Katherine Heigl Reveals That She Is Afraid Of Childbirth

Katherine Heigl

Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl, 28, spoke to USA Today about her adoption plans while promoting her new movie Knocked Up. An excerpt:

Your Knocked Up character has a truly gruesome birthing scene. And you were in the delivery room with your older sister, Meg. That at all impact your decision to have kids of your own?

“Oh, yeah. I’ve always planned to adopt anyway, but that definitely reinforced my want to. I’m done with the whole idea of having my own children. It doesn’t seem like any fun. I don’t think it’s necessary to go through all of that.”

When I read that I could totally understand why she may have apprehensions about childbirth, but childbirth is the most joyful, unequivocally life-changing experience in a woman’s life…she should not deny herself this! The pain is NOTHING in comparison to the beauty and love. It is noble of her to want to adopt … I just don’t think that any woman should miss out on such a beautiful thing out of fear.


  1. ellie says

    everyone hu is calling her stupid r all retards
    u dont know her and ive bet uve not seen her in movies and shows
    if she wants to adopt hu r u to thing that is stupid
    adopting is one of the greatest things you can do
    plus u dont know if she cant actually have children the natural way and she doesnt want the public to know
    i think she will make a wonderful mom

  2. Analise says

    Adoption is a wonderful thing, but this woman just seems stupid. One has to wonder if she should have any kids. Maybe she’s trying too hard to be smart for the press or she’s actually intelligent and is dumbing herself down so to speak because someone told her to. Who knows. I will say she’s quite pretty and has a very classic look to her. She just needs to not talk.

  3. Andrea says

    #36 Nicole,
    what an encouraging testimony you wrote. I also visited your blog and was also encouraged by the link to “Faith Lifts” for women.
    Thanks for sharing and may more men and women be stirred to compassion by your testimony.

  4. Angie_in_Arkansas says

    I said I was done but the last few posts prompted me…

    #35, #36, &#37…you and women like you truly are my heroes!! i went to your blogpage Krystal ( i only have a few minutes on here or I would have looked at more…) and I was tearing up. You truly have a giant heart and compassion beyond the average woman! If only we could clone you a million times!!! Ya’ll are the TRUE national treasures!!
    With all the tests and background checks and observation you go through(not to mention expenses), it makes me think ALL wanna-be parents ought to go through it. So many are not worthy of the title “mother” or “father”.
    As far as ppl posting their opinions, I agree, it’s very tricky to convey what you are thinking and not have it come out sounding just the opposite of what u meant.
    I do not think SHE is retarded- for heaven’s sake. I don’t know her! that was the wrong choice of words…her reasonong sounds childish and not thought out..there…that’s what I WANTED to say!!!
    Lovely weekend to you all!!! Remember the soldiers..they are someone’s kids and fathers too!!

  5. jane says

    she thinks giving birth is painful, even adoption has it’s pain. Once the pain of waiting your child to come live in your home… then the pain of raising them… the sleepless hours while they are out on a date, and out past curfew… there is more than pain than just the pain of birthing a child.

  6. Kerry says

    I have two children. One is my in-vitro miracle who I gave birth to. The other is my adopted daughter who was born in my heart.

    To say, and I quote, “she should not deny herself this! The pain is NOTHING in comparison to the beauty and love. ” about childbirth is your opinion.

    To post an opinion on the internet is a risky thing to do, and I often resist doing so because this is what can happen.

    Bottom line is that YOU HAVE NO IDEA what adopting a baby is like. Our daughter’s adoption journey will be forever as special as my pregnancy and birth of my son.

    Adopting, whatever your reason, is a personal decision!!!

    In my opinion, it was very difficult to adopt, yet rewarding…and has nothing to do with being noble.

    There are two sides to the coin as you can see.


