Six Feet Under star Rachel Griffiths' hit show
Do you eat differently when you’re pregnant?
I cut out sushi even though my obstetrician says that women in Japan eat raw fish all the way through. I just eat smaller portions of everything and eat more often. I consume more protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains, and don’t eat much white flour. I also just started craving ice. I like chewing it. I do believe in listening to your cravings, except when they involve Starbucks and candy bars.
What do you love about being pregnant?
Pregnancy can be very sexy. I’ve really enjoyed how I’ve felt in my body. If you keep fit and active, you’re more likely to feel like a big gorgeous Amazon than a blubbery old whale. My husband finds me very sexy, too, so that’s really nice.
Do you and your husband share similar parenting philosophies?
Pretty much. I think the only difference is that I read books and he learns by experience. Already I have four books on siblings; how to stop your 2-year-old from killing your new baby. I am a bit more informed, but I think we’re equally committed to creating a really safe environment that we can be relaxed parents in.
What’s been the greatest challenge this time?
Keeping my energy up through the day. There’s a good three hours each afternoon that are really, really, tough at work. Every moment I am not working, I try to find a place to lie down and breathe for 10 minutes.
How did your first labor go?
Very fast—seven hours from start to finish. In Australia, they don’t want you to get to the hospital too early. For this birth, I just don’t want to get stuck in L.A. traffic trying to get to the hospital.
Did you breastfeed Banjo?
I breastfed him exclusively for six months. I weaned him very slowly from six to 11 months by cutting down one feeding per day every month or so. It’s kind of funny, I really thought I could not wait to stop—my theory is that women with small breasts like to breastfeed much longer, but women with large breasts can’t wait to stop, as they want their D cups back after lugging double F’s around. I tried to wean, hoping I would go down to my regular size. But even though I was only doing one feed a day, I found it really hard to give it up.
How has motherhood changed you?
It’s slowed me down. It’s a weird contrast: I can juggle more and, at the same time, I can sit on the floor and play with blocks for an hour and not notice that the time has gone past. They’re both great skills for adults. On one hand, I get more done in a day, but when I go for a walk, instead of making it about getting to the top of the mountain, it becomes its own journey of pointing out horse poop or collecting flowers to bring home to dad. Thank God those two things coexist. But the most surprising thing is that becoming a mother is like meeting a new friend.