Savannah Guthrie is 100% getting an epidural with her second baby


Savannah Guthrie is expecting her second child with her political consultant husband Michael Feldman next month. She always wears pregnancy so well – a lovely combination of thrilled yet tranquil. Her son-to-be will join two-year old daughter, Vale. Savannah is 44 years old and neck-deep in election coverage at Today. She covers fitPREGNANCY and Baby to discuss staying healthy while being a working mom in a high-powered position. You can read her full interview here and here are some highlights.

Does being a mom always come first for you?
“It does, and when I wrote my Twitter profile, I deliberately listed it first to remind myself that being a mom is the most important part of my identity. It’s my life’s work. Of course, if it’s 7:02 a.m. and I’m about to interview one of the presidential candidates, I’m not thinking at that very moment, ‘How did Vale sleep?’ But at 7:05, when that interview is done, I can assure you that I’m texting my husband: ‘What time did she get up this morning? Is she happy?’ I also FaceTime her during the commercials on set. She’s always at the center of my heart.”

How has your second pregnancy felt different from your first?
“With Vale, I was obsessed with those videos that compare your baby to produce. ‘This week your fetus is as big as a spaghetti squash.’ I don’t even know what a spaghetti squash looks like! Now, I don’t have time to obsess because I’m chasing a 2-year-old. The only thing I do think about more is losing the baby weight. I gained 35 to 40 pounds with Vale, and I’m right on target to do that again. So I try to be a little more disciplined about my exercise and ice-cream intake.”

What does that mean?
“Sometimes I don’t exercise at all, because I’m too lazy. Other times, I want to exercise all the time—and by that I mean twice a week. I do some low-impact aerobics and my prenatal yoga. I eat pretty well throughout the week, but everything goes off the rails on the weekends. Dessert is a signature weak point for me. I miss my glass or two of wine, and ice cream is what’s left, so that’s what I have.”

Your due date is next month. What’s your birth plan?
“I had a low-lying placenta with Vale, so about nine days before my due date, my doctor recommended a C-section. The whole experience was just fantastic. Afterward, I was high on life—and probably a couple of painkillers. This time, when I said, ‘Do you think I’ll have a C-section again?’ the doctor said, ‘Let’s talk about it when it gets closer.’ And I like that about my doctor. He’s real chill. If I need a C-section, I’ll be totally okay with that. And if I have this baby the old-fashioned way, that’s cool too.”

Would you be all about the epidural in that case?
“Oh, 100 percent [laughter]. Is there anything about me that suggests I have the internal fortitude to withstand birth without a little bit of help? But my hat’s off to women who do. My sister-in-law did with both of her children. She’s an amazing superwoman athlete. And I know that I am not.”

How is your husband in the delivery room?
“Mike’s great. First of all, he does crisis communications for a living. He is temperamentally suited to being a dad. Also, he’s the son of an ob-gyn. His entire life, the phone was ringing in the middle of dinner with women in labor on the line, so he is totally suited to speaking in a calm voice and understanding everything about childbirth.”

[From Fit Pregnancy]

I really like Savannah so I don’t want to be too snarky. Her bubbling enthusiasm about being a mom is lovely. I am just not one of those moms. I don’t need to be reminded that society expects motherhood to be the most important part of my identity. I do appreciate her generally relaxed approach to everything, though. Like her birth plan, I never had one but I assume flexibility is key with them. Plus I can completely relate to her exercise habits. The article also lists six of Savannah’s Been-There-Done-That tips for moms. I agree with about half of them.

I laughed at her comments about the epidural. I near about tattooed “Yes, epidural NOW!” on the inside of my thigh so there would be no confusion. And I love her equating crisis communications with a preparation for fatherhood. I have these images of Mike brokering a deal of a 10% broccoli-intake increase in exchange for one additional, non-educational cartoon on the weekends.

Savannah looks amazing in this pic. This is how I wanted to look while pregnant. Hell, it’s how I want to look now.



Photo credit: Justin Coit/fitPREGNANCY and Baby

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29 Responses to “Savannah Guthrie is 100% getting an epidural with her second baby”

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  1. minx says:

    I tried to do natural with my first, forget it. Gave up and got some painkiller halfway through labor.
    So with my second I planned for the epidural and it was great. Both my kids were big babies; now I wish I’d had it with both.

