Actress Kyla Pratt on Labor, Being a New Mom and “Let’s Stay Together”

BET
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It’s 11 a.m. on a Thursday afternoon in Atlanta and Kyla Pratt is on location filming the third season of BET’s Let’s Stay Together. In between filming, Pratt is enjoying her other, more important role: being a real-life mother to her 2-year-old daughter Lyric. Pratt insists on bringing her baby with her to work so she can witness what she does. While conducting this interview, you can hear the now 26-year-old mom being distracted “Hi baby,” Pratt coos. Lyric has just wakened up from a nap and after she discovered a cup her mom left on the dresser, she brings it over to her. “Is this for mommy? Thank you, baby.” Pratt plays Crystal Whitmore on the BET romantic comedy airing tonight, a film studies major at Clark Atlanta University. She tells MommyNoire all about her character, what it was like experiencing childbirth at 24 years old and the beauty of being a first-time mother.

On the cutest thing about being a mother:

"When I leave for work in the morning around 6a.m. Lyric is sleeping. I don’t see her all day until the end of the day. When I get home, as soon as she hears the key turning in the door, I can hear her footsteps running down the hallway towards the door, so I’m always greeted by this little mini-me, this little body running towards me smiling, and it’s the best feeling in the world. I’ll be on a high for the rest of the night! It’s the best feeling in the world. No matter what I’m stressing about or dealing with, I can always look at this little face and say this is why I do what I do."

On why she enjoyed her labor pains:

"I didn’t want to leave the hospital after giving birth because I didn’t want the moment to end. I’m pregnancy lady, I love pregnant people, I have four godchildren, I love babies. So going into labor, I’m one of those positive people who have positive thoughts and I tell myself everything is going to go fine. I recently told someone the other day that I enjoyed labor. They thought I was crazy!"

I went into labor and I didn’t know I was in labor until a couple of hours later. The contractions weren’t what I expected. I expected them to be really strong and then go away but they stayed constant, so I called my doctor and was told to get to the hospital right away. I got an epidural. I loved the hospital, I loved the nurses. My epidural wore off halfway through, so I got to feel what labor is. Yet having her was an unreal moment. Like, what? Oh my gosh! It wasn’t too bad, just a couple of pushes and my mom was like “wow, you’re good at this!”

We have been inseparable ever since. I was the only mother in the hospital that was up and going everywhere with my baby and the nurses, watching everything they were doing with her. It was a painful experience but it was the most beautiful thing ever. People have a lot of kids because they forget about the pain. I really plan on having more kids in the future because labor doesn’t scare me; it was great.

What breastfeeding was like:

Breastfeeding was the hardest the first two months. I mean I read all this stuff, but I was a first-time mom, I was still learning. I try to tell people once you get past that, its smooth sailing!

I like to think of myself as a strong woman, but I let people know I’m not crazy. All I did was pray the whole time. With the epidural—the doctor was like “don’t move, I’m in your spine,” I was like, I’m not going anywhere! (laughs)

On having more children and marriage:

I want more kids. I always wanted to be a mom, I always thought about being a mom. I am getting married but not yet, the best thing about my relationship [with rapper Danny Kirkpatrick a.k.a. Compton] is that we are both on the same page.

On having her wedding as a reality show special:

I’m not sure. I never really thought about it. I never been asked about it, but never say never. I really like Tia and Tamera’s show because it’s not about drama; it’s about being in this industry and becoming a woman.

What she learned after becoming a mom:

Once you have kids, life isn’t about you anymore. When I go shopping, I’m like, wait, this money has to go towards something for my baby, so I have to be reminded to get a little something. I’m staying in Atlanta for the show, and we have one DVD player and that DVD is going to have Princess and the Frog. Mommy can’t catch up on anything until Lyric goes to sleep but I enjoy it because I show her all the movies we grew up on like The Lion King.

