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Q&A With Jamie-Lynn Sigler

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WebMD Magazine - Feature

Best known for her role as Meadow Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos, Jamie-Lynn Sigler also has appeared in the feature films Extreme Dating and Beneath the Dark, and guest starred in a number of TV series. In 2002, she published an autobiography, Wise Girl, that focused on her struggle with an eating disorder. Here, she talks about her pregnancy (she gave birth in August), her parenting hopes and dreams, and her best (and worst) health habits.

You just had your son in August. How was your pregnancy?

The first few months were not easy. I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks, and at 6 weeks, the nausea and exhaustion kicked in pretty hard. They call it morning sickness, but for me it was 24-hour sickness. All I could eat was bagels for about 3 months. And I couldn't stay up past 10 p.m. I'd sleep for 12 hours and wake up even more nauseous. Everybody promised me that it would end at 12 weeks, and I'm lucky that it did. I just woke up one day and it was gone.

How about the second and third trimesters?

I definitely got the "honeymoon" phase. I got my energy back and the first 3 months are a memory. I got that natural feeling to nest. We [fiancé Cutter Dykstra] renovated our home, and I got really excited about setting up our little boy's nursery.

Were you nervous about anything during your pregnancy?

I tried to avoid too many pregnancy books or advice columns or forums, things telling you that you should feel this many kicks per hour and so on, and if you don't, you start to panic. Being pregnant is the most natural thing our bodies can do. Our grandparents did it without all these books, and they came out OK.

What were your childbirth plans? Did you go all natural, or bring on the drugs?

I gave birth in a hospital with a doula. Birth is really judgy and people get really opinionated, and everyone's entitled to the experience they want. My doula told me, let's prepare in our minds for the level of pain we're expecting, and double that and see what we would want to do if that happens. But I wasn't scared of childbirth, I think because of my doula. I educated myself and did my fair share of research, and that made me feel a little more prepared.

How did you find your doula?

It's kind of crazy! I did a show with NBC called Celebrity Game Night, where six celebrities are teamed with regular people to play games like charades. This girl on my team, we really hit it off, and she told me she's a massage therapist and doula. We stayed in touch. She lives in Tennessee, and she flew in for the birth.

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