When you hear the name ‘Jillian Michaels’ you either love her or… are afraid of her. 😉 I happen to be on the love side, and I am inspired by her no-nonsense, can-do attitude and her passion for helping others. She has done so much in her career (through television, her DVDs and/or her books) to educate and support people through their health and wellness journeys. As one of the world’s leading fitness experts and a renowned nutritionist, she has been a tremendous fitness resource for all people everywhere.
Over the last several years I have really enjoyed watching Jillian now as a mother. (She and her partner, Heidi, have two kids, daughter, Lukensia, and a son, Phoenix.) As a professional in the pregnancy, birth & baby industry myself, I personally love seeing how becoming a mother has impacted her perception on all things pregnancy, birth and motherhood when it comes to wellness. It’s obvious that she really knows her stuff and it has been great to see her move in this new direction of mom + baby.
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to interview Jillian Michael’s on her newest book, Yeah BABY!. I was excited, honored and so grateful for the opportunity. I couldn’t wait to dig into her latest book and learn more. I will be honest, at first I was skeptical to read what she had to say in her book. As a certified baby planner, birth doula and postpartum doula, I was worried that the book would leave off important information, give information that would be entirely too medical, and that it would cater to one specific type of mother and her choices. But once I received her book and interviewed Jillian, I was pleasantly surprised.
In her book, Jillian walks you through everything from pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, and post-pregnancy with her “expert dream team”:
- Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD — an Ob-Gyn, a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, and board certified in Integrative and Holistic Medicine.
- Andrea Orbeck — a Pregnancy Fitness Specialist who holds an advanced degree in Kinesiology and Intracellular Physiology.
- Katja VanHerle, MD — one of America’s Top Physicians in Endocrinology as named by Consumer Research Council of America.
- Cheryl Forberg, RD — an award-winning registered dietitian, chef, and New York Times bestselling author.
- Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP — a pediatrician who specializes in infant nutrition and breastfeeding.
It was great to see her write about every option available to women on how to have the healthiest pregnancy and healthiest baby. I appreciated that she wrote her book for every woman and did not just mention one set of choices. She said it herself in her book…
I will tell you what’s what, but I won’t tell you what to do. I want you to know your choices and understand what’s happening to ensure you’re in the driver’s seat. … I respect your decisions, even when they go against my recommendations in this book.
Love that! I also got to see (or I guess I should say ‘read’) a different side of Jillian. As I turned each page and took notes, I could feel her love and desire to educate and share with other soon-to-be moms her and Heidi’s story and what she feels all families should know.
On the day of our interview, I was ready with my questions and was excited to see if Jillian really is how she seems on television…
Immediately as Jillian joined on the call, she was as warm and as passionate as could be. It was obvious throughout our conversation how enthusiastic and eager she is to share her knowledge on the subject of prenatal and postpartum health. We covered so many different topics during our call. Here are my favorite things that Jillian said:
J: The reason I wanted to is I was absolutely stunned and aghast, I would say on a daily basis, at, A: the amount of misinformation, B: the amount of dated information, and C: the tremendous influence that Big Food and Big Pharma have on mainstream information simply because they do a lot of advertising in those publications and on those websites.
The amount of misinformation and influence major industries have on pregnancy and birth is mind-blowing. I wish more women would do their research and ask more questions.
J: If it doesn’t feel right to you, get multiple opinions, please. Be proactive because I think that we’re so quick to give up our way and say, “Oh, well, these doctors are gods. They know everything.” We do that in various aspects of our lives. They are the experts. They know. But, that isn’t the case. Doctors don’t know everything, and they know very little about nutrition or environmental toxins and so on. So, be very proactive, get all the information, and then make the decisions that are right for your family.
Amen, girl!! I agree. Just because your doctor or midwife or even doula says something, it doesn’t mean that it is right for you. It’s important for women to listen to their gut and to ask others their opinions before they make their decision. I always let my clients know that they are never stuck and can always change doctors if they don’t see eye-to-eye or feel like it’s a good fit with their care provider.
J: How come nobody’s saying, “Hey, you know, if you’re going to get pregnant in the next X amount of years, just make sure you prep your body and take six months at least to get your ducks in a row.”? No one ever really has that conversation with anyone…
J: The way to find balance is to ask for help. It’s okay to say to your sister, to your best friend, to your spouse, to your parents, to your in-laws, to hire a f***ing babysitter that you trust to take the child for a couple of hours, and go and do yoga with your friends, have a mommy lunch, refresh yourself and renew yourself.
Absolutely. I find that so many new mothers have a hard time asking for help because they don’t want to feel or appear like they aren’t able to handle everything that is on their plate. They don’t want to feel like a “bad mom”. But I believe that mothers shouldn’t have to do it all. Taking care of a newborn is hard work by itself.
J: My rule, in general– obviously it’s different for a newborn– is the 12-hour rule. I say, “I have 12 hours in a week, and I have two young kids. I work very hard, and I have 12 hours.” If you’re awake 120 hours in a week, you can find 12. Take a date night, go to your doctor’s appointment, get your toes done, hit the gym, take the yoga class. 12 hours! As a new mom, I would say even eight hours of your time in the beginning is going to go a long way.
J: I do get the questions about bouncing back all the time. And the real trick, if you want to call it a trick, is managing weight during your pregnancy.
Yes! I really love that Yeah BABY! features a complete meal plan with delicious, nutrition-packed recipes, and a trimester-specific fitness program, to ensure you bounce back stronger and better than ever after baby.
J: Studies show us that exercise will facilitate an easier labor on mommy and baby because the baby is actually used to what we perceive as a “state of stress” during exercise, and so, theoretically we’re told that it’s easier. It makes labor and delivery easier for mommy and baby.
I tell this to my clients all the time. Not only will working out help you and baby out in labor, but it will make the recovery time easier and faster! Who doesn’t want that?
J: If you can manage fitness during pregnancy, and I know how hard it is, I get it, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Even if in the first trimester, it’s like, I got up and I walked around the block, and then I puked everywhere. Hey, that’s something and, it’ll pass.
J: The hard part of learning to find that balance is realizing it’s not going to be perfect. You can’t make everything perfect, but it will be enough.
You are so right, Jillian. More women need to hear this, and hopefully more women will “hear” this when reading your book.
Getting to chat with Jillian Michaels was such a treat! She is exactly how seems on TV, but even more warm and loving. There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s just her die-hard passion to help people live their best and healthiest lives.
Fun fact! Her book, Yeah BABY!, just released on November 15th, which was my 30th birthday! So you can purchase your copy today! I am more than halfway through her book and have been very impressed by the information that she has presented. Obviously, I was even more impressed by our chat. And after chatting with her for a bit, I could tell that Yeah BABY! was totally written in her voice because I could imagine her saying every word as if she was talking directly to me.
Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about the book so far. Whether you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, grab yourself a copy.
Thank you again, Jillian, for your time for the interview. Also, thank you for putting together an amazing resource that is updated with accurate and current information for mothers everywhere!BUY YEAH BABY! HERE