Melissa Joan Hart talks about her pregnancy weight gain, fitness, and her boys in OK! Magazine

04/12/2008 at 04:38 PM ET

Mjh479Melissa Joan Hart is featured in OK! Magazine this week with her family, which includes husband Mark Wilkerson of Course of Nature and sons Mason Walter, 2, and Braydon ‘Brady’ Hart, 4 weeks.

The 31-year-old actress chats with OK! about why she practiced hypnobirthing, choosing Brady’s name, Mark as a father, differences in her pregnancies,  losing the baby weight, her next step career-wise, and more.

Click below for the photo and interview highlights.

On her decision to do a drug-free birth:

My friend Kellie Martin [who had her own natural birth] is the one who introduced me to the whole hypno-birthing idea. It is aspecial way of getting through a pregnancy without an epidural orinducing.

She hiked every day of her pregnancy, so we hiked FrymanCanyon together during my pregnancy. My friends were big inspirationsto me. I just kept thinking, "If she could do it, I can do it!"

I’mvery proud that I was able to get through it, but it was extremelydifficult. I’m not sure I’d want to do it again!

How she’s feeling since giving birth:

Myrecovery was so much better this time around. I did the birth drug-free,and I’m not sure if it is because I did it drug-free or because he wasmy second baby, but I am up and about much easier this time. Last timeI was unable to get out of bed for about eight weeks!

Both pregnancieswere traumatizing. I’ve just realized there is no way to bring a babyinto the world and have it not be a traumatic experience. After bothall I could say was “intense.” That is really the only word that sumsit up! It’s just a difficult thing to do.

Choosing Brady’s name:

With Mason, we were really decided. We were down to Mason and Desi, and then my good friend Jaime Presslynamed her child Dezi and we decided not to use it, even though she saidit was okay. So Mason it was.

With Brady, we had about six differentnames and then we’d throw another one into the rotation every couple ofweeks. It was finally a combination of Braedin, a name I loved, andBraylin, a football player Mark loved.

So Braydon it is, but we call himBrady.

On Mason and Brady:      

Ijust cried when Mason walked into the delivery room. The moment Bradywas born I was just dying for them to meet each other. It was so greatto say, “This is your brother!”

It was so wonderful for Brady tofinally be here and for Mason to finally understand all the things wehad been talking to him about. Now he’s a big brother and he gets it.


On all her boys:

I’mso in love — I had no idea I could love more and with Brady, I am ableto love even more. I have these three amazing boys in my life– sohandsome and fun!

On Mark:

Ihave this wonderful, handsome husband who is a really amazing father.My husband is a man’s man. I’ve never seen straight men have a mancrush the way they do on my husband. They will constantly say, “Willyou have your husband call me?”

He is up every morning at six withMason, makes breakfast, makes me breakfast for whenever I get up — thedogs are fed, the pots are clean. He really takes care of things. Inever expected to have this much help! 

Hewouldn’t read any of the daddy books or anything. I’m the oldest ofseven, he’s the youngest of three. And somehow, he picked it all upjust like that. He’s just so innate. Go figure!

More kids?:

Iwant to give these two some attention and some time. I would love morekids though — I’d love two little sisters for these guys. I want towait until my late thirties though. Mark would probably like to stop atthese two or maybe three, but I came from a big family so I would lovefour.

I’m not sure I want two more births though, so we may have toadopt at one point! I need some more time to forget this experiencethough. I think you just go, "Okay, this is going to be rough for about24 more hours and then I’ll be okay!"

On the differences in her pregnancies:

Therewere big differences. I think the only thing the two pregnancies had incommon is they took us completely by surprise!

First time around, I wasso scared by everything and was so inconvenienced. I didn’t really knowhow to picture a baby inside me. I only saw the outward things. I wasfat, I couldn’t move the way I wanted to, I had heartburn, my feethurt, it was very awkward. I was so scared and so I just laid in bedand ate a lot.

The second time, I was chasing a 2-year-old all over theplace, lifting 30 lb. Mason and carrying him around and I was workingand trying to hide it from the industry for the first trimester.Sucking it in and trying to eat really healthy so I didn’t gain toomuch in the first 20 weeks really made a difference this wholepregnancy.

The differences in her weight gain with each pregnancy:

Igained 20 less pounds — the first pregnancy I gained 55 pounds and thesecond pregnancy only 35 — and I knew what to expect a little bit more.We had all the gear already. We didn’t have to do any of that legworkthe second time around.

I also worked out all the way through thispregnancy. The first one, the only exercise I got was walking down toget myself a bagel around the corner! This time I did Pilates until thelast two weeks of my pregnancy.

