The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Actress Jane Kaczmarek and her husband, Bradley Whitford, are television’s favorite “it” couple. Both are on hit shows, she playing Lois, the blue-collar mom on Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle, he playing White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on NBC’s The West Wing. Off screen, they are parents to
daughter Frances, 4, and son George, 2. We caught up with Kaczmarek, 46, when she was five months pregnant with the couple’s third child.
Fit Pregnancy: You have recently been nominated for a third Emmy, and you’ll be seven months pregnant at the time of the awards show. What do you plan to wear?
Jane Kaczmarek: Oh, I can’t really pick anything yet; my body’s going to change so much between now and then. But I’ll tell you something I’m not wearing: high heels.
What about sexy undergarments?
I don’t think so. For me, there’s a big difference between having a baby in your 20s and having a baby in your 40s. When you’re pregnant in your 40s, you do not want to wear thongs. I want underpants that are as big and wide and absorbent as possible. Brad calls them my Romanian tumbling briefs.
So how is Brad with your pregnant body? Does he refer to you in terms such as “goddess”?
Uh, no. Mostly we laugh at the massive changes. Like, when I was pregnant with my son three years ago, I weighed 175 pounds and had varicose veins the size of my thumb. Afterward, my hair was coming out in handfuls. But, of course, that was the year I got nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Malcolm. I kept thinking, “Jeez! Now I get the acclaim!” Not
during the years when I was always dieting, wearing my padded bra and my high heels. When I think of all the years in my 30s when I starved myself … but when I got the role of Lois, I stopped thinking about my looks and was just myself.
Both on screen and off.
Exactly. Of course, after my son’s birth, I was nominated for the two awards, which got me to work with a trainer. Awards shows are my greatest inducement to get back into shape. All of a sudden you think, “Uh-oh. Time to drop a few pounds.” Then, the day before the Emmys, I went to Sears and bought a really good girdle. And I’ve worn that thing to every awards show since.
You became a star at middle age. You’re our hero!
I think it helps that it came later in life for both Brad and me, because we had established a life before all this happened. So this kind of success seemed more like, “Huh?” Not, “Yesssss!”
By the way, what are you doing for fitness now?