On allowing her daughter to be an actress:

I started out young and didn’t turn out crazy. It’s because my mom is one of my best friends and I think that’s why I made it through okay because I was never pressured into being an actress. I try to make my daughter want to do something else, like being a doctor or a lawyer, but if that’s what she wanted to do, I have to support her. I started in this business because I wanted to be just like my mommy because she did theatre in LA, so I always wanted to be on stage. I have a feeling it will be history repeating itself, so you never know. I’m still hoping for the doctor thing. As long as my baby is happy I’m fine.

On taking college courses in Los Angeles:

I’m in college now; I take classes whenever possible. Right now I’m filming the show, so I can’t take classes. I go to a junior college in LA., I have a couple of classes left before I can transfer, but my problem is I do a million things at once (laughs). I feel like you can never learn to much, I still take acting classes. I’m a psychology major. After I had my baby, I took a child development class and it was so amazing. I enjoyed that so much. It was weird, people were like “Kyla, where you going?” and I’m like I’m going to school to learn about these kids! It’s fun; I don’t get a lot of sleep but I like to do everything.

On BET’s Let’s Stay Together:

Let’s Stay Together is a show that is growing. I feel like this season, it’s that big upgrade from everything we’ve done before. Last season, my character dealt with a football player and didn’t know he was on the down low and this season she actually deals with that. She has a lot going on, she’s a little crazy this season. My character is so fun and it’s so much fun to watch how all the other characters on the show are evolving. I can’t wait until the premiere; everyone is going to love it. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ll be able to relate to everything on the show.

Lathleen Ade-Brown is a New York City based freelance writer living in New York City. She has written for Essence and Jet magazines. You can follow her on Twitter @Lathleen.

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Comments

  • Guest

    YES KYLA! Work, such a cute girl.

  • Roger Clark

    I enjoyed this article, it felt like I could actually see her and her daughter, good writing, HAPPY FOR KYLA, tuning in tonight.

  • http://youtube.com/ICANDIGUOUT whatsgoodwitchu

    Kyla grew into a fine young woman and I’m totally happy for her.

  • Wepo1

    Black women need to stop condoning baby mamahood!

    “I’m pregnancy lady, I love pregnant people, I have four godchildren, I love babies”

    Yea, and so does every other black baby mama…smh!

    • http://twitter.com/rebellemckenna Megan Williams

      What does that statement have to do with “baby mamahood” just because she got pregnant before being married to her boyfriend does not condone her to “baby mama” status. She established herself in this industry long before her relationship or becoming a mother. Stop putting down women simply because they made a decision that might not be your decision. She’s doing an excellent job from what this interview says and is a lot better off then women who aren’t “baby mamas”.

      • ijs

        thank you! i hate the term “babymama”! some ppl still use it innocently but MOST ppl just put so much negativity behind it! ugh its 2013 ish happens ppl break up and some ppl adopt bc they dnt want to wait on marriage to have children. there is nothing wrong with being a single parent or not being married to your childs father/mother. if you’re taking care of your child and taking care of you i dnt see what the problem is

        • Common Sense

          The problem is people not wanting to commit themselves to being married but willing to bring a child into the world. This is a child we are talking about, not a puppy. Someone having a baby with their boyfriend and not their husband is ridiculous the baby deserves better than that. Why is Kyla not on the page to get married but on the page to have a baby. That is why there is so many single parent households in the black community because we see marriage as a big deal but having someone’s kid is no big whoop. We look up to Michelle and Barack as if they are something special, when we should all expect to have the same kind of relationship with our partners. We need to to get together people. I respect Kyla for geting her priorties in order after she had her child, but they need to be right before the child.

      • Roger Clark

        I agree more, people with no lives over critic things. Because her decision didn’t fit your pathetic western standard doesn’t mean she is a fucking baby mama, she shares a union with her child’s father that you probably don’t even share with your own father. So leave her alone.

    • Roger Clark

      she shares a union with her child’s father that you probably don’t even share with your own father. So leave her alone.

  • ttoya

    Im really dissapointed in Kyla going the baby mama route. I thought she was better than that.

    • ElonNicole

      uh, go that-a way. she did not get knocked up by some random or deadbeat man who hit it n split it. she is in a relationship and seems uber happy. u?

