 15 to 7 who were botttle fed and born in a hospital and they are super easy and healthy. Not for me, not for my kids. I loved they way they were raised and would suggest to others to not listen to everything you hear.

Monica on

To each her own, Lisa. If you didn’t agree with what she said, then why comment on the article? No one is saying any way is right or wrong, just that they preferred home birthing and breastfeeding.

Terri on

From the article I gathered that her first birth was a homebirth, but they knew after her first birth that there would be issues, which is why she didn’t have another homebirth.

adri on

No Terri. That’s not it. She wanted a homebirth with her first but there were complications so she ended up having a hospital birth.