Laila Ali: Laundry Can Wait, Curtis Jr. Can't

08/24/2009 at 04:00 PM ET
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy Mom & Baby for use on CBB

There is a very good reason expectant parents are advised to sleep while they still can! Laila Ali cites the lack of shut-eye as the biggest challenge she faced after welcoming son Curtis Muhammad Jr., who turns 1 this week.

“I didn’t have any idea I was going to be as tired as I am,” the 31-year-old professional boxer and Dancing With the Stars alum tells the Fall 2009 issue of Fit Pregnancy. “I love to sleep, and I’m used to getting eight to 10 hours a night. Now, when I get five, I’m thrilled.”

The sleep deprivation has taken a toll. “I’m not on top of things like I normally am,” she admits. “I’ve got a pile of paperwork, messages to return and laundry that needs to be done.” Keeping the focus on Curtis Jr. helps, however.

“You just get to a point where you have to say, ‘This is going to have to wait. It’s just not that important.’ I could hire a full-time nanny and be able to take care of everything, but I’d rather be there for my son and let the laundry wait.”

When she does find herself in need of a break, Laila relies on a part-time nanny for a few hours a day, three days per week. “At some point I broke down and decided to get some help so I could at least go to the gym,” she explains.

Crediting boxing, running and some light weight training for her return to pre-baby form, Laila reveals, “as of now, I’m back in shape but I’d like to lose five or six more pounds.”

For other new moms ready to hit the gym, she advises “be consistent, and make it a priority.”

“Ideally, I like to get up early and work out. But now I exercise when I can fit it in. Sometimes that might be in the evening when I’m tired and don’t feel like working out, so I have to drag myself to the gym. And, occasionally, I just don’t make it.”

On those days, Laila says she is forgiving of herself. “I am not preparing for an [athletic] event,” she points out. “I’m a mommy first.”

Click below to read Laila’s thoughts on breastfeeding.

Providing Curtis Jr. with breastmilk was important to Laila, but so was getting husband Curtis Conway involved at mealtime. “My husband is very hands-on,” she notes, “and in order for him to help feed the baby, I decided to start pumping.” After one week of nursing Curtis Jr., Laila pumped a bottle of her breastmilk and baby boy never looked back! “As soon as he had a bottle, he wasn’t interested in breastfeeding anymore,” Laila shares. “I didn’t want Curtis Jr. to stop breastfeeding, and I missed that bonding time with him, but at the end of the day I was happy he was getting my milk.”

“At the six-month mark I pumped just in the morning and at night and, soon after, my milk dried up. I would have liked to continue pumping, but I’m not going to sit around and mope about it. As moms, we’re never really in charge. we just think we are.”

Thankful for her “very easy” baby, Laila says that she and Curtis Jr. are a package deal. “We have our playtime together when I let him crawl and play with his toys…He goes wherever I go,” she says. “I just pack him up and take him with me.” As for her what she would tell other new moms, Laila advises them to follow their instincts.

“When you ask other mothers for advice, everyone is going to tell you something different. Trust yourself and let the experience be uniquely your own.”

Source: Fit Pregnancy, Fall 2009 issue

— Missy

FILED UNDER: Babies , Bodywatch , News , Parenting

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Showing 21 comments

Crystal on

What a great article! I ♥ Laila Ali and baby Curtis is such a cutie!!! 🙂 I’m glad she didn’t beat herself up over not being able to nurse longer. The baby getting fed is the most important thing. Where he gets the milk from is extra!

Christa Bledsoe on

She sounds like a wonderful doting mother.

Elizabeth on

I just love that picture of Laila and Curtis, he is so tiny and precious. I remember seeing that photo in a magazine after he was born, I can’t believe thats already been a year ago.

SH on

well, if you pump only twice a day your milk will dry up! that doesn’t surprise me at all…

Charleen on

It sounds like her baby developed nipple confusion from having a bottle introduce too soon. Breastfeeding experts generally recommend waiting at least 6 weeks while to introduce a bottle so that breastfeeding can be fully established which greatly reduces the likelihood of nipple confusion.

Holly on

not everyone enjoys a baby attached to them 24/7. I am so tired of people sitting up on their high horse and spouting reasons why they “should have…” or “it’s because they didn’t…” Look, I don’t even have kids yet, but it seriously annoys me that so many woman are snobs about this kind of thing. Makes me happy to have just my kitties to look after and not get the stink-eye from other ladies for no good reason.

alice jane on

I love how in this very interview Laila makes the comment about trusting yourself and having your own experience with your kid as every mother will tell you something different, and here come the people talking about what she did wrong…

This was a great interview and I respect Laila a lot. On one hand I’d love to see what Curtis Jr. looks like now but on the other hand I like that she keeps him so private!

sat on

What a breath of fresh air! Congrats again to Laila Ali!

Louise on

Laila’s child looks well cared for and it sounds like he has lots of love, so for anyone to make any sort of negative or snarky comment (Charleen and SH) is incredibly petty and mean.

Shannon on

Charleen wasn’t being snarky at all! Simply stating a fact, perhaps to help out any other new moms who have decided to go ahead and nurse so they dont face the same problem that Laila did. It sounds to me like Laila was disappointed by not nursing anymore, and maybe she would have benefited from the same info. Jeez, ladies, lay off!!

Allison on

Holly- Very well said. My thoughts exactly!

Ruby on

Charleen has simply stated the facts Louise. No negativity, snarkiness, pettiness or meanness at all.

She is absolutely correct. If you want to exclusively breastfeed then you don’t introduce anything other than your breast for at least 6 weeks. Doing otherwise can cause nipple confusion and can derail your plans to breastfeed.

Louise on

Why comment at all? Laila has already said that she is not breast feeding any more. I get SO tired of people always having to point out what mothers are doing wrong, and I’m sorry, that is exactly what Charleen did.

pat on

Laila: Hire a laundress and enjoy your son!

Suffie on

Are you kidding? She commented to educate, not to tear down or say she did it wrong. Why is it so wrong for her to give advice anyways? I am sure at least one person will benefit from her advice.

When I had my son, I did not realise how difficult breast feeding was and it is that kind of advice that helped me alot.

Some babies do get nipple confusion, others don’t. Laila was right not to mope about it though.

SH on

Yeah, it sounds like some of you have to get over YOURSELVES a little bit! Not being “snarky” (whatever THAT means, I hate that word…) Overused blog word if you ask me.

Anyway, yeah, for people who want to breastfeed sucessfully (I’ve breastfed 4) not trying to be a know-it-all because NO ONE is, including myself…just saying that if she’s WONDERING WHY her milk dried up it’s PROBABLY BECAUSE she basically STOPPED breastfeeding – only pumped twice a day – and that’s when your milk will dry up because it’s a supply and demand sort of thing. If nobody’s eating the milk then it won’t come in anymore! What’s so SNARKY about that?!

ert on

It’s sad that she didn’t get some good advice about how to go about breastfeeding successfully. There’s nothing ‘snarky’ about that!

Joy on

What a sweet child he is! And so fortunate to have such a loving mom. She really has her priorities straight. I love this mom! You go, girl! I know what she means by breast feeding. After my last child was born, I had complications following my C Section. After just one week of breast feeding, I had to give him formula. But that’s ok… He’s fine..

Alex on

Sounds like a very happy family.

M on

People on this website… all I got from SH and Charlene’s posts is that they were giving some educational info and not attacking anyone. Someone might have learned something from what they said after all we are here tolearn from each other.

Oh my! on