Coco Austin Explains Her Small Baby Bump: People Have Been ‘Picking Me Apart’

11/25/2015 at 09:00 PM ET

Nicole “Coco” Austin is ready for motherhood.

“I can’t say how much I loved being pregnant, and I’m still pregnant,” Austin tells PEOPLE.

“I joke that, I never thought I would feel this way because me being into fitness my whole life, I didn’t know how my body was going to react. I was feeling like, ‘Oh man, how am I going to like blowing up like a whale and not liking my body?’ ”

But Austin — who is set to welcome her first child, daughter Chanel Nicole, with husband Ice-T in the next few weeks — says, “it’s just so opposite.”

“When you become pregnant you totally honor the fact that you’re pregnant and you love the bump, and you love the feeling of something growing inside of you. You could care less about your body,” she explains. “I say to this day, I could be pregnant for the rest of my life. Believe it or not.”

Coco Austin pregnancy interview
Getty

And the model and TV host, 36, shares she’s had a pretty smooth pregnancy.

“I haven’t gone through anything major. I didn’t get morning sickness and no nauseated feeling,” she says.

As for cravings, Austin has “craved the healthy stuff” like fruit, especially watermelon.

“It wasn’t until recently where I’ve started getting more of a sweet tooth,” she admits. “Which is odd for me because I don’t really like sweets all that much.”

She adds, “I might have a bite or two of ice cream every now and then, but I’m really not into sweets. Now, every single night I want something sweet in my mouth.”

The mama-to-be’s go-to? Frozen yogurt. “That’s on the top of my list,” Austin, who adds ice cream is another favorite, says. “I guess that’s still healthy and I like little mini muffins — strange things like that — [and] cookies!”

But even with her sudden sweet tooth, Austin says her husband hasn’t had to go out on any craving-runs for her.

“I think if you ask him, I’ve been a pretty awesome pregnant woman around him,” she says. “I haven’t had any new problems since I’ve been [pregnant].”

She adds: “I’ve been a little bit more sensitive. Like when I watch something on TV, I start crying and I’ve never done that before.”

As for what kind of parents the pair will be, Austin admits, “I think I’m going to be the hardcore one.”

“I’m going to be very protective. I think he’s going to be the cool parent, believe it or not, because he’s like that already with his kids,” she explains. “He wants to be their friend and be cool. I’m more like the ‘put your foot down and be a parent type.’ ”

Still, Austin says, the rapper turned actor and TV host will be a very hands-on dad.

“I believe since his children didn’t really live in the same house as him because the parents were separated [and] this is the first time they’ll actually live in the same house, he’ll be putting the father-ness on her,” Austin says of Ice-T, who’s already dad to Tracy and Letesha, his two adult children from a previous relationship.

But one aspect of parenting Austin doesn’t mind if the SVU: Law & Order actor does or not? Diaper duty.

“I have OCD. I love cleaning so I’m not even planning on him having to change one diaper,” she explains. “That’s not even a big issue to me. As a matter of fact, since I’m OCD I’ll probably be changing the diaper more than I should.”

And the mommy-to-be has been busy preparing the couple’s home for their baby girl‘s arrival.

“We know she’s going to be in our room for the first year [so] we’ve got a bassinet for her right next to [our] bed,” Austin says. “But we’re not really putting her nursery together until she’s older.”

She adds: “We definitely want her by us and … we have one guest room, and a lot of family stay with us, so we’re not turning our guest room into her room until the last minute.”

Not-to-mention, “she’s got all kinds of toys around the whole house,” Austin shares. “She doesn’t really need her toys in a room, the toys will be spread everywhere.”

But Austin says, that she’s already completed one very essential part of Chanel’s nursery: her closet.

“I feel like that was the most important thing, to have her closet set up [and] to have her shoes in order because she’s a shoe freak already,” Austin jokes with a laugh. “She has a vast collection of shoes. It’s pretty amazing.”

“I just think Mom has a nice closet, why not Chanel have a nice closet?” Austin explains. “She’s already got her little ready-made heels [to be] walked out the hospital with.”

“People get on me because I’ve posted [about them] before — they’re called Pee Wee Pumps — and they’re little heels for babies. People are like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you would put that on your child.’ ”

But rest assured, Austin explains, “they’re socks that look like heels.”

“They’re not actually shoes and it’s more for [the] funniness,” she says with a laugh.

Along with a ready-to-go closet, Austin says she and Ice-T came up with baby Chanel’s name 10 years ago.

“Ice wanted to name her ‘Little Coco’ because that’s what he did for his son ‘Little Ice’ and I was like, ‘No. I don’t want to do that because I want her to have her own identity,’ ” she explains. “I don’t want people to look at her and go, ‘Okay, you have to be like your mom because the names are the same.’ I just don’t believe in that.”

She continues: “He understood that [and] he suggested Chanel. He was like, ‘Like Coco Chanel so it’s not Coco, but it’s close to Coco.’ Then her middle name can be Nicole, which is my real name.”

“So really it’s from the origin of my real name, but it’s not blatantly in your face. We love Chanel, it’s a beautiful name.”

Here's another 9 month baby bump pic! I'm really glad about all the choices I've made so far while pregnant.. I've eaten really heathly.. A lot of watermelon and frozen yogurt! I've only gained 10 pounds but was fit before pregnancy.. tight abs proved to keep my tummy from getting super big even though I really didn't care how big I got I was totally ready for this rollercoaster ride even if I gained 100 pounds I was mentally ready. Yoga, Pilates & walking on treadmill were great during this time because its not strenuous. Chanel is the average weight for a girl at #36weeks estimating somewhere in the 5 pound range and still have 4 weeks to go!.. If you'd like to follow my journey go to my baby blog www.thecocoblog.com that I just started..

A photo posted by Coco (@coco) on

But Austin jokes that the couple “might be making a little monster.”

“She [has] a designer name and we’re giving her designer things so I don’t want to turn her into a bratty child,” Austin says. “I’m going to constantly put in her head that you’re living the nice life [and] there’s some people that don’t live the nice life — [I’ll] have to explain it to her as she goes.”

Austin also already has a plan on how she’ll introduce her beloved dogs — Spartacus and Maximus — to the new addition.

“When I’m in the hospital, I’m going to give Ice a blanket or hat,” the mommy-to-be explains. “So they smell the baby before the baby comes home.”

Once Chanel is home, Austin believes her two English bulldogs are “going to be little protectors.”

“The only thing I might be concerned about is my small one,” she says. “[Maximus] is still a puppy and he likes to jump so I just have to teach him not to jump, [but] I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal.”

“For the most part, they’re always around my family who has a lot of kids, so they’re always around kids anyway.”

And Austin admits that trying to balance work while also preparing for motherhood has “actually been a little hard.”

“I thought as soon as people thought that I was pregnant, people wouldn’t really want to ask me for particular jobs because they mainly use me — and I hate to say [it] — for my body,” she explains. “I thought, well I’m going to give it a break and really step in a hole for four or five months, but that’s completely the opposite.”

Austin adds: “Everybody wants to see the bump so my work level went up instead of down. I was trying to take a chill pill for a while, but there’s so many people that want to hire you for something because they want to see you pregnant or they want to do something pregnancy-wise with you.”

But Austin says she’s “all for it because [she’s] documenting this process with Chanel” on her new baby blog as well.

As for everyone’s reaction to the size of her baby bump, she says, “It just boggles my mind.”

Austin — who had to keep the baby news under wraps for five months so the couple could reveal they were expecting on their talk show Ice and Coco — says the announcement “was perfect timing, but then everybody started picking me apart.”

“They were putting me under a microscope and then the comments started flowing,” she shares. ” ‘How is it possible she doesn’t have a bump at six months? How doesn’t she have a bump at seven months?’ It was like I was constantly defending my bump because here I was second-guessing it too.”

