Jessica Capshaw, who plays pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, takes quite seriously her responsibility to provide her baby girl (and son Luke, 3) with a clean environment. “It’s crucial while you’re carrying a life inside of you,” she says.
Being married to Healthy Child, Healthy World's former CEO Christopher Gavigan makes it easier to be on the lookout for harmful stuff: His nonprofit organization is dedicated to protecting young children from harmful chemicals. For example, Capshaw says, “Most people would never put their baby on her tummy to sleep, yet they have no idea how toxic that crib mattress might be.”
Capshaw, 34, has been acting since her early 20s, after graduating from Brown University and attending London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She’s known for not using her industry connections to get work (her mother is actress Kate Capshaw, and her stepfather is director Steven Spielberg). She’s also distinctively down to earth. We talked to her just before her due date in October.
Q| You are very close to having this baby! How are you feeling?
A| I feel great! The only thing I never have unless I’m pregnant is heartburn. I have it all the time, especially now. The baby just keeps getting bigger and taking up more space!
Q| Do you like being pregnant?
A| I do, I love it—the beginning is hard, the fatigue and nausea. But between 30 and 36 ½ weeks, you start thinking, “Oh, she can just stay in there as long as she wants,” because you know it’s so much easier. You don’t have to get up in the middle of the night, you can take a shower. Also, I love that people have manners and actually hold doors for you. It’s nice.
Q| Is there anything you dislike?
A| It’s physically limiting at the end. My 3-year-old has been tying my shoes for me! It was easier when I could just wear flip-flops.
Q| What are your eating habits like?
A| With this pregnancy, all I wanted to eat was bread. So I gained those first 10 pounds sooner. But I feel being pregnant is an opportunity to feed myself the way I should, as opposed to the way I have chosen to in the past. Eating every three hours, which evens out your blood sugar, and eating the right things has made me feel amazing. For me, it never has been about the weight gain. But by eating for my baby instead of just myself I only gained 25 pounds.
Q| Any weird cravings or aversions?
A| I’ve become a victim of smells. Odors that used to be mildly annoying—bad perfume or body odor—make me want to scream.
Q| Some women say they can’t stand their husband’s smell?
A| My husband always smells good to me.
Q| What are you doing to stay fit?
A| I’m very active when I’m not pregnant, but I think fitness should be a natural part of your life, not something you have to force yourself to do. So, if I get out and walk with Luke in the stroller or hike with my girlfriends three or four times a week, it’s a good week. And since I’m the mother of a very active 40-pound three-year old, I get plenty of exercise.
Q| What do you worry about?
A| My worry is a sort of umbrella worry—I feel this tremendous responsibility for the baby inside me. I completely get those women who say, “I don’t care about the sex, I just want to have a healthy baby.” I eat for the baby, I make sure I stay healthy for the baby.
Q| What are you wearing?
A| I dress really simply—I bought two pairs of maternity jeans, a dark blue pair and a white pair. And dresses. I love to wear dresses when I’m pregnant.