  7. says

    OK I must say that I “know” many of the adoptive mommies that have posted a comment. And I agree with them, to a point. I myself have no medical reason why I do not get pregnant yet I have adopted and plan to adopt again. Not out of fear of pain but because that is what I feel is God’s plan for my family. It was also the plan for our beautiful daughter. Her biological family wanted to keep her but knew that with her special needs, being legally blind, that she would have not have a good life in Guatemala. So they chose to have her adopted out of love to get her the life she deserves. It is true that no one ever asks biological mom’s “why did you give birth instead of adopting?” But I am sure that many bio mom’s are asked “why did you give up your child?” And I personally agree that just because someone can get pregnant desn’t mean they should. We as adoptive moms have to go through a lot to become parents, we have to pass “tests” proving that we will love and support our children. We have to have a criminal background check. We have a total stranger come into our homes and tell us what is wrong with it. I have often thought that sometimes people should have to take some kind of “test” to have children. There are so many people out there that just do not deserve those children. Whether they be molesters or abusers or drug addicts. ANd yes the majority of people are perfectly good parents that love their children with all of their hearts and give them everything they could need or want. But that is not always the case.
    That being said. I think the fact that Katherine wants to adopt is great…BUT I do not think she is educated enough to know what all is entailed. She is probably thinkging about Angelina and Madonna and their “quick, perfect public adoptions” what was not reported at least as far as Angelena is involved is that she went through the whole process she just kept it quiet until it was over. She had been there many times before she even met her son. OK I am getting off track. My point is that Katherine doesn’t realize that adoption is just as painful as childbirth, maybe even more so because it lasts a longer time. And that is not even including the attachment problems that can arise once the child is home. So … is adopting a good idea/great idea…yes…is child birth wonderful …yes…can they both be just as painful as the other…YES. Id Katherine prepared for either kind of pain…NO.

  8. says

    As a mother through adoption and through birth, I’ve got to chime in here –

    First of all, Katherine can choose any way that she wants to build a family for ANY reason, and we shouldn’t pass judgement on her for that. After all, I’m doubting that no one here has ever been asked why you chose to give birth rather than adopt???

    Second issue, the fact that she refers to children through birth as “own children” and the fact that she seems to think that adoption will be easier makes it pretty clear that Katherine has a lot of learning to do!!!

    Final thought, to the blog auther who wrote “childbirth is the most joyful, unequivocally life-changing experience in a woman’s life” — obviously, you have not adopted, so let me assure you that this is not a true statement. Both ways of having children are EQUALLY joyful and life-changing!!!!!

  9. donna says

    Dear # 13 and # 15,

    I have lived in Malawi for a few years but I recently moved to Kenya. Here I do not know anything about the healthcare of pregnant women. But people here are less poor then in Malawi. I know that in Malawi a lot of mothers are already exhausted before getting into labour, lack of food and drink. So while giving birth or right after there is a chance of dying due to the exhaustion and the amount of blood lost. The good thing is that there are a lot of english, irish, dutch and german docters. They try to educate the docters and learn them to give as good care as possible. So the healthcare is as good as possible. With a docter like them you know for sure that you are in good hands. Here in africa I would find a european or american docter to help me during my pregnancy andso.

    I hope if I get kids in a few years I wont tare from front to the back…. that would be awful!! Thanks for the stretching advice by the way I would keep that in mind 😉

  10. Andrea says

    That’s right. We were talking about Katherine’s fear of birth pain and the different methods out there.
    –NO ONE is saying negative things about adopting!! Actually, I want to adopt one day too.

  11. Angie_in_Arkansas says

    whatever- i’m done with this…can’t win no matter what u say and now i’m gonna be labeled. peace ya’ll!!

  12. says

    YOU GO GIRL…I think its AWESOME that adoption was your plan all along…It takes alot of courage to say that and I know from experience this will not be the last time you are asked about your decision to adopt instead of give birth. I am sure its not just because of the pain of child birth…sounds like its always been in your heart…to grow your baby in your heart instead of your belly.

  13. Theodora says

    I thought this was a blog about not wanting to give birth! Those of you who are spinning this into something that it is not, need to calm down and realize that nobody is attacking anybody here, adoption or birth, it’s all good. Get a life! But if you are so hyped up on talking about things that don’t even relate to the original post, then why don’t we just start talking about child obesity?! Now that is a BIG PROBLEM! Do you know how many mothers feed their children foods loaded with preservatives and loads of sugar?! Anyone with me?

  14. Zbella says

    CameoG & others. First, I’m sorry that I sounded crass about your feelings. What I meant to say is that Katherine doesn’t seem like a good candidate as an adoptive mother because she is choosing adoption to avoid pain. Like you said, adoption comes with it’s own kind of pain and difficulty (for example, my sister is adopting and has been waiting over 18 months so far…) I think SHE sounds uneducated and silly. Please know I support adoptive parents 110% and I admire you and hope to join you soon!