On being anxious about gaining weight:

Iwas extremely nervous about the weight because I was due in the middleof pilot season and here I am trying to get a new show on the air. Iwas also doing this movie [Holiday in Handcuffs, ABC Family’shighest-rated original telecast ever] and truthfully, I have heard ofpeople being fired from projects before for getting pregnant and I wasreally worried.

It took about 10 months [to lose the weight with Mason]. It took me awhile since I got off to such a rough start. Ikicked it off with a two-week fast. And then having a young kid, youonly get to sit down and eat for so long so my portions just gotsmaller by default. You really have to eat quick!

Now, [with Brady,] I’m back in action — I’m ready to work. I can puton the Spanx. I’ve got 20 more pounds to lose, but I’m working hardtowards that and I’m not worried.


On her workout plan:

I’m creating a workout plan with my trainer, Mark Harari,at Pulse Fitness Studio. We’re trying to balance how much I hate cardiowith the things I enjoy a bit more! I really want to focus on muscletone. Last time I lost so much weight chasing after Mason, but I didn’thave any sort of definition.

It is all really a matter of being carefulwith breastfeeding as well — I need to make sure I’m eating enough andnot working out too much so I can still be h
ealthy enough to breastfeed.


Choosing to join the Fresh Mommy post-natal food delivery service:

Iwas really interested in the program because all of the meals arebalanced to give mommies what they need while they are breastfeeding. Ithink a lot of post-pregnancy diet plans are really focused on losingthe weight, but this keeps my first priority straight — being able tostay healthy enough to breastfeed my baby.

I have been eating a lot ofcupcakes and things though so I am a little nervous to make this switchto salads and healthy things! [laughs] The delivery comes once a day –three meals, three snacks and a small dessert — so everything is setfor the day. So far it has been really tasty and I’ve had severalfriends just rave about it.


On if Mason, who is almost as old as Melissa was when she started in entertainment, wanted to act:

I’dsay that’s fine, but I always want to stress education with them. Hewould need to finish high school and at least attempt college. Iwouldn’t want to be a hypocrite — [I dropped out of NYU before I finished my degree] — but I would want them to at least give theireducation a shot.

Melissa’s next step career-wise:

Mygoal is to have another show. I’d love to have a sitcom. That is thebest schedule in the business for a mom.

I think I’m a little spoiledafter producing my own show. After having a say in who gets cast, whatthe music is, what I wear, it would be hard not to have any input. Butif the right project came along, I would go with it.

I just want to dosomething really funny because there is nothing really funny on TVright now. Mark and I are still watching reruns of Seinfeld and Friends because we can’t find anything funny anymore. I love The New Adventures of Old Christine,but it looks like that might be gone soon. You’re not looking forwardto anything right now. There needs to be a renaissance on televisionand I’d love to be a part of it.

What I’ve really discovered about mycareer is that I have the greatest fans — people are constantly writingto ask when I’m going to do something again.


Source: OK! Magazine, April 21st issue

Photos by John Russo.

Mason wears Stride Rite’s Baby SuperBall Hook & Loop II in graphite/silver ($52).

FILED UNDER: Babies , Bodywatch , Celeb Style , Kids , News

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Showing 36 comments

Kaye on

I’m confused about the quote about Mason’s name….Jaime Pressly’s son was born, like, a year after Mason, no?

Cecilia on

I love Melissa’s forthcoming nature and outlook on things. I hope she gets the two little daughters she wants when she’s ready!

Ashley on

I love this family. All 4 are absolutely so adorable.

Starlet on

What a lovely interview! I hope she finds the right project for her and the boys are adorable, all 3 😉

The paperwork and emotions and things that can go wrong in adoption are pretty intense too, different than labor but can last months and years! Always worth it in the end though 🙂

marie on

I just love this family. My own boys are right around the same age as Melissa’s (just turned 3 last week and 5 months old) She hit the nail on the head with the word traumatizing for giving birth. I had a 4th degree tear with my oldest and was out of it for weeks like Melissa was. This time around I had a C-section and was up and going right after it. I wonder if she tore badly also? I have never heard her mention anything other then she had a hard birth. There have to be celebrities that have torn like that, but no one mentions it. Anways good luck to her!!

sage on

I Love MJH, I’m only 19 but I’ve watch her since clarissa explains it all and sabrina. I think she seems like a wonderful woman and mother. Congrats to her and having such love in her life.

Ans on

Good interview, but I’m really disappointed to read that she fasted for two weeks when she had Mason.
She’s a bit of a name-dropper too! Heh.
She looks fabulous in that last photo especially. Adorable boys!

