Salma Hayek: A Better Mom, as an Older Mom
In the April/May issue of WebMD magazine, Salma Hayek opens up about her pregnancy with daughter Valentina Paloma, 18-months. Baby girl wasn’t entirely a surprise — Salma and then-fiancé (and now husband!) François-Henri Pinault were trying to become parents — but Salma was surprised they were able to conceive naturally. “I thought I was going to need help getting pregnant, and I didn’t,” she admits. That said, the 42-year-old actress harbors no regrets about tackling motherhood for the first time in her 40s.
“I’m a more fulfilled human being now, and I probably wouldn’t have been 10 years ago. She gets a better mother for being born now.”
Salma isn’t ruling out the possibility of having another child, even though her pregnancy with Valentina was far from uncomplicated. “I was nauseous for the whole nine months, and the only thing I craved was fruit — cold mango, watermelon,” she reveals. Actor Paul Bettany — husband of actress Jennifer Connelly — suggested that Salma could suffer from gestational diabetes, after overhearing her fret about “getting so big.” His instincts were right! “I thought, ‘What does he know?'” she admits, but after discussing the concerns with a midwife and doula she was eventually diagnosed with the disorder.
Still, Salma says that she doesn’t need another child to feel complete. “I feel that I’ve done enough things in life where I can appreciate the time I spend with her as my No. 1 priority and not feel I’m missing out on something…I feel I’m a lot more patient,” she explains. “I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.”
Click below to read about a typical day for Salma and Valentina.
Salma is in no hurry to reclaim her pre-baby schedule of making back-to-back films, and the film choices she has made as a mother differ drastically from those she would have chosen beforehand. She even canceled a movie she’d previously committed to, noting that she doesn’t have “the guts to do something violent or dark.” Admitting she’s “not there,” Salma adds, “Maybe I’ll change my mind later, but right now, I want easy movies that I can take my child along to…I want uplifting movies for the world.”
Salma — who weaned Valentina shortly before her first birthday after deciding baby girl “was ready” — laughs now about suggesting to the Times Online that she was “addicted to breastfeeding.” While she may have exaggerated her emotions, Salma still feels quite strongly about the response by some to her statement…as well as their response to her decision to nurse.
“An actress I knew said, ‘You’re still breastfeeding? You’re crazy!’ Valentina wasn’t even one yet, and she was like, ‘Why would you do that? That’s for India!’ I was shocked at the level of ignorance. The best thing you can ever do for your child in your lifetime is to breastfeed.”
For now, mother and daughter spend most of their time together — even when Salma is working. “I stay home a lot with her, and feed her and bathe with her,” she says. “That’s relaxing.” As it does for almost all parents, having a baby really has changed everything.
“Yesterday I started watching a movie during her first nap, and finished it during her second nap. I wait until she’s asleep and I sneak one in. That’s how I watch a movie these days.”