  15. Soltana F. says

    Ok…so I have not adopted but I have given birth to 2 10 lb babies…. I would do it again in a heart beat.. I would also ADOPT… I have many friends who have opened their hearts to these wonderful little human beings.. If Katerine wants to adopt and no thave her children who are we to judge?? That’s why we have the freedoms that we have. She will be a MOM to any child she has biological or adopted. ALL babies are a gift and we should be happy that there are people out there who WANT to be parents to any child… YOU GO MY ADOPTING MOMMAS’S..YOU KNOW I LOVE YA

  16. says

    Okay, to start off, in response to #22 that us adoptive moms need to stop being so touchy, do YOU get asked 10 times a day whats wrong with YOUR reproductive parts???? Do YOU constantly have to defend YOUR PERSONAL reasons for adopting?? I don’t think we’re being touchy, I think we’re being open and honest! Second, correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t #8’s comment of “having your own natural children is worth it” seems very anti-adoption. Third, #24, I’m going to use your own words, “good lord” and we ARE reading the words left to right, we didn’t say you are adoption haters, so QUIT PUTTING WORDS IN OUR MOUTHS!!!!! I’m just saying and agreeing with Holly that some of you seem to be very uneducated and I’d love to see someone who thinks adoption is a breeze and not at all painful, well, don’t say it when I’m around or someone is getting an earful!!!!!

  17. says


    Go ahead and have the last word because I know you want to. I just don’t like the fact that she was considered “retarded” because she doesn’t want to feel the pain of child birth. It is her prerogative and I’m sure we don’t know the whole story. Just like you don’t know my whole story and I don’t know yours. Her reason might be stupid to you but I’m sure it is not stupid to her.

    I think of my children’s birthmother every day and wish I could thank her for having the courage to give them up. They are the greatest things that ever happened to me.

    And trust me, I had the same feelings when I held my children in my arms for the first time that you did and I bawled when they were taken from my arms because it wasn’t time for them to come home yet…and I thank my lucky stars that none of my IF treatments worked because if they did I wouldn’t have my two beautiful children and that would be a shame. They mean the world to me.

  18. amy says

    I am adopted and I have adopted two children. Adoption isnt for the weak hearted and in many ways the uncertainty of adoption, particularly international adoption in my case. I feel very blessed to have my girls and have wanted to adopt since I was little. We also have to keep in mind that celebrities words get twisted around and comments get put together. We in the adoption world know how stressful our journey’s have been.

  19. says

    i didn’t see anyone bashing her for wanting to adopt…i was answering a question….some ppl gotta see the cup half empty don’t they???
    just speaking for myself here, but i was saying that her REASON was stupid…if women didn’t pg cuz of the pain, nobody would be here!! SOMEBODY had to get pregnant and give birth to the children you adopt, right?? good lord, lighten up and read the words…left to right..paragraph by paragraph…we aren’t ALL a bunch of adoption haters
    ”…At least there will be a child (or several children) that will have a good home-…”
    ”..My mom and aunt were both adopted so I’m definitely an advocate for adoption as well.”
    If I were ever in a position to give a child a home and love, you bet your ass I would!! Children, whether biological or not, will change your life and make you glad to be alive!!
    Hugs to ALL the mommies out there- bio, adopted, foster, grandma-turned-mommy, all of you!

  20. Zbella says

    Oh, but it’s not “fun”. So she sould let some other woman “go through all that”. What is she going to do when it’s time to change a diaper or clean up throw up or deal with tantrums? She should not have children – biological, adopted – she should not be a mother!

  21. Zbella says

    She sounds like an idiot to me. NOTHING to do with adoption, ladies, stop being so touchy. I love children and plan to adopt. But to choose to adopt BECAUSE you don’t want to go through childbirth is immature. She annoys me.

  22. BJ says

    I think that anyone giving her a hard time for adopting over have biological children needs to shut up!! It’s her choice and she’s doing a very noble thing! I guess it’s hard to give credit to someone who isn’t selfish and doesn’t have to have their own kids. She should be getting support for helping children instead of getting tips on how to have a less painful delivery.

  23. Jenna M. (UK) says

    I’m happy to hear all these positive eractions to adoption.

    PS Holly – I clicked on your blog and your daughter is so adorable! Good luck with the new baby!

