Kelly Rutherford Talks Cleaning Green With CBB

03/20/2009 at 08:00 AM ET
Diane Bondareff/Startraks

Currently expecting her second child, Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford has kept busy throughout her pregnancy, filming the hit show in NYC while caring for son Hermés Gustaf Daniel, 2.

On Wednesday, the actress took time out to sit on Seventh Generation‘s healthy home panel, which launched Health eHome, a partnership between WebMD, Healthy Child Healthy World and Seventh Generation. The website lets families see the potential dangers and hazards in every room in their house while offering safer alternatives with quick bites of info and videos.

CBB had the chance to speak to Kelly, 40, after the presentation. Pregnant with a daughter due in June, Kelly wanted to keep the baby’s name private, but chatted with us about cleaning with Hermés, nursing and the work/home balance.

You’re here today with Seventh Generation to discuss keeping families safe from toxic cleaning products, an important part of March’s Poison Control Month. As mom to a 2-year-old son and with a daughter on the way in June, why is this important to you?

I discovered [Seventh Generation] products a long time ago — maybe 10-15 years — because I’m very sensitive to smells. I [was] very sensitive to the products my mother used around the house. For me, it was heaven to find products that are biodegradable. They’re not bad for you, and also not bad for the future of your kids and the environment. It’s such a huge concern for all of us.

Being a mom, I love being able to … [get all my cleaning] done and get on with my day. [Hermés] loves to help clean — kids love to do whatever you do. He sees me spraying things and I like the Swiffer, so we do a lot of Swiffering. He loves to help me and I never fear that if he goes under the sink, he’s going to [get sick from chemicals in cleaning products].

It’s such a comfort as a mom to know that he can help me clean everything and he’s fine. Especially being pregnant, you’re wondering ‘What am I around?’ It’s nice to know that when you’re home, at least within your reach, you can do what you can to protect your kids.

Diane Bondareff/Startraks

Last December, you revealed that you are still nursing Hermés at age two and plan to nurse your daughter when she arrives. CBB readers Ruth and N.S. wanted to know more about this. Can you share your thoughts?

I believe you should breastfeed as long as it’s right for you and your child — if that’s three months, six months, three years — that’s your business, and between you and your child. It can only be beneficial whether it’s nutritional or nurturing — you shouldn’t be limited by what other people’s opinions are.

If you’re lucky enough to have the time and energy to do, why not? It’s an incredible bond with your child and it improves their immune system.

[However,] I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t do it because it’s very difficult to do, especially in the beginning. For me, the people I had talked to when I got pregnant all believed in nursing, but it took me forever to be able to do it.

I called [lactation consultant] Cynthia Epps, this wonderful woman with a company called MotherWork. She came in and was a godsend for me.

It also depends on your lifestyle. If you have to go back to the office, you’re going to have to pump, and you may have to stop breastfeeding and use formula. For me, we were traveling a lot and on airplanes and found [nursing] very helpful.

It’s not for everyone, but I believe in it 100 percent for as long as you can do it; as long as it feels right for you and your child. And I am still nursing! It’s not the same — nursing a 3-month-old [versus] a 2-year-old — very different!

Diane Bondareff/Startraks

With Gossip Girl now a bona fide hit, you’re spending long days filming in New York City. CBB readers Lauren, Colleen and Nancy wanted to know how you’re able to balance being a mom with the time commitment the show requires.

I don’t think it matters what you do for your work. My job is no different than anyone else’s other than it happens to be a little more public. I still go to work, I still have to pay the bills and do my thing. I try to be at home as much as I can, which Gossip Girl really allows.

I just focus on the priorities — I focus on my kids. The work will come and go, everything else may come and go in life, but I waited a long time to have my son. He is my primary focus. He’s rocked my world in terms of how I look at the environment, how I look at my work … He puts everything in perspective for me.

Diane Bondareff/Startraks

Staggering poisoning statistics:

  • Nearly ten percent (8.7%) of all calls to the U.S. Poison Control Centers involve toxic exposure to household cleaners (American Association of Poison Control Centers).
  • More than 50% of the poison exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers affect children younger than six years (American Association of Poison Control Centers). Exposures in this group commonly involve cosmetics and personal care products, cleaning substances, pain relievers, topical medications, foreign bodies, cough and cold preparations, and plants.
  • Seventy percent of parents with kids under six years old store their household cleaning products/solutions under the sink (survey commissioned by Seventh Generation).
  • Thirty-three percent of people think that the kitchen is potentially the most harmful to children. Sixteen percent do not believe that any room in their home is harmful to children (survey commissioned by Seventh Generation).

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Jane on

Very cool and interesting interview! I like the she supports enviromentally friendly products!

Sanja on

Yay for extended nursing! I agree with her it’s not for everyone, but it’s great to have someone famous talk about it.

And for one I’m glad she didn’t reveal the babies name. For me that’s half the surprise of getting a birth announcement (with finding out the sex). I like knowing with babies I’ll meet in real life, but not with celebrity’s births where it can take months to get a photo.

UggaMugga.com on

I’m a huge supporter for natural cleaning products for our health, our children’s health, and the environment. I’d listed a lot of different options in my blog…from those you can make yourself to those that are ready for purchase…there’s truly a natural alternative for everyone!

Samantha on

Kelly is one of my favorite celebrity moms right now. I also let my toddler clean with me using vinegar and baking soda. I’m tandem nursing my toddler and infant and I love how Kelly is talking about breastfeeding and healthy living.

L on

I didnt think you could breastfeed during pregnancy. My OB said if i wanted to get pregnant again that i needed to stop breastfeeding my 15 month old son. How is she gonna breast feed both of them? I breastfed my 2 1/2 year old for 15 months and it killed me to stop but i thought it was time. He was getting too big. I cant imagine still breastfeeding my toddler, a little weird. I now have a 4 month old and can do it all over again🙂

Megan on

“I never fear that if he goes under the sink, he’s going to [get sick from chemicals in cleaning products].”

