Rockin' Mama

Brooke Burke, co-host of CBS' Rock Star -- and our February/March cover model -- has lots going on.


Brooke Burke, co-host of CBS' Rock Star -- and our February/March cover model -- has lots going on. The show is preparing its third installment (scheduled for summer 2007), her third child is due in late January (she has two daughters with Extreme Makeover plastic surgeon Garth Fisher), and she's engaged to ex-Baywatch cutie David Charvet. We talked to her at our photo shoot.

Fit Pregnancy: So, how's this pregnancy going? Brooke Burke: I feel really good -- it's definitely different from my first two pregnancies. I'm a little more fatigued and not as active. But it's been 5 years since my last and now I'm taking care of two children. I never got sick. But when I was pregnant with Neriah I was so worried about doing everything by the book, I was so strict with myself. With Sierra I was more relaxed. Now I try to listen to my body and not to everyone else's opinion. That could drive you crazy. So the third time is an advantage.

Do you like being pregnant? I do like being pregnant, it's a beautiful time in a woman's life and it's really fun to be pregnant right now. The fashion is great, and it seems like everyone is pregnant these days. I'm wearing some great maternity stuff form NOM, and also yoga tops and pants, so easy. We will probably have another soon -- I'd love to have a son.

And this will be David's first - how's he doing? He's really excited - he has always wanted children, and it's fun for me to go through this with him. I get to re-live all the things I went through. He is going to be a great dad - he's very present. David is faced with the concept of a having a family immediately, so it's strange to him. As mothers, we get used to the idea slowly, we develop and learn as we go along. David is stepping into the relationship with me having two already and another on the way.... But he's doing great... He's now living with me, and the nanny and two girls, so he's surrounded. He doesn't think it's funny.

What kind of mother are you? I'm pretty relaxed and I give my children a lot of freedom to explore the world. I traveled all around the world with my first, and realized that you just make it up as you go along. Plus, I was the first in my group to have a baby, so I kept it very simple with Neriah. We spent a lot of time on planes and in hotels, so it was all about adventures and books and spending time together. Nowadays you could go nuts with all the stuff you can buy, although with this third I think most of the products will make life easier. But most of the time I believe in letting kids go ahead and make their own mistakes -- maybe even get a little hurt -- and learn from them.

Do you do the PTA/room mom thing? As much as I can - I help in the library and with projects around the school. I am very lucky that I've been able to have a career and have spend time with my children, it's really important in their early years and I enjoy it.

Any crazy cravings or aversions? I usually eat lots of salmon, but I have turned on fish. I always eat a lot of vegetables and cooked sushi. I've found the more water I drink, the better I feel, less water retention. My weirdest craving? Foie gras.

Do you give in to that craving? Yes, I do. But what I've learned is that the key is to give in your body what it wants, but also be disciplined to give it what it needs. Then, you are full enough that there's not a lot of room for that hot fudge sundae. It's hard when you're pregnant - you're tired, you're lazy, but if you want to say in shape you do have to have that bit of discipline. One thing I feel strongly about - you really have to give yourself some room to experience what you're feeling. With this pregnancy, I'm very emotional. But you just have go through it and balance it out by being really good to your body and put your baby first.

There are some celebrities who might not want to do a cover like this - that it might do damage to their sexy image. I respect that stand -- they don't want to show that part of their life. And people do look at you differently. I love being a mother and being pregnant, and the more women can get comfortable with that, the better. I have to say being pregnant, in a bikini and on a cover - you really have to feel good about yourself. And the role your partner plays is very important; I'm blessed with a man who is enjoying this as much as I am and who knows that whatever my body is doing is part of life and part of love. It's a remarkable stage in your life.

But I admit that you have to dig down deep and realize that whatever happens is worth it. After the first baby I didn't know if I would ever model again, but I did. I wanted to be a mother, and we make sacrifices for our children all our lives, and that's the first. There's a period of time when you're cute and pregnant, and then some days you feel so bloated and can't find anything to wear. You just go with it all.

How are you staying in such great shape? I do pretty much what I usually do - Pilates and walking, I've minimized the cardio work. I always some ab work, too -- I think it gives you more back support and an easier delivery. With your body changing so fast, it's important to keep moving and grow into the changes -- if you decide to not work out at all, that's a long time without exercise, and it makes it harder to come back.

You seem to bounce back really well - how do you do it? I definitely am stricter nutrition-wise after I give birth and increase cardio work, but I can't go too crazy, since I'm going to breastfeed. I had to shoot the swimsuit calendar three months after I had Sierra, so I starting eating 5 small meals a day, and I ran - I don't usually run. I need carbs for energy so I just avoid oil and sugar; I believe in good fats like nuts and avocado. I eat good food that I enjoy.

As a pro at this, what's your advice to new mothers? I think as a new mom you are just trying to figure it out, you are trying to have everything in order, and you just can't. When I had my second baby I was on two shows, and my life was very chaotic. You have to give yourself room to let things be the way they will be, take life day by day and figure out what works for you and your baby. Everybody tries to tell you the right thing to do, and you're th only one who knows what's really right. Be OK with the chaos, and spend some time alone with just you and the baby, I remember with my first, I just wanted to be with her and figure it all out by myself. You have to allow that.

Any beauty advice? I oil my body twice a day -- on my belly, hips and breasts, I use something called Mother's Special Blend, it has shea butter and almond oil - but you can use just olive oil. I don't think you need expensive beauty products, raw natural, oil is fine. I've been lucky enough to avoid stretch marks. Also wear a really good support bra, day and night - especially when you're nursing.

What about going back to work? I really enjoy working and I think sometimes as a mom it's a little bit of a break - with a newborn I wear the baby, definitely an attachment parenting person. Rock Star is a dream - the schedule is great. We shoot two days a week and it's in town, which allows me to be involved with my kids. We start shooting the third installment after the baby is born, so I'll bring the baby and the nanny to the set. Nowadays people just have to accept that choice. My children and I are a package deal -- that's just the way it was. And now that more career women have babies, we can se that it is possible to accomplish so many things and still be a mother. I have chosen to be really devoted to my children. It's all doable if you just commit to it.

FP: I just read a study that said working mothers are best at dealing with stress. Brooke: I'm not surprised at all; as mothers we have this gift -- we are able to cope with whatever comes our way. I know my family comes first and every thing falls into place - -it makes it easier. I was given some really great advice when I was pregnant with my second, Sierra and worried about the impact would be on Neriah, and that I wouldn't have enough love and attention to go around. And the advice was: "Mothers have this magic ability to give an abundance of love, no matter how much is needed, you just get bigger and bigger." And that's what I tell my girls, that we are so lucky to have this much love for each other.