  24. Julia McKenzie says

    OK – I think a lot of you need to get a LIFE!!!!!!!
    I have given birth to four of my children and I have been given two of my children through the miracle of adoption. I love each of them with all of my heart. My biggest concern for this actress is that I have found adoption to be a MUCH harder experience than four pregnancies and deliveries – but equally as rewarding. She may not be prepared for the emotional toll Adoption can take on a Mom.Becoming a Mom – either way is a lot of work – but the greatest thing ever:):)
    Also – if by birth or by adoption – the heartstrings that a Mother has to each of her children are just as strong. Try telling my older kids they are not brothers and sisters with their adopted siblings – You better get a running start:)

  25. CTBmom says

    While I did not have the option of having a biological child, I would NOT trade my son (who I adopted a birth) for anything. My son and I may not share genetics, but he and I share the same amazing bond that I think most mothers share with their child. I’d give my life for him….from the first time I held him, my main concern was to love and protect him, and held him grow up to be the best person he could be. I cannot describe the joy, love and laughter (and occasional headache, LOL) my son has brought me over the last 10 years. My head may know he’s adopted, but my heart has no clue. 🙂
    If Katherine chooses to adopt, the only thing she will miss out on, is pregnancy and childbirth….she will know the best part, and that is being a mom.

  26. says

    I think it is very noble of her. Somebody try and tell me that my two adopted kids are not my own and see what happens. Yes pregnancy might be a beautiful and wonderful thing BUT it is not for everybody. There are so many children out in the world that need families.

    Bravo to Katherine, for wanting to make a family through adoption and not being afraid to admit it.

  27. says

    Here in the US they sometimes give you a local anesthetic before they do the episiotomy if they think you are about to tear, but with my first child, i was screaming and telling my doctor I didn’t want her to cut me so she didn’t and I tore. It wasn’t as horrible as some of the stories from other women I’ve heard though…my mother-in-law tore from front to back….OUCH!! My last child I gave birth to accidentally in our bathroom and didn’t have any sort of tearing or anything…he was 10 1/2 lbs. too! There’s lots of things you can do to help you stretch and not tear….but i’m not gonna get into that..LOL…

  28. DMITZ says

    I don’t care much for Katherine. I think she is over opinionated and unless she has kids or is pregnant really shouldn’t be on this site.

  29. Jenna M. (UK) says

    #12, I’m pretty sure that you do get anaesthetic if they need to cut the perineum (in the UK anyway), but for many woman it just rips on its own. I wouldn’t know for sure though, haven’t had kids yet. Also, there is a big difference between childbirth health standards in the UK (where I live) and the rest of Europe. In Sweden for example it is a lot better, but in Eastern Europe it is a lot worse.

    Do you get anaesthetics for childbirth where you live? I’ve heard that midwifery care for women and babies is very poor in Africa, especially parts like Nigeria and Somalia. Which part of Africa do you live in anyway, if you don’t mind me asking?

  30. donna says

    So it is true what they say,
    if you are not wide enough they just cut without anaesthetic, even in america and europe?
    that must hurt!

  31. Angie_in_Arkansas says

    oh yeah… #6….it’s far from over in natural delivery!! LOL ever tried to go to the bathroom with stitches in your lady parts?? it’s not too fun!

  32. Angie_in_Arkansas says

    That is a retarded reason for not wanting her own kids but I guess it’s her choice..maybe there’s a hidden reason that she doesn’t wanna discuss, like infertility or somethin like that…who knows?? At least there will be a child (or several children) that will have a good home- that’s assuming she’d be a good parent though, I know nothing about her.
    My four kids all came about in different ways and when I look at them, I’d go through 100 times the pain to have them. They’re amazing and you can’t describe that feeling when you hold them in your arms for the first time and know that little person you just carried for 9 months (more or less) is yours and you have the absolute privilege of shaping their lives and sharing your heritage with them. My mom and aunt were both adopted so I’m definitely an advocate for adoption as well.

  33. onatear says

    So, this means we won’t see anything else about her, now. Right? Because, this IS supposed to be about BABIES.

  34. minkysmom says

    I had a csection and it went as smooth as butter, I did actually go into labor and had dilated to 5 cms, so I know how it feels, but I would have a csection for the next child. I understand Kath, childbirth isn’t for everyone, including me, but having your own natural children is so worth it.

  35. Just me says

    Oh yeah, and as much as this person annoys me, it sounds as if she would be a really good mom to an adopted child. It sounds like she doesn’t need the DNA link to really love a child.

  36. Just me says

    I’ve only had a c-section, but that wasn’t the most comfortable thing, either. Plus, it takes a few days to recover. At least with natural birth (from what I’ve heard) it hurst during labor, but then you’re done. But hey, the end result, is worth it!

  37. donna says

    I fear giving birth as well,
    I live in africa, here epidurals are not used. When I see mothers here giving birth I fear doing the same.

  38. Andrea says

    Yeah, I don’t see her line of reasoning. What’s not worth it? Childbirth pains? Usually people say that who DON’T want kids, but she does so… she must really fear pain.—But hasn’t she ever heard of epidurals??

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