Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Frederique van der Wal has one of the best-known faces in the modeling world. She has appeared on the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines, in the pages of Victoria’s Secret catalogs, and in high-profile ad campaigns for Guess and Revlon. More recently, she’s turned to acting, with roles in Wild Wild West and Woody Allen’s Celebrity, and to business, with her own lounge and sleepwear line. We caught up with our cover model, Dutch-born Frederique, by phone from New York when she was six months pregnant.
FIT PREGNANCY: So you’re two-thirds of the way through; are you enjoying pregnancy?
FREDERIQUE: Well, I have to pee all the time. And my walk has changed.
FP: In other words, you’re waddling.
F: I’m waddling.
FP: Do you think Europeans react to pregnancy differently?
F: In America, everyone asks if I’m scared my body will change. The society here is so focused on the outside. But having a baby is what your body is meant to do. In Europe, women see pregnancy as a celebration of womanhood.
FP: Then again, you’re a model, and modeling is a mighty “outside-focused” business.
F: Well, of course the body will take a little longer to get back into shape. But it will go back. So you don’t have to go too bananas about the way it’s changing. By the way, the good thing about America is that women here don’t feel that working and having a baby is a conflict. Europe is more traditional. When you become a mother, you’re much less likely to go back to work.
FP: Speaking of changes, you’re a fairly curvy babe to begin with. Now your décolletage must be quite impressive.
F: At the beginning especially. I thought, “Oh, my God! What am I going to do with these things?!” But now it’s better because the belly has caught up.
FP: So now you’ve gone from babe to fertility goddess.
F: At least I feel like a goddess. That’s another thing about European women. Americans tend to wear all these big maternity clothes; Europeans show off their stomachs. When I went to Berlin for the film festival, I wore this really tight dress. I’m going to miss the way I look pregnant.
FP: Speaking of bodies, what are you doing for exercise?
F: A combination of ballet, yoga and other dance — which is what I did before I got pregnant.
FP: Have you had cravings?
F: Nothing strange. Every morning I have to have my cereal, and often at night, too. I even dream about my cereal.
FP: Uh, OK … but that’s a tad on the strange side.
F: Seriously, I love my cereal. Low-fat granola and Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats.