Meet the mommy mogul, style icon, and a true expert in the art of work-family balance.
Ivanka Trump FitPregnancy Cover Party
The Trump name, glittering on the regal facades of skyscrapers around the world, has long evoked the fairy-tale world of the rich and powerful. But the woman at the center of the empire, Ivanka Trump, talks about the dueling delights and demands of work, her toddler, her husband and baby on the way in a refreshingly real way.
Trump's office on the 25th floor of the Trump Tower office building on Fifth Avenue in New York City tells you a lot about her.
It's a working girl's space, not terribly big, done in cool tones and dominated by her desk, which is piled with documents and folders: plans for the $250 million Trump National Doral Miami resort renovation she's overseeing, paperwork relating to the Trump Wellness program she spearheaded at her family's properties and information about the expansion of her clothing line that will hit stores this fall. Behind her, on the windowsill and wall, you see her glamorous side: various covers of magazines she's graced that herald her golf, fashion, social and business world prowess. But after talking with this 5-foot-11 beauty, who's wearing a soft and swingy light green dress and floral pumps of her own design, you know immediately the area of her life that's most important to her: her 2-year-old daughter, Arabella; husband Jared Kushner; and their new addition, who's due in October. Boy or girl? Trump knows, but she's not telling.
"I'm superstitious," she shares. "I don't like to tell people, but I don't have the discipline to keep it a surprise. There are so many variables in motherhood that, those I can control, I like to."
As for the other aspects of her life and pregnancy, including how she feels about maternity clothes and her 4 p.m. ice cream ritual, the executive vice president of development & acquisitions of Trump Organization and founder and principal of Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry and Ivanka Trump Apparel and Accessories brand is ready to gab like a girlfriend.
FitPregnancy: How are you feeling at six months in?
Ivanka Trump: I feel amazing. I've been fortunate so far with this pregnancy. Thankfully, I never experienced morning sickness, but I did get a wave of fatigue that started at week 15 and went through week 17. I can't complain, because it dissipates so quickly, but waking up exhausted is not a fun feeling.
FP: What's your diet typically like while expecting?
IT: One of the great things about having a toddler is that you actually have produce in the fridge! When I was living with just my husband, I'd stress about buying raspberries because I'd know they'd go bad before I'd eat them. Now it's such a pleasure to open my refrigerator and see all kinds of fruit. Every morning I'll have either cottage cheese or Greek yogurt—I do full fat; I prefer the taste—with a bowl of blueberries or raspberries and cereal. When I wake up, I have a glass of water with lemon. Before I was pregnant, all I drank was coffee, but now I drink a tremendous amount of water. I get anxiety if I go for 30 minutes without a glass of water near me!
FP: Sounds like you adopted some good habits while pregnant with Arabella.
IT: I became a much healthier person because pregnancy was the first time I thought about food from the standpoint of nutrition as opposed to simply satisfaction. I would have three meals a day that were pure carbs and cheese! Now, I try to have some form of lean protein in the morning and at lunch.
I've also become much more aware of choosing organic foods. That's not something I would have prioritized for myself, but it's different when you become a mom. Buying locally grown foods from the farmers market is a fun activity to do with Arabella. As we walk around the market, we talk about avocados and chiles and we say, "What color is the banana?" She eats well and I think in part it's because I let her choose, "Do you want a squash or a zucchini?" It makes her more excited when she sees it on her plate.
FP: Are you craving anything in particular this pregnancy?
IT: I don't have a sweet tooth normally; I'm a salty-savory girl. But when I'm pregnant, almost as a ritual, at 4 o'clock, I'll have cookies-and-cream ice cream!
FP: How are you staying fit?
IT: I try to get in four days a week of exercise: two days in the gym and two days of sports, such as golf, swimming or tennis. At the gym, I'll stick to a mix of yoga and Pilates or, when I'm traveling for work, I'll do an interval workout on the treadmill. One of the reasons we created Trump Wellness was so that people staying at our hotels could continue their healthy lifestyle while on the road. We teamed up with Under Armour to provide sneakers, exercise gear and free weights that guests can use during their stay. We also rolled out menus of healthy foods for kids and adults, as well as those who have dietary restrictions.
FP: Whatever you're doing is working; you look amazing. Do you have a go-to work outfit?
IT: Not usually, but during the last month of pregnancy you have almost no options. By the end, I felt like if I never saw a black wrap dress again it would be too soon! I'm sympathetic to working moms now as well. From a style perspective, I'm much less fussy. I get dressed very quickly and I usually have one eye on the makeup mirror and one eye on Arabella, who is likely playing with seashells on my bathroom floor. I also pamper myself a lot less.
FP: What are you doing differently this pregnancy than your first?
IT: When I was pregnant with Arabella, I probably read 50 books on pregnancy and parenting. In retrospect, I could have thrown 25 percent of them out the window. You really don't need to study how to change a diaper. As a new mom, you learn pretty darn quickly! I found that for the most part, you just figure it all out.
FP: What was your first labor like?
IT: I woke up in the middle of the night and went on WebMD because I felt uncomfortable, but I couldn't tell if I was in actual labor. The word contraction has a very specific meaning and what I was experiencing didn't feel like one. I thought I had heartburn! I then called the hospital and described my symptoms to a nurse and she said, "You may want to come in now." I had Arabella two hours later!
FP: So quick! What helped you during your delivery?
IT: Jared and I made a playlist for the delivery of all the songs from our relationship. Arabella was actually born while my wedding song, "This Year's Love" by David Gray, was playing. It was a coincidence, but it was cool!
FP: How is Arabella adjusting to the news of a sibling?
IT: We had Arabella with us when we found out the sex of the new baby and, after, we bought her a baby doll of the same gender. I think she understands what's coming, but then she throws me periodically by rubbing her own belly and saying, "My baby sibling!" So, I don't know if she fully gets the biological elements of what's going to transpire, but she knows something is about to change. One thing I'd like to continue is that once a week Arabella comes into the office and we have a lunch date. A working lunch, so to speak.
FP: What a nice tradition!
IT: I had very busy parents, but I really appreciated having a set of traditions during my own childhood, like consistently celebrating holidays at the same place. I want that for my own household, so I put Arabella to bed myself every night. I don't schedule anything between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. so I can run home and give her a bath. Then we read books and cuddle and I put her to bed. After, I go back to work or go out, but that time is essential for me. Also, we rarely commit to anything on the weekends. Every Friday night, we have dinner together as a family and I cook. Saturdays and Sundays, we just like to be together.
FP: How has motherhood differed from what you envisioned?
IT: It's a lot more chaotic than I could have imagined. Trying to create black-and- white schedules doesn't work. You have to become much more flexible and malleable in your thinking and in the ways you get things done.
FP: What's Jared like as a dad?
IT: He's very loving, caring and hands-on. He really understands how to relate to Arabella. He's better than I am about assessing her mood and adapting accordingly. Sometimes, I'll come in from work and I'm exhausted and I really want to cuddle, but she's hyper. I'll still say, "Oh, Arabella, come give me a hug," but she wants nothing to do with it! He's taught me to be better about reacting to her moods.
FP: What do you hope Arabella and your new baby learn from you?
IT: The most important thing is that they know how loved they are. I also hope they don't perceive my work as a detriment to how I was as a mother, but rather as something they admire. As a working mom, I'm doing my best to balance everything so they never feel like I wasn't there for them.