Sarah on

Kaye, you’re right in that the timing is very off. Jaime wasn’t even pregnant yet when Mason was born. All I can think of is that since Melissa and Jaime are good buds, they likely talked about their choices for baby names and Melissa knew that Dezi was “her” (meaning Jaime’s) name for if she had a son, and asked her about the possibility of she and Mark using it instead, but then changed her mind.

I didn’t consider it name dropping, I think it’s pretty well know Kellie, Soleil, Melissa, Fred Savage etc are really good friends; they just happen to be people others know!

The fasting thing was odd and it must have been taken out of context because it makes no sense there. You can’t fast while you’re nursing, and she BFed him for 7 months so it must have been after that- between then and the 10 months it took her to lose the weight.

Very cute family and I love how down to earth and open Melissa is. Mark is a hottie and the boys are adorable.

Ericka on

What a great interview!! Cute family.

tink1217 on

great interview. I am sure she didn’t fast while breastfeeding. It was probably when she stopped! I took a look at that program…wow! EXPENSIVE!!! It is almost $2000 a month!!! No way I could ever afford that!! Melissa’s family is gorgeous!! I am sure she will have another!

Britmama on

Nice interview, but to all those pregnant women out there, I would say no one can totally prepare you for labour or motherhood.

People told me how much it would hurt etc. I did not worry too much, but was apprehensive.

I was 33 and had a great pregnancy and worked up till the week before.

I was too far dilated to have an epidural, which I was not keen on getting anyway. After going back to the hospital from labouring at home most of the day I had my child in two hours.

Childbirth and parenting is daunting but well worth it.

chrissy on

What a gorgeous family and what a cool chick! Nothing but the best for Melissa and her boys!

brannon on

I agree. i was SO prepared for an epidural. I am not ashamed to say I wanted as many drugs as they could give me and since I was induced, I thought – great, not a problem. Surprise. About a million complications later I had a vaginal birth, 4th degree tearing, an eventual episiotomy and ended up being rushed to surgery once he was finally born. And I did it all drug-free 😦 But guess what, i was up and about within a week and by month 2, the only thing keeping me from doing it again was the lack of sleep! Compared to that, labor was a breeze!

I like Brady – wonder why they didn’t name him that? (And you can’t really consider Kellie and Jaime name-dropping … I’ll reserve that label for when she starts getting advice from Angelina or Heidi 🙂

Erin on

What a gorgeous family! And Melissa is looking fantastic!! =)

terri on

Well it sounds as if the rough start that she got off to was the 2 week fast. The Fresh Mommy plan sounds much healthier!

crissy on

Oops! She said her good friend was Jaime Pressly but then she said there was nothing funny on tv right now. Earl is one of the most popular comedies on right now staring her good friend Jaime Pressly???

Irish Girl on

I really appreciate her honesty. I’m only 25 & have no kids (yet!) but I always looked at her postings throughout her pregnancy & thought how am I ever going to do that! Her confidence was daunting to me and as much as I want to (eventually) be a mother, perfectionist celebs who ‘breeze’ through pregnancy always made it sound too easy which I know it is not.

So thank you Melissa for sharing your body concerns, for being honest about how hard pregnancy and labour are and for letting me know it’s worth it in the end.

Stephanie on

I’m confused also about her saying that Jaime Pressley used “Dezi”….she wasn’t even pregnant when Mason was born – what if she never had a boy? But regardless, Melissa’s family is beautiful and I enjoyed the interview!

brooke on

Her boys are so cute, and they look so much like mark to me. I feel like I’m always reading about her though, she seems to always be in a magazine or interview lol. I remember after she had mason, reading an interview with mark and he said he wanted 2 kids or 3 at most, but that melissa wanted 3-4, so maybe they would compromise and have 3 which is right in the middle of 2 and 4 lol. I have a feeling in another 2yrs she will have a baby, I think a boy because ever since her pregnancy with mason before I knew it was a boy I always pictured her with all sons.

Gina on

Great interview what a beautiful family. Only thing that struck me was when she said that there is nothing funny on TV right now. Hello? The Office? Might not be a show like Friends but I think it’s hilarious!

Britmama on

I posted a comment, what happened?

Michelle on

Seriously – the quote about there being no funny programming was very confusing!

Maybe she doesn’t understand The Office or 30 Rock – I wouldn’t really be suprised.

brannon on

forgot to add — i agree that she probably just knew Jamie wanted to use that name if she someday had a baby boy. my friends all know my “boy and girl” name and would never dream of using them if they have babies first! Likewise, when I had my son one of my favorite names was out because my best friend has been planning on it all her life. she may never have a boy but I wouldn’t have used it even knowing that! i’m sure that’s what she was talking about.