      • fool of a tooke!

        I guess you’re either the product of un-wed parents or you yourself are a baby mama.

        • ElonNicole

          i don’t have a limited world view. i have traveled and am well rounded. non-judgemental. get u some.

  • Mia

    Aww her gushing is absolutely adorable! She seems like a sweet young lady.

  • ijs

    one of the few successful childstars, good job Kyla!

  • ttoya

    @wepo1:disqus I guess you and I are the only ones with enough sense to state facts. There isn’t any pride in being a babymama. I expected more from Kyla. The black women in support of having kids out of wedlock are slow. Thats why a large % of black men are in prison, no father around. Dont try and glorify having bas*ard kids. Look at the projects what do u see a bunch of black men trying to kill each other! why because they live in poverty in a single parent home. Black women get it 2gether some of u disgust me

    • Me

      So men with 2 parents never try to kill each other?
      If that’s what you think go into any mexican neighborhood and you would change your opinion! Stop blaming BW for all the ills of the Black community or are you sacred to put the blame where it really belongs?????…THE MAN IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY!!!

      • ttoya

        I not saying it never happens But 9 outta 10 the kids killing each others are from single parent homes. Yes a man is suppose to be the leader of the household so why ae so many black women having kids without a father in the home.The biggest problem in the black community is the goverment assisting women who have no husbands. If the gov. stopped all the programs designed to destroy the black family, like foodstamps ,section8, projects, A black woman would be more responsible for her body. Instead the ghetto bird said “girl I gotta go get my WIC”

        • kiyahB

          My parents were never married however i never lived in a single parent home both were educated. My brother and I never were arrested and graduated on time and went to college. What you make out of like is what you get aslong as you raise your children. People always assume that when your parents arent married you have no father around and its not always the case.

        • kiyahB

          and I know many white and hispanic ladies with children who are not married dont blame only black women.

        • zgirl

          I’m so tired of black woman putting each other down, atleast she didn’t abort the baby, Woman are meant to have children, If you have no sin in your life judge all you want, but if you do shut your mouth.

        • zgirl

          People in the projects do go to college, and putting down assistance isn’t cool, because I bet you have some one you know or love on assistance

      • Not A Gentleman, Spehs Mahreen

        You mean you are upset that black men always hump and dump? Why aren’t you quite the racist.

  • Rojo

    Go Kyla, I smiled the whole time while reading this. Surprising to see how many people are judgmental to her for being a babymama. Not every HAS to stay together. I was born out of wedlock and my parents broke up when I was a toddler. I grew up with my mother and older sister….and when my older sister told me (once I was older) how volatile their relationship was on both ends and that it ended after 6yrs of trying to make it work for the kids…I was glad they were NOT together. Despite that, I grew up knowing who my daddy was (he even lived in another state), we visited him every summer, and my mother made sure that we saw him as a good guy. I still have a great relationship with him today….shoot, a better one with him than my own mother. If two adults are mature, they can easily plan and raise a happy child APART. You do not know them nor their situation so stop judging. Kyla makes a great living for herself, and she has a great relationship with her family. I am sure her child will have all she needs. I grew up around plenty of people from co-parent households and I glad I did not have be raised around parents arguing, and abuse like they did…my eyes and ears were SAVED lol…cause for the many good things we can say about co-parenting households, there are many bad things we can say. Stop reading statistics for an “idea” everyone and every situation is unique and really none of our business…she’s happy and far from stressed, so I am sure she will place the opposite influences on her child! =)

  • jujubean

    I’m not surprised she’s a baby mama, cute girl but you can tell she has ghetto inside of her! And with a rapper at that– low class! All of that exposure you have to men of prominence and you choose a thug, good job at being nothing more than a babymama!

  • truthseeker

    My parents were married when my brother and I were born. My dad was my mom’s first. Well my dad decided he rather not be bothered with wife and children anymore and left us. Marriages are not iron clad people and it’s no guarantee that you can’t turn into a single mother literally overnight.