  2. Chelsey says:

    Oh god, girl. I get it. My first labor was a blur…i wanted to try “med-free” but I ended up getting an epidural. Then with my second I was like, “hey maybe I can try med free again” LOL and when it all started to go downhill (my daughter came much faster than my son), I was like “hell no- give me the epidural, I 100% know now that I can not and will not be able to go med free.” When we have a third, I’ll be asking for an epidural the minute I get into the hospital. Kudos to those who can do it- it is incredibly painful and i could never handle it. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

    Also, she is 44?? She looks amazing.

    • MC2 says:

      Me too and once I got it (after I finished fighting) my husband and I turned to each other and said “thank god” and I had a wonderful birth experience. Previous to the epidural I was screaming, cursing and wishing I was dead.

      • Chelsey says:

        OMG yes. With my second, soon as I got the epidural I was relaxed, happy, and ready. It was such a pleasant birth experience after that! Lol

  3. Lindy79 says:

    The gas was fine for a bit but the whole thing was really quick for me and once i hit 5cm i kept saying “ok..dont want to miss that window please..epidural…can you get the guy…like now?…ta muchly!”. Made the whole thing and the bits after a breeze

    I applaud women who go au naturel.. just not the ones with a superiority complex about it

  4. Aims says:

    I had an epidural in all three of my deliveries . I know my limits and I knew I couldn’t do it without it. I also remember getting a lot of crap because I insisted on the epidural .

  5. Shelleycon says:

    Epidural all the way three times yes yes yesssss I’d have tattooed it on my forehead just in case it was too late by the time they see the inside of my thigh…

  6. Cate says:

    Getting a needle in my spine freaked me the f*** out so I did not do an epidural, and I will probably go the same route again b/c the pain was less than I expected and….getting a needle in my spine still freaks me out! But yeah, getting an epidural is super common and really I don’t think it’s anything you *need* to avoid for health reasons. Just do whatever works best for you!

    • kay says:

      Me too…but they wouldn’t let me try vbac so I had the epidural and csection…after making sure kiddo was good my only goal was moving my toes then feet then legs. I was irrationally terrified of them going near my spine.
      End game, regardless: healthy happy mom and baby

  7. Nic919 says:

    It is sad that she has to be worried about baby weight and she hasn’t even had the baby. As for epidural or not, if she had a C section for the first, there is little chance she won’t have another one for the second, especially since she is 44.

  8. Esmom says:

    I had epidurals with both my deliveries. With the first, I waited a little bit but for the second I got it right away. Did not want to feel that pain again, even for a short time.

    With my first, I was able to have a “walking epidural,” which was in clinical trials at the time. It was nice not to be trapped on the bed. That was 17 years ago (yikes) and I have always wondered if it ever became a standard option.

  9. jocelina says:

    The idea of an epidural freaked me out almost as much as labor, but I have anxiety issues. I did consider one midway through but ended up deciding against it. Epidurals sound pretty awesome, though! I wouldn’t rule one out if I have another baby.

    It bugs me a little when people talk about epidurals and other medications (and c-sections) like they’re the “easy” way out. I don’t think having an unmedicated birth makes someone a superwoman (I’m definitely not one!) and I don’t think using medical interventions as needed/wanted makes someone any less of a superwoman.

    • Betsy says:

      Oh, when they work epidural are lovely, beautiful things. I don’t do drugs and barely drink, but I deeply enjoyed floating away on a fentanyl cloud. Granted, I went fully dilated in 45 minutes after getting it, so I didn’t have it long, but they are very, very nice.

      That said if I don’t need pitocin for this birth, I do fear that small chance of a spinal headache.

      • jocelina says:

        From what I’ve heard they’re a straight-up necessity when you have pitocin! I’ve heard that pitocin contractions are way more intense and painful.

        I was also worried about the spinal headache – I know a couple of people who have had that happen. Basically I figured if I could manage without it I would so that I wouldn’t have to be worried about the side effects. And I think I lucked out and my labor wasn’t super-painful. I mean, it was painful, but not unbearable.

