Thursday, November 15th, 2012
In September, actress Melissa Joan Hart gave birth to her third child, Tucker. After giving birth, Hart teamed up with Merck for Mothers’ “Once Upon a Birth” campaign to raise awareness about maternal mortality worldwide and to find solutions for safe and healthy pregnancies. Recently, Parents.com had a few moments to chat with Hart about the partnership, her recent pregnancy and birth, and what it’s like to raise three boys.
Tell me about your partnership with the “Once Upon a Birth” campaign.
I partnered with Merck for Once Upon a Birth. Eight hundred women die every day as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, mainly because of hemorrhaging and preeclampsia, and 90 percent [of those deaths] are preventable with the right prenatal care and knowledge. For every story shared on the Merck for Mothers Facebook page, Merck will make a donation to Join My Village, one of the many programs that will help reduce the risk of maternal mortality. The UN wants to reduce the rate of maternal mortality by 75 percent by the year 2015, so Merck has made a pledge to commit 10 years and $500 million to this cause. They’re going to train women, husbands, and midwives in villages around the world so they can be more educated. Children won’t have to grow up motherless, and mothers won’t miss watching their child grow.
What’s the birth story you shared with Merck for Mothers?
I was trying to be really well prepared [about giving birth to newborn son, Tucker] for weeks beforehand. Every Sunday, I’d go get my nails done, and I’d put on mascara. I don’t wear makeup when I’m not working but I thought, “I’ll put on mascara, a little concealer, in case I go to the hospital and the baby comes out real quick, so I can take a cute picture.” My doctor wanted me to go walk on the beach to move my labor along and on that day, September 18, there was a big storm, with 40 miles per hour winds. My water broke [when I was] on the beach, so I ended up in the hospital with windblown hair that I never brushed, and my feet were muddy when I put them up on the stirrups. So it didn’t turn out the way I thought. But what was amazing was that my husband delivered the baby. The doctor handed him scrubs, said “Get ready, come on down here,” and then [my husband] pulled the baby out—head, shoulders, body—and placed him on me.
Was that his first time?
The first time [when I gave birth to Mason], he swore he wouldn’t cut the cord. He was, like, “I don’t want to be involved. I can’t, I’ll pass out.” But he did end up cutting the cord. The second time [when I gave birth to Braydon], he grabbed the baby’s shoulders and pulled him out. With Tucker, my husband advanced in the medical arena.
What are some of the most difficult things you experienced during your pregnancies?
Nothing life-threatening. With the first birth, I had complications with the epidural, and the Pitocin, because I wanted to induce, and Mason was just a big baby, so it was just hard to get him out. I would not allow a C-section unless it was an emergency. With my second son, I did a natural birth, and that was a really, really exciting experience. But it was extremely painful and I had a little hemorrhaging. With Tucker, there was a moment where his heart rate dropped during a really severe contraction, and that scared me. [The staff] put oxygen in me and flipped me over, so it was a little scary for a moment. I’m really lucky — I’ve had very healthy pregnancies, very healthy deliveries.
Do you have tips for women for a less stressful pregnancy?
I did study hypnobirthing to learn about a more natural approach to childbirth. It educates you a lot on what is and isn’t necessary during a delivery. It teaches you great relaxation techniques and meditation, and you get soundtracks to help you relax. It really helps with labor. I would play music for the baby while doing my relaxation techniques. One of the things I recommend for expecting moms and dads is to go see movies because that’s something they won’t do again. Going to the movies is something I miss a lot. My husband and I would go on date nights to the movies, but now with Tucker, it’s going to be a while until we see anything but a kid’s movie again. And before you get pregnant or at the very beginning of pregnancy, travel because you really won’t get to go anywhere, like Italy, for a while.
What’s the best or worst parenting advice you’ve ever received?
The best was from my mom, when I had my first child. I would get a lot of advice from different people, including strangers, and I was second-guessing things that I was doing. She said, “You have great instincts, you’re a wonderful mother, do what you feel is right.” And that was the best advice. The worst advice is putting rice cereal into milk to try to make kids sleep longer. It doesn’t work when they’re not ready, not when they’re under 4 months old. They keep you up all night screaming and yelling because their stomachs are not ready for it and it upsets them more.
Has there been anything challenging or surprising about raising three boys?
Not yet; it’s just the energy level. I grew up with all girls. I don’t have to worry about doing the boys’ hair, and they’re easily entertained in a mud puddle; they don’t sit and color like girls. They want to run and jump and splash and throw things, so you have a lot of Band-Aids around and a lot of ice packs, because they’re always getting banged and bruised.
What are some of the best things you’ve learned from motherhood? What are some things you think will be easier with Tucker, because you’ve already had two boys?
Something that I’ve learned is, you can never be completely prepared for any situation, and it’s amazing how far your instincts will take you. Just being able to handle a situation when it arises is pretty incredible, as a mother. I’ve learned that you never know what to expect. Every little thing changes so quickly, but at the same time, each milestone is so amazing.
Image: Melissa Joan Hart with newborn son Tucker, courtesy of Merck for Mothers, Once Upon a Birth
Add a Comment
Thursday, November 8th, 2012
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
If you were in show business, would you want your children to follow in your footsteps? Or would you discourage your children from the limelight of Hollywood with every ounce of your being?
