Model Mommy


Internationally recognized supermodel and UNICEF spokesperson Vendela shares her postpartum recovery plan with new mothers

How does a supermodel and new mother deal with getting back in shape, sleepless nights, and eating right with her children? In Model Mommy, worldwide sensation Vendela helps you get your groove back by revealing her own difficulties and experiences with emotional highs and lows, her relationship with her husband, ...

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Internationally recognized supermodel and UNICEF spokesperson Vendela shares her postpartum recovery plan with new mothers

How does a supermodel and new mother deal with getting back in shape, sleepless nights, and eating right with her children? In Model Mommy, worldwide sensation Vendela helps you get your groove back by revealing her own difficulties and experiences with emotional highs and lows, her relationship with her husband, exercising, and caring for her daughters.

Providing you with necessary emotional support, Model Mommy features a realistic eating plan that stresses the need to avoid feeling deprived, accessible exercises that can be done from home, and dozens of delicious, healthy recipes with tips on how to adapt them for finicky toddlers. Plus, Model Mommy includes full-color photographs from Vendela's personal photo album as well as step-by-step shots of her working out with her trainer. Interweaving her personal experiences and family anecdotes with practical advice, Model Mommy will help you feel like yourself again.

  • Topics include:
  • Adjusting to motherhood
  • Keeping your marriage alive
  • Starting to feel sexy again
  • Getting back to a healthy weight
  • Exercises you can do at home with baby
  • Eating sensibly without feeling deprived
  • Fun, healthy recipes for the whole family
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Readers know Vendela from her work as a Sports Illustrated cover girl and as the face of Elizabeth Arden, but in this down-to-earth book she explains how she made the transition from supermodel to working mother of two. With warmth and candor, Vendela writes of the struggle of sleepless nights, the difficulty of breastfeeding her second child (a situation she had not encountered with her first), and the emotional postpartum roller coaster -- a far cry from the jet-set life most of us would imagine. She shares the lessons she's learned about keeping her relationship with her husband vibrant and finding some alone time for herself. She even admits to leaving the room every once in a while to simply let off some steam with "a quick scream in the hallway." Sounds like a regular mom, huh?

Well, she is a regular mom, and readers will find themselves relating to her immediately. But since it's her job to look gorgeous, Vendela is also the perfect person to tell readers how to get back into shape after giving birth and how to eat for good health and a better figure. In the fitness section, Vendela and her personal trainer recommend simple exercises that target the entire body, acknowledging that moms certainly don't have time to devote to specific areas. There is also advice on how to integrate exercise into the busy life of a new mom. The goal here is not looking perfect or even fitting into your prepregnancy clothes, though; the emphasis is on doing what makes you feel good about yourself and simply taking it one day at a time.

Most of us wouldn't dream of taking nutritional advice from a model -- especially when cooking for the whole family! However, Vendela's take on food is refreshingly sensible. She advocates treating yourself on occasion but cutting back in simple ways that will leave you trimmer and healthier. The recipes included are delicious and can be easily adjusted to accommodate finicky kids as well as moms watching their weight. As in the exercise portion of the book, the author urges readers to go easy on themselves!

Addressing both the emotional and physical needs of new mothers with intelligence, Vendela's passion for motherhood shines through. Model Mommy will help readers maintain their sanity and confidence while reclaiming their figures. (Karen Burns)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071384841
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 0.39 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Interviews & Essays

An Exclusive Interview with Vendela

Barnes & Your work as a model and an actress is not something that most new mothers can relate to, and yet the obstacles you face as a working mother are the same as those the rest of us encounter. How do you manage to juggle parenting and having a career?

Vendela Kirsebom: It has been difficult to juggle being a parent and having a career; I feel torn. I try to be there as much as I can for my children, but I also try to be there for my career. I bring my children if I am going away for a long time. I don't take trips back-to-back. I am pretty much like any other mom. No matter what you do, at times you feel guilty. It is not always possible to be with your children, but I do feel it is important to have quality time with your children.

B& In the book, you mention that your work for UNICEF really illustrated the benefits of breastfeeding. In what other ways did your experiences with UNICEF prepare you for parenthood?

VK: I don't think anything really prepares you for being a mother. After I had children, I realized that I wanted to do even more for UNICEF. Before having children, it didn't affect me in the same way it does today. Now, even more, I feel the pain of the mothers. Many families are being helped and educated by UNICEF and that is wonderful! It is extremely important for mothers to know, especially in Third World countries, that breastfeeding is really important for their children.