Christina on

Yay! I am so happy to read about Melissa Joan Hart’s natural birth and dedication to breastfeeding. Priorities in the right place indeed! Good for you girl, and way to go for not opting for the traditional celeb route of scheduled section.

Dana on

I really enjoyed reading this part of the interview. My daughters are 2 years and 9 months apart and so much that she said was spot on. They seem like such a nice, down-to-earth family.

Gina on

To Kaye and Sara,

She was talking about the second child’s naming process. They had picked “Desi,” but that’s what Jaime Pressley named her son – Dezi, so they decided on Braydon “Brady” for their second son’s name.

jaQ on

aw, would love to see her in another tv show. 🙂
the quote about mason meeting brady made me teary. it’s such a magical moment, a once-in-a-lifetime thing… <3
having had two natural births myself (albeit unwilling, as they came too fast), i love hearing about other womens’ experiences.
a great interview!

Sarah on

Gina, she says she’s talking about Mason’s name though.

Komal on

nice looking Brady. I think her next baby which should be a girl will be after 2 yrs and 8 or 9 months which is abit more gap difference where mason and brady’s gap is 2 yrs and 2 months.

bette on

I love MJH, but this interview was a little strange. Fasting for TWO WEEKS? I am tired of hearing about Hollywood’s restrictions on the female body. Having lived in LA, I know too many girls who starve themselves to have the “it girl” look, even though they aren’t on TV or in movies. I think Melissa is better off working out and eating healthy, as she seems to be doing now. It seems like highly photographed (celebrity) moms drop the weight overnight. It’s nice to see reality, which is life after having a baby is hard on the body and the soul. I wish I had a husband as supportive as hers. He sounds amazing! As for her waiting to have two more in her late-30s, that doesn’t seem like a plan she should be public about—as my gynecologist told me a week ago, don’t plan on an easy road after 35. The reality is that it’s really hard to get pregnant on your own after that—it could take a year just to get pregnant! Multiple doctors have told me the same thing, that the media makes it seem like being an “older” mother is easy, but the reality is that it’s not. It’s not always the case, but people who wait too long honestly face expensive medical options or adoption. Melissa is probably one of the lucky few who can afford to do it, but knowing and seeing so many women waiting to have a first until their 30s or later, it’s kind of heartbreaking to know the US is sort of messed up in the way they treat women.

Sami on

Great interview. I feel the same way about giving birth… intense is the nice way to say it, but I definately felt traumatized. I had a fairly fast natural delivery that went pretty well and I still felt traumatized! I think I will get the epidural if I’m lucky enough to be blessed with another baby.

And brannon, to have an episiotomy and surgery w/o drugs? You must have an amazing pain threshold. I’m jealous!

daphne on

Having a drug-free birth is pretty amazing– I need to be looking into that myself. Kind of terrifying really, but why shouldn’t it be? So far I’ve managed to stave off prescriptions/drugs of any kind through the pregnancy, (with the help of vitamins and supplements of course)and why not extend that all the way through the end? Any one else with similar experiences wanna drop some advice on me?

I’m a bit creep out by the seemingly instantaneous weight-dropping celeb moms too, but MJH seems a bit more down to earth… Nice interview

Ralph Martigan, Jr Future Director/Writer on

It’s great that MJH is taking care of herself so well. I might be the only straight guy at this forum but that’s Ok, Am a loyal fan of MJH. I didn’t realize what a dramatic experience women have to go through when they have a baby.

What I mean is not just the birth but everthing they have to go through even before that day. I dont think a lot of men understant how lucky we men really are not to have to deal with all these things.

Sound like she has a great husband and am happy for her’ and her two little men.

God Bless Melissa.

Ralph Martigan, Jr Future Director/Writer on

It’s great that MJH is taking care of herself so well. I might be the only straight guy at this forum but that’s Ok, Am a loyal fan of MJH. I didn’t realize what a dramatic experience women have to go through when they have a baby.

What I mean is not just the birth but everthing they have to go through even before that day. I dont think a lot of men understant how lucky we men really are not to have to deal with all these things.

Sound like she has a great husband and am happy for her’ and her two little men.

God Bless Melissa.

Ralph Martigan, Jr Future Director/Writer on

It’s great that MJH is taking care of herself so well. I might be the only straight guy at this forum but that’s Ok, Am a loyal fan of MJH. I didn’t realize what a dramatic experience women have to go through when they have a baby.

What I mean is not just the birth but everthing they have to go through even before that day. I dont think a lot of men understant how lucky we men really are not to have to deal with all these things.

Sound like she has a great husband and am happy for her’ and her two little men.

God Bless Melissa.

Mary on

Yay for Melissa! She seems so down-to-earth. It’s a nice change. 🙂