Regardless of those being green cleaners, her little boy should NEVER be under the sink with cleaning products. Hopefully she has those child proof pieces on her sink and cabinets.

Linzie on

Megan: I think what she was saying was that IF he gets under the sink he’d be OK. 2 year olds can be quick and intelligent, which can equal them getting into things that they shouldn’t; even things that are childproofed.

I’m so glad to see someone famous talking about extended (sustained) nursing and tandem nursing! What a wonderful choice for her, Hermes, and her daughter!

jaQ on

great interview! thank you for the positive words on extended nursing, kelly! my daughter turns 3 in 18 days, and we are nursing away, and soooo proud. most of the rest of the world is pretty disgusted, though. it’s lovely to hear someone high profile supporting what’s best for a family!

kat on

okay… I love her now… liked her before… but to hear her talk EXACTLY how I feel about breastfeeding just makes me love her.

I nursed my first until he weaned himself (in 3 days) at 1yr… my milk never came in with my second son, and then with my daughter, the meds I’m on for the bipolar disorder that was discovered when I suffered ppd from the guilt of not nursing my second son made it not possible for me to nurse my daughter (other meds that would have been safe didn’t work for me… and I knew I needed to be the best mom I could, which meant taking my meds).

I would have loved to nurse them all and nurse each of them much longer, but I no longer feel guilty about it… they are each happy and wonderful kids, all healthy, and that’s what matters in the long run.

I admire and encourage women to nurse as long as they and their children are happy to do so, but I think it’s just awful when women who have to or choose to bottlefeed are discriminated against because they happen to be doing that instead of nursing.

Georgia41 on

Why does a child of almost 3 need to be breastfed?? Aren’t they getting all their nutrients from table food?? I’m sorry, but I find it very odd when women make that choice……..

CelebBabyLover on

L- Breastfeeding CAN decrease your chances of getting pregnant again, but it’s also not a reliable form of birth control. As for breastfeeding during pregnancy, usually the only negative is that, near the end of the pregnancy, the milk switches back to colostrum in preperation for the new baby’s arrival, and some toddlers don’t like the taste of it so they self-wean.

lnatt on

L,

You absolutely can breastfeed while pregnant – I’ve done it and easily have a dozen friends who have as well. The only contraindication would be if you are at high risk for preterm labor (basically, if you are told to abstain from sex, you should abstain from nursing as well. Both release oxytocin and could potentially overstimulate your uterus and bring on contractions.) Otherwise, there is no reason you cannot nurse throughout a pregnancy. Some toddlers wean during this time, as mom’s milk may change/decrease, typically around 4-5 months. Others, though, go on to “tandem” nurse, i.e. continue nursing even after mom gives birth and is nursing the newborn, too. Tandem nursing can be challenging but it’s not dangerous or unhealthy in any way and many moms find that it helps the older sibling make the transition a little more easily. “Mothering Your Nursing Toddler” is a fabulous book with more info about this and other aspects of “extended” (it’s not really extended!) breastfeeding.

Kirsten on

Great interview, I didn’t know you could breastfeed while pregnant as well. More power to ya girl…

lnatt on

L,

You absolutely can breastfeed while pregnant – I’ve done it and easily have a dozen friends who have as well. The only contraindication would be if you are at high risk for preterm labor (basically, if you are told to abstain from sex, you should abstain from nursing as well. Both release oxytocin and could potentially overstimulate your uterus and bring on contractions.) Otherwise, there is no reason you cannot nurse throughout a pregnancy. Some toddlers wean during this time, as mom’s milk may change/decrease, typically around 4-5 months. Others, though, go on to “tandem” nurse, i.e. continue nursing even after mom gives birth and is nursing the newborn, too. Tandem nursing can be challenging but it’s not dangerous or unhealthy in any way and many moms find that it helps the older sibling make the transition a little more easily. “Mothering Your Nursing Toddler” is a fabulous book with more info about this and other aspects of “extended” (it’s not really extended!) breastfeeding.
Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

Cindy on

kat,
I have bipolar disorder too and I wanted to say how happy I am for you that you have let go of your (not) nursing guilt. When I became pregnant, I knew immediately that I would choose medication over nursing if I had to make that choice. (I didn’t have to because my docs and I researched my meds and they are okay with breastfeeding.) You are absolutely correct that a healthy, happy mommy is more important for your baby than anything else. And that is true whether you have medication issues or not. I like Kelly’s attitude too. I wish all moms could have this attitude.

g!na on

Well i was breast fed until i was 2 1/2 yrs old. My mom was pregnant with my twin sisters and i refused to stop breast feeding! So my mom talked to the doctor and he said let me continue feeding because the milk will change when the babies are born and i will not like the taste! It worked! the twins were born and i disliked the milk! I went to drinking regular milk out of a cup! This was back in 1972! So continue brest feedng your toddler if your pregnant! Once the new baby is born they will self-ween themselves!

Autumn on

Wow that’s great that Kelly is still nursing her son part time, even when he’s two. Now that makes the fact that her ex was fighing for custody of their son and preventing the boy from seeing his mother, even more tragic! I hope things are going better for her in that department as well.

CelebBabyLover on

Uh, g!na, that isn’t always the case. Another poster on here mentioned tanduem nursing her toddler and newborn, and I’ve heard other women talk about having done the same.

emmacs on

I love her on gossip girl!!!

stacey on

swiffers have lots of chemicals in them, if a dog licks where the swiffer cleaned, it can get sick. Maybe the same thing goes for little kids?

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