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Health & Parenting

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TV’s Nancy O’Dell: Mother, Author, Health Advocate

Nancy O’Dell talks about her new book, her baby, and the loss of her mother to Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Did you gain a lot of weight during pregnancy?

I gained a lot during the first trimester. My doctor said, “I don’t want you to diet, but you are beyond where you should be and we don’t want you to gain too much.” At the end, I leveled off and gained between 30 and 35 lbs. What you don’t realize is that you still look pregnant after you deliver. Everyone tells you that you will have a little belly, but you look like you are still five or six months pregnant for a while.

Any “who knew?” moments during pregnancy?

I had no idea that you leak colostrum before you even have the baby. I spent a lot of time trying to dry my wardrobe before going on television because I did not know to wear pads before I even started nursing.

So how did you lose it?

Mostly running, along with some weight training. By the time I got back to work after a three-month maternity leave, I was within three lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight, but when I started to focus on my mom, I put some weight back on.

It’s hard to find time to exercise when you are a new mom, especially if you are breastfeeding. How did you do it?

I would literally go for runs in the driveway between feedings during my maternity leave to get back in shape.

How do you stay in shape now?

Running. I go for three or four 40-minute runs a week. I also do strength training.

Ashby joins your two stepchildren, Carson and Tyler. Any more children in the future for you and your husband, Keith Zubchevich?

We are going to let it be. If it happens, it happens.

How do you balance your demanding, high-profile job at Access Hollywood with being a wife and mother?

It’s tough. When I was interviewing first lady Michelle Obama, she said it was one big guilt trip. If I am at work, I feel guilty that I am not with my family and when I am with my family, I feel guilty about work. My family is my first priority. The bottom line is that there is more guilt associated with putting work before family.

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