Even a Child of Destiny cannot escape the effects that pregnancy and delivery have on a body. But Kelly Rowland, 36, doesn’t tiptoe on ovum-shells when discussing “loose and floppy” lady parts or nipples that “turn into UFOs.” (Her written words, not ours.) Has the trio’s hit Survivor been cued up in your head yet?
While chatting over the phone from her home in Los Angeles, the singer, entrepreneur and coach on The Voice Australia, opened up about the truth bombs dropped in the pages of her first book, Whoa, Baby!: A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (and Wonder What the #*$& Just Happened).
Written with her OB/GYN of more than 10 years, Dr. Tristan Bickman, the book — on sale Tuesday — addresses the parts of motherhood some picture-perfect Pinterest parents might sweep under the nursery rug. Topics like tearing, incontinence and one’s post-pregnancy figure are not off the changing table for Rowland.
The disappearance of her toned tummy was the physical change that most surprised her, she says, and admits the magazine covers boasting trim new moms made her less accepting of her body.
“I just saw a cover that I did for Shape and then I’m looking in the mirror going, ‘Oh, my god this is not the same body. How did this happen?’ And, I had to just keep reminding myself that, ‘You had a baby, Kel.’ But I was hard on myself. I really was.”
Another change to her body that Rowland wasn’t expecting was the new look of her vagina after birth. In the book, she called taking a mirror to her nether regions “the world’s worst idea!”
“Your vajayjay does not look the same for a very long time,” she told us, with brutal honesty. Though a friend tried to convince Rowland her husband wouldn’t care, she protested, “‘But, I care about it.’ We go to get it all done up and trimmed and waxed and this and that and it’s all swollen and crazy and you’re just wondering what just happened?”
During our chat, Rowland says one lasting effect she struggles with is mom guilt. At the time of our conversation, she had just returned from two weeks in Australia away from her son, Titan, 2, and was committed to working on another album and putting finishing touches on an inclusive makeup line.
“I wanted a better life for my son,” Rowland said, praising her nannies, her husband, family and girlfriends who keep her from going “crazy.”
“I wanted him to have a beautiful home to be in,” she explained. “I wanted him to go to a great school. I wanted him to not want for anything but also not be a spoiled brat.”
“Those are the things that really mean a lot to me,” she continued, “and, in being able to provide those things for him, I’ve got to work, and his dad’s got to work.”