Salma Hayek: A Better Mom, as an Older Mom

04/01/2009 at 06:00 PM ET


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.”

Source: WebMD

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Elle on

I just LOVE Salma! She’s such an intelligent, classy, caring and cultured woman. I hope she passes those traits down to her daughter! Ugh, I really do adore her lol.

Sanja on

That’s what a celebrity mother (or any mother) should be like, imo!

For the first time in very long I agree with everything a celebrity mother says about raising a child.

Colleen on

I really do like her! I can’t believe the comments and emotions people feel they have the right to express about her choosing to nurse her child for her first year of life. I WISH I was able to have nursed my child, but I was not able to. It is such a personal choice and none of anyones business. Good for her for being such an advocate for it.

Susan on

Love her honesty and total lack of pretense. Thanks to Salma for being a high-profile breastfeeding and nurturing parenting advocate – sounds like folks in Hollywood (and no doubt other places!) who would balk at a 1 y.o. nursing certainly need this kind of evidence-based and child-centered perspective.

gianna on

She has always seemed like a great woman, and now she seems like a wonderful mom. Valentina is gorgeous, just like her mother and will be just as classy and sweet as her I bet.

Chris on

I really like her approach to motherhood! She’s a class act.

Chris on

Also I wanted to say that Valentina looks like a female version Levi (Matthew Mcconaughey’s son)!

Still Life in South America on

I agree with Elle. Salma does seem classy, intelligent, and strong. I can’t wait to see Valentina grow up like her mother.

FC on

Pretty classy interview from an equally classy lady.🙂

Demetria on

It is wonderful that she breastfed. According to WHO it is the optimal nutrition for baby, but I am also thrilled that she used a doula and a midwife. She was thinking of her and her babies health from the start.

Lilly on

I don’t see the resemblance between her and Levi. The only things they share in common are the brown eyes and hair, and I suppose being mixed (Anglo + Latin American–though Salma’s also part Middle Eastern). I think she looks like her dad, but with Salma’s coloring.

merce369 on

Two naps?!??! :-))) i wish my daughter slept as much :)))
She sounds like a great mom and Valentina is really precious little girl.

Alice on

This very nice lady and great mother is not saying the whole truth. Getting pregnant was an accident. Don’t ask me how I know it, but I know for sure. After that, to make things look ok (I guess because of a certain conservative view), she and Mr Pinault got engaged. She wasn’t planning a baby. She didn’t want a baby (and that’s totally ok, of course, a perfectly good choice). But she loved it when it happened, that’s the truth, and she loves Valentina and is the most dedicated mother. Also, she and Mr Pinault, happily, have found love in each other, so the outcome is great. But in the first place it was an accident. A marvelous accident.

mj on

Demetria – “According to WHO it is the optimal nutrition for baby,?” ….The American Academy of Pediatrics…thats WHO.

Lauren on

WHO is the World Health Organization.

April on

MJ, I think you misunderstood. WHO is the World Heath Organization, Demetria wasn’t asking who said that.

I love Salma and was hoping she’d have a second child, but it doesn’t sound like she will.

brannon on

oh my goodness. did you ever consider that maybe she is looking down the road and doesn’t want her daughter thinking she was an accident? truth or no truth, it is her story and we need to respect that, not call her out. glad she and her family are so happy and doing what’s right for them.

kim on

in response to ‘Alice’ who posted earlier… i don’t actually think its ANY of your business whether this little girl was an accident or planned, and i very much doubt you ‘know for sure’ either way. She’s saying here that her and her husband made the decision to become parents and i have no reason to question that thats what they did. I think people need to know when to draw the line and keep their views to themselves….

Leah on

Ok- love Salma and her pro-breastfeeding agenda. However, I feel like this interview (and lots of other statements by older mothers) slams young moms. Just because I chose to have my children while in my 20s(and yes, both were planned!) doesn’t make any difference, I believe, in the type of parent I am. I know there are a ton of pros and cons towards being a mom in your 20’s 30’s & 40’s – but articles like this make it seem like anyone who had kids before late 30’s/early 40’s obviously wasn’t as good of a parent as they could have been in their 40s.

Personally, I’m loving that my life grows and changes with my children. I love that I will still be young and fit when they are grown and having their own kids.

Rose on

“However, I feel like this interview (and lots of other statements by older mothers) slams young moms.”