  10. Pansy says:

    I missed the epidurals with my first two (I deliver hard and fast!) but with the third we planned an induction, got hooked on up and holy cow what a difference!! If number four came along, I’d do it again. AND there was no difference in my babies, my delivery, etc., so I see nothing wrong with having one

  11. SunnyD says:

    I can’t believe a woman’s birth plan is news. You know who’s the problem, other women. The mommy mafia has made an entire industry out if shaming and demeaning women.

    • Marigold says:

      I’m annoyed people are comfortable asking these kinds of questions. It’s asked with the idea of supporting the whole mommy wars thing. Ellen does it with every pregnant guest and it irritates me every time I read about it. It’s a teeny, tiny decision in the grand scheme of parenting and yet it gets so much attention.

    • Betsy says:

      It’s for Fit Pregnancy. I think it’s relevant.

  12. respect says:

    With my first child born in a country where my grasp of the language was shaky U memor ized how to politely ask for an epidural…she was born a healthy preemie in an hour so I never used it! My second was born water park style with the doctor saying”signora stop pushing”!!

  13. Shannie says:

    In my country, it is not so much a matter of having a birth plan but as where you can afford to have your baby. If you go to the public health system, you will have your baby drug-free, no choice. Unless, of course, there is any complication. In the private system, it is the opposite; you will most certainly receive an epidural as the standard of care. I asked my ob/gyn because the prospect of having a needle inserted through my spine was quite disturbing to me. He explained possible consequences and gave rough statistics and I was in for epidural. I relaxed after having it applied with both my babies. And if it is done properly, you feel everything, even the urge to push to let placenta out. Only now are local celebrities starting to talk about birth plans and the topic is becoming somewhat more visible

    • Betsy says:

      I take exception to the “if it’s done properly” line. There are lots of little variations in the human anatomy that affect how spinals and epidural work, as well as how people react to different meds. A doc can do everything right and you may end up with no sensation for a lot longer than planned.

  14. J. says:

    Had epidurals with my first two births, so of course I wanted one for my third. Went through the horrible process of getting it placed and literally the second the anesthesiologist walked out the door, I went into transition and the epidural didn’t have time to work! WORST THING EVER. Felt like being brutally murdered. NEVER AGAIN. Thankfully (hopefully?) I’m done having babies.

  15. Kelly S says:

    Had an epidural with my first but not with my second. Not by choice, I just waited too long to head to the hospital and almost had the baby in the ambulance. I’ll be honest, though: childbirth without the epidural wasn’t bad for me. Recovery was much easier. I was surprised that the pushing part wasn’t as painful as I thought but, then again, I was so terrified that I was going to have her in the ambulance that maybe I was just relieved to be in a hospital?

    Either way, both my kids are healthy and fine. And who really cares what you do?! I never understood that!

    • jocelina says:

      I worried a lot about the pushing while I was pregnant, and for me it was not really painful at all when it was actually happening. The contractions were the worst part. The pushing was a relief, maybe because I was doing something? I don’t know.

      I’m with you – who cares what other people do? Epidurals are safe and people should get them/not get them as they see fit. Other people’s spinal columns and their decisions regarding them, much like their reproductive organs and decisions pertaining to same, are none of my business.

  16. CarrieUK says:

    I had my first with just gas & air, the second happened too fast and gave birth on the living room floor……not the way I wanted, I’m happy to go pain relief free but I LOVE medical people, hospitals and all that jazz! My birth plan with No3 is simply ‘get to hospital’
    However I will take anything and everything if needed 😃

  17. Isa says:

    I loved my epidural. It allowed me to take a nap during labor so i was well rested when the baby came.

  18. Alldamnday says:

    I didn’t have anything with my first two, but I’m totally planning on an epidural with the third. Also, my hospital in CA just approved nitrous, so I’m planning to ride the wave this time! With my first, I stayed home until 9 cm because I didn’t know any better, with my second, I looked over at the monitor in my room and saw a smooth wavy line above my jagged peaks of contractions. At first I thought it was the baby’s heartbeat, but the nurse said “no, that’s the lady next door, she had an epidural!” Decision made.