B& The first few weeks of parenthood are tough -- do you have any advice for new mothers trying to get by on a bare minimum of sleep?

VK: Don't get stressed out. Many times, especially in the beginning, you are so high on adrenaline that it is hard to relax, but it is important to save your energy for your baby. Sleep as much as you can; sleep when your child is sleeping.

Try, if possible, to ask family and friends for help. I know asking for favors can be difficult. Many times you are scared and tired, and when you have a child who doesn't sleep well, it can be very tough. Don't be hard on yourself. I find that other parents don't always tell the truth about their child's sleeping patterns. Just remember, if somebody tells you that their child is so easy, it may not be true!

B& New mothers are often caught off guard by the emotional roller-coaster they experience during the first weeks of their child's life. Why do you think this is such a taboo subject? How can we encourage women to speak out about it and support each other?

VK: I think new mothers are made to believe that when you have a child everything is going to be fantastic, that their child will never be sick. Babies are babies. Some of them are a lot easier. Some babies sleep, but most do not. Many times new mothers are worried about being a bad mother, and certain issues are hard to talk about. Some doctors follow you though your pregnancy; however, oftentimes, once you have a baby, you feel lonely -- that you don't have a lot of people to turn to. Talking to people is important. It is comforting to hear that others deal with the same issues you do.

B& Share with us some of your tips for feeling sexy again after giving birth and keeping things fresh with your husband.

VK: It is important to have alone time with you and your husband. Have a certain day of the week dedicated to just the two of you. I really swear by this -- it's a great way to keep your marriage healthy. During this time, you shouldn't only talk about the children or work. You should allow yourselves that time to love each other, to catch up and hold hands.

The first few weeks after having a baby are great -- you and your husband have a bond that you never had before. Take it slow... and just remember you will have your body back again. I feel even better about my body now. It gave me two baby girls. It is important to feel good about yourself. Try to wear things you feel comfortable in and don't go crazy and buy a whole new wardrobe -- you don't want to be stuck buying post-pregnancy clothes. Try buying a fragrance or a scarf or get your nails done.

B& As the mother of two little girls, what was different for you the second time around?

VK: Most things were a lot easier. The delivery was much better the second time. As a whole, I felt more secure, less nervous and stressed. I felt like I got my life back faster. I began to realize that I had to give both children their own attention. You want both children to feel that each is receiving the same amount of attention as the other. In terms of breastfeeding, I had an easy time with Hannah, my first child, but a difficult time with Julia.

B& For you, getting in shape after the birth of your second child was a necessity because of your work; but, as you write in Model Mommy, getting back in shape after giving birth is an important way for all new mothers to boost their self-esteem and devote some time to themselves. How would you convince mothers who feel guilty for taking time out from baby to exercise?

VK: You need to take care of yourself in addition to caring for your new baby. It is important for new mothers to get back into shape and feel good about themselves. Try bringing your child to the gym or do exercises at home with your baby. I have also found that taking time for myself is important. It makes me feel great to go and work out for an hour -- it's about getting out of the house and clearing your mind.

B& I found your attitude toward eating and "dieting" (a word you don't care for) to be so refreshing. Can you summarize it for us?

VK: I happen to really love food and the smell of food cooking in my house, and it is important to eat well. It is important to give your family quality time to sit around the table and eat. Food should be a happy part of life, something one enjoys. In stressful times, people tend to eat on the run. When people work a lot and they have children, it can be difficult to plan meals with the family.

You don't have to eat unhealthy just because you eat. So many teenagers have eating disorders, but hopefully, if you start your kids eating healthy when they are young, they will take that with them and have a healthy attitude about food.

B& One of your most important recommendations for shedding post-pregnancy pounds is taking the time to enjoy each meal rather than eating bits and pieces on the go. Some mothers probably can't imagine being able to do this every day -- how do you make it work?

VK: I grew up eating at 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. each day. I always loved that time around the table... people talking and sharing. I felt that was a tradition I wanted to bring to my family. To make it work, I try to plan ahead. For example, if I am making a stew, I make extra for the following week and freeze it. I try to go grocery shopping once a week and plan out the food for the week. I try to be as practical as I can.

B& Thanks so much for your time, Vendela!

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