Salma’s statement says nothing about young mothers. She is only speaking of herself, and what kind of mother SHE would have been if she had a child earlier. I didn’t have children in my 20’s because I would not have been a good mother to them. Does that statement insult young mothers? Absolutely not, becuase I am only talking about myself. And Salma is only talking about herself. And until you make it to 30 or 40 or 50 you can’t possibly know whether you will be different then from now, maybe you will and maybe you won’t and either way is fine. Salma was not talking about you. She was only talking about herself.

And if you are secure in the knowledge that you are a good mother, then you won’t need someone else to validate your life by agreeing with you. It’s beyond me why so many people get up in arms when a celebrity doesn’t do/say something that is in exact accordance with how that poster chooses to lives their lives.

lizzielui on

I don’t get how anyone reading this could feel like this article is slamming young moms. Salma is talking about HER personal experiences, growth, and maturation and how ten years ago SHE (and she alone) would not have been ready to be a mother. It has nothing to do with anyone else and when they decided to start having children. Rather, she is talking about what was best for her. Maybe Salma wasn’t ready to be selfless and give up a part of her hectic career and schedule ten years ago to care for a child. Maybe she didn’t feel she was in a stable realtionship ten years ago that would have fostered a loving environment for a child. Maybe she still had a lists of other things she wanted to do with her life ten years ago that didn’t inlcude children. Who knows? Bottom line is, the decision to have a child later on in life was best for her and I think that is all she is really saying here. Everyone’s timeline is different and I believe she is speaking from personal experience. Her comments are not a reflection of anyone else’s decision on what time in their lives they should conceive one way or another.

amy on

suffering from gestacional diabetes usually means you are going to suffer from diabetes later in your life.
Poor salma, my sister in law suffer from it and it wasn’t nice at all.

Nikki on

I think Valentina is such a gorgeous little girl.

I can’t say a lot of positives in the way of Salma though, she seems a bit too opinionated, and I can completly understand why people take some of the things she says , or implies the wrong way.

I am not a young mother, but I am a mother, who bottle feeds and does not co-sleep, and every time I read something Salma has said or done, I start to feel as if she is sublty implying I’m (And a whole lot of other mothers) not doing the right thing by my child, it really does sometimes feel she is speaking down to those who do not parent the way she does.

Nina on

I am a young mom but feel no matter how old you are we are all united in having the hardest greatest job in the world! I don’t get why people take things so personally, having children older was what worked for her but doesn’t mean she thinks every mom has to take that path.
I think it’s the same for moms who work/stay at home, nurse/bottle feed etc…you must do what’s right for you!

Maria on

I love Salma Hayek and especially appreciate her attitude towards pregnancy and parenting. In regards to her comments about the timing of her pregnancy, I just want to say that when to become pregnant is a very personal decision. I was a young mother by choice. I wanted to have my children before the age of 30 and my youngest was born on my 31st birthday. But I know that some women need to accomplish other goals before having children. It’s all about what works for you as a women not what others determine for you.

Alicia on

To Kim: if it’s not my bussiness, why Mrs Hayek talk to press about it? I guess she speaks about it so we all can know. If she talks about it, she puts herself in a position where her statements can be discussed, as we do here. I don’t have to keep my views to myself, as well as you don’t. If we all stop sharing our views, there will be no “comments”.
And yes, sometimes you know for true things about one famous person without looking for it, just because you are in the right place and in the right moment and people sometimes are so open about things that you never imagine that it’s any secret in what they tell you.

Alicia on

One more thing: I don’t see any positive/negative thing in telling your kid it was planned/not planned. They just need to know the are so very much welcomed. I know a lot of “not planned” people who make jokes to their parents about that fact (my brother, for instance). Not trauma at all with this little and insustancial aspect of family life.

Sam on

Alicia, I know a lot of people who are accidents too and they also joke about. It’s not a big deal if your parents have two kids and then a surprise third one.

But I also know people who are only children, like Valentina, who were accidents, and they were VERY hurt upon finding out they were accidents. In their eyes, their parents hadn’t wanted to have any children at all.

I think there’s a big difference between not wanting ANY children and then having one and wanting three kids but ending up with four.

brandi on

i don’t see why people are getting so offended by salma’s statements. she’s talking about what she knows. if she became a young mother, she would talk about her experiences as a young mother.

Kelly on

I think people who feel offended about nursing and co-sleeping might be harboring a bit of insecurities about their own choices. Just because we choose to do it and think it’s the best thing since sliced bread (READ: OUR OPINION), that does not mean you’re doing wrong. Relax.

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