“I ran to my doctor … asking her, ‘Is this a problem?’ And she was like, ‘No. If you’re an athlete and if you have strong abs — and if you’ve been an athlete especially your whole life — it takes longer for your abs to expand,’ ” Austin explains. “I didn’t know this.”

“So, I was like, ‘Oh, that makes sense if you already have loose stomach muscles, it’s going to pop out faster as opposed to strong stomach muscles,’ ” Austin, who adds she comes “from a background of fitness competitions [and has] been in fitness [her] whole life,” says. “It’s just taking longer for my bump to expand.”

But one comment Austin says she wasn’t too happy about was that she had a surrogate.

“I’m going through pregnancy in my own way and I’m carrying small,” Austin says. “I’m carrying the way my body wants to carry it and I’m not using anybody else … So I got irritated — and I think that was the reason why I took a picture of myself when I finally had a little bump in a bikini.”

She adds: “I was offended for a while because I felt like I had something to prove, but now I don’t have anything to prove because literally the night eight months came, I went to sleep and I woke up with a bump.”

“That’s how fast it happened. It didn’t happen over a certain period of time. It literally happened over night and I couldn’t believe it.”

And Austin says she’s “so excited” for her baby bump.

“It’s not like I didn’t want it,” she shares. “It’s not like I was trying to do sit-ups or something to get rid of the bump — I mean I knew I was pregnant. I just wanted it to happen naturally and finally it did.”

“So I cherish it every single day. I say this in a funny way that I feel like I got gypped a little though because I’ve been wanting to feel a bump for a long time [and] I got it at the end.”

As for fitness during her pregnancy, Austin says, she strictly walks on the treadmill.

“I was doing yoga in the beginning and the doctor said to be careful of my activity because she’s already sitting very low, and they didn’t want to promote labor,” she explains. “So they said to be very careful on the activity [I] do. Well, when they told me that, I went to no fitness.”

“I stopped my weight-lifting, which I’ve been missing because that’s what I was always into … but I had to put that aside, which I’m okay with.”

And Austin, who says she typically wears tight outfits, has opted for a different pregnancy style.

“My go-to clothes are leggings and a flowy top,” Austin, who adds she hasn’t worn any maternity clothes, shares. “A lot of people like to promote the bump and they wear really tight clothes, but I haven’t been wanting to wear tight clothes.”

“This is the one time in my life where I don’t need to wear tight [clothing],” she explains. “I do it on a regular basis, that’s who Coco is … [so] I’ve worn clothes that are extra big over my bump … it’s so opposite of what I traditionally wear and … I’m totally into it!”

And even though Austin is enjoying every moment of her pregnancy, she admits she’s looking forward to this “chapter in [her] life” and finally becoming a mom.

“I think it’s time. I think I’m in that stage in my life where I need this,” she shares. “I’ve done everything in my life pretty much career-wise and … I’ve been in a happy marriage for 15 years. It feels really, really good.”

“We planned it. We organized it out,” she adds. “A lot of people don’t plan families, Ice and I planned it, and it’s time for me to make this big jump.”

“I can’t wait to have a little character running around the house. It’s just meant to be.”

— Mariah Haas

FILED UNDER: Coco Austin , Exclusive , Maternity , News

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Showing 35 comments

guest on

She hasn’t been wearing tight clothes? I’d hate to see what she considers tight because all she’s wearing are tight (or no) clothes.

Anonymous on

I used to find her annoying but she’s starting to grow on me little by little… I do think that people need to lay off pregnant women… So what if she didn’t gain 70 lbs. with her pregnancy… You can look at her and tell that’s she’s clearly not anorexic… People really need to stop body shaming pregnant women I general…

lunaticlarry on

Yay! I can’t wait! They’ve planned this for a long time and from what I’ve seen (on their former reality show), I think they’ll be great parents.

Common on

I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW LONG THIS ARTICLE IS!

Ne on

Lol! Long article and I don’t believe for one second that she’s always been into fitness.