Celebrity Baby Scoop checks out which celeb parents have encouraged their children to enter the wild world of fame and fortune, those that forbid it with all their might, and the ones that sit on the fence.
1. John Travolta
John Travolta has kept us entertained since the 70s in the huge hits Saturday Night Fever and Grease. And not to mention his triumphant career comeback in the 90s cult classic, Pulp Fiction. Prior to the tragic death of his son Jett, John appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and announced his daughter Ella’s debut in the big screen comedy, Old Dogs.
“Jett was young when he saw Look Who’s Talking, but he didn’t like it when I was kissing Kirstie Alley. But Ella took right to it right away. That’s why last year she said, ‘When am I going to do a movie with you?’ Little did she know, dad had a trick up his sleeve. She’s a natural performer,” John said. “She’s just like I was. I didn’t push it at all, because I knew that worked. My mother didn’t push me, either. We were just given our space to be whatever we wanted to be, and I decided that works better than any kind of pressure.” John added, “Unless they’re afraid they’re going to be rejected and they want to protect them. And I can imagine parents would fear that, but you can be rejected in any profession.”
2. Tom Cruise
Fellow Scientologist, Tom Cruise, agrees that show business is a great place for kids. Tom’s son Connor entered the family business (mom is Tom’s ex, Nicole Kidman) when he was 14 years old in Will Smith’s flick Seven Pounds. Perhaps one day Tom and Katie Holmes’ 6-year-old daughter Suri will follow in her big brother – and her divorced parents’ – footsteps.
When asked if he’d like Suri to enter showbiz, Tom said:
“I’d love it. Acting is work I love. I love to create life and give energy, create characters, and create stories.”
3. Will Smith
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are all-for their kids entering the family business. Both of their children – son Jaden, 14, and daughter Willow, 11 – have graced the big screen. Jaden costarred with his father in The Pursuit of Happyness, appeared alongside Keanu Reeves in The Day the Earth Stood Still, and in the remake of the Karate Kid. Willow made her acting debut alongside her papa in I Am Legend and later lit up the big screen in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.
So what does Will think of his kids entering the family business?
“She has a drive. She has an energy and she just connects to human emotion,” Will said of daughter Willow. “I think a big part was probably [seeing] Jaden after The Pursuit of Happyness. She saw what Jaden did, and she was like, ‘I want that,’” Will added. “Jaden is [like] Johnny Depp. He just wants to do good work . . . He loves acting, he just wants to make good movies,” Will said and joked, “and Willow is Paris Hilton. Willow wants to be on TV.”
Add a Comment
Alison Sweeney, Alyson Hannigan, brooke shields, Bruce Willis, candace cameron bure, celebrity babies, celebrity baby scoop, celebs, Jerry O'Connell, John Travolta, Melissa Joan Hart, tom cruise, will smith | Categories:
Monday, April 11th, 2011
Melissa Joan Hart, star of the ABC Family comedy Melissa and Joey, has teamed up with Kellogg’s to help share one million school breakfasts with the Share Your Breakfast Challenge. Simply upload or text (the word SHARE to 21534) a photo of your breakfast to the challenge from now until July and Kelloggs will donate a breakfast to a kid in need.
Hart and her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, live in Westport, CT, with their sons Mason, 5, and Brady, 3.
Parents: You work on the West Coast, but live in Connecticut. How do you balance work and parenting from across the country?
Melissa Joan Hart: First and foremost, I’m blessed to have a loving husband. Since the day (my sons) were born he’s taken a chunk of the workload. It has been hard on me to be so far away from my children for so much time. They left yesterday, and I won’t see them for two weeks, which is the longest I’ve been away from them. It’s a struggle inside of me.
My husband and I made the move to Connecticut two years ago and we thought a lot about it before we did it. We have a great home in a wonderful community. It’s great that they wake up in their own beds and can be around friends and family. The hard part wrap my head around is that I have kids I won’t be around. Here in California I work and get the hard stuff out of the way so when I get home it’s off time. Most parents have their day at work and home – I get that in weeks: One week is work, and one week is off. It’s not normal, but it’s becoming normal to us.
Why did you move to Westport, CT?
We decided when we had Brady that when Mason went to kindergarten we would move somewhere. I’m from Long Island and he’s from Alabama—we had community and wanted them to have that. We looked in a few cities…and fell in love with Connecticut. We went back the next year because it was a bad time in the housing market.
Do your boys watch your shows?
No, they know that mommy goes to work and I do a show. We watch a lot of the Disney Channel.
Why’d you partner with Kellogg’s?
I think it’s a great campaign they’ve got going on. Kellogg’s is teaming up with Action for Healthy Kids to give one million breakfasts to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have it. One in four kids in the United States is going to school hungry. As a mom that’s just unacceptable. You can’t tell when someone’s hungry necessarily, and how can children grow and learn when they’re hungry? We know this happens in other countries but it’s happening in the US too. It’s a simple thing we can do every morning.
What would we see if you took photos of your family’s breakfast?
My husband is from the South and likes to cook a big breakfast. There’s always eggs. Ricotta pancakes are a favorite thing to make. We usually have sausage and grits, and every once in a while we mix it up with oatmeal and cereal. A lot of the time my sons do cereal for themselves. It’s like we have our own buffet!
Add a Comment