Ashleigh on

I don’t know what to make of this. Even at 36 weeks the amniotic fluid itself makes your stomach way bigger, its not from muscle tone either. The belly looks fake and she said I loved being pregnant, I’m still pregnant makes the weird fake belly seem true. Probably got a surrogate but didn’t want people to look down on her so she faked the bump.

nolanite on

I was overweight when I got pregnant and I developed gestational diabetes. Because of the strict diet I had to follow, I actually lost weight during my pregnancy and 2 months after he was born most of my swelling was gone, so some people barely recognized me. The baby gained weight appropriately and was perfectly healthy at birth. I had a lovely, large bump! You may not know why someone is showing the way they are, so don’t just assume mother and baby aren’t healthy.

Marsha on

Wow – I guess if you have really strong stomach muscles, the whole thing stays “in” more…I will NEVER experience that. My doctor told me I have absolutely “no muscle definition” in my belly…my bad😉 Glad Coco shared with us – sounds like she’s doing all the right stuff and all the best to her!

Awwshucks on

If you don’t want a degree of backlash don’t post photos that create it!

Nardia on

Aww that’s very long article lol.

Kim on

I have never liked her but she looks better pregnant. I dont find her attractive at all and the fake boobs and huge fake butt are so over the top. The baby belly suits her and makes her other features a little more normal.

Meg on

Not everyone gets huge, I gained 20 lbs my entire pregnancy which is not common but it does happen. I swear, either people are bashing a celebrity for gaining too much weight when their pregnant or accusing them of faking it. Always find a reason to pass your rude judgements.

Karla on

She could wear some looser clothes during her pregnancy, it probably more comfortable for her pregnancy.

gargantuan on

1., She i not an athlete
2. She has no guarantee the dad will live in the same house
3. Coco isn’t her real name, so we assume the kid will change HER name too
4. Fake hair and gross breasts. Fake lips and fake nails
5. IQ barely three digits
6. Elderly husband.
7. Poor baby!

tippy on

This article was long ass

Olly on

The size of your belly during pregnancy has nothing to see with the fact that you were or were not an athlete.
Wow she has already planned and figured it out every little detail!

just my thoughts on

You can never change a diaper too much, even if my kids peed or worse right when I was changing them, I instantly changed them again. This also helps with potty training early as the child learns when they go (from always keeping their diapers clean) ,and therefore is more aware of being clean and even understands when they pee.
Plus babies don’t deserve to have lazy moms who barely change them, loads of germs, rashes, and even infection and pain can come from that

Lish on

People calling her pregnancy fake because she isn’t huge? Try a biology class. The appearance of the stomach depends heavily on how the baby is positioned. If the baby is “sitting up” and their spine os parallel to her spine, her stomach won’t protrude out as much than if the baby was turned more perpendicular to her spine.

Anonymous on

I am proud of Coco. I too was 32 weeks pregnant and wore the same clothes. I deceive red at 36 weeks and only gain 19 pounds d still worse a size 34 clothes. Now mind you I had an 8lb 8oz baby that was 21 inches long. Do the math I was all baby. Because a person does not blow up and gain 50 lbs a person should not shame them. Being pregnant is stressful enough let a lone having. I,lions call you a liar. WTG Coco for being healthy.

Ally on

The recommended pregnancy weight gain for someone of a normal starting weight is 25-35 lbs, so seems like she’s right on track. Who cares what she looks like, she’s eating healthy, getting a safe amount of exercise, and the baby appears healthy! That’s way better for both mom and baby than when a mom eats her face off and gains 60 lbs!

crystine on

When your boobs and a”s are that large of course your belly looks tiny.
She is 36??? Really?
Why would someone have 12 pairs of white shoes and they look exactly the same? And the lastthing…what a looooong article!

stacey on

only wish i could have looked that great when i was pregnant. or now for that matter :> dont listen to the haters. enjoy. congrats

ACTP on

I don’t understand cyber-bullying pregnant women about the size of their baby bump. If they make horrible fashion choices (Kim Kardashian this means you), talking about the fashion is different from their actual pregnancy features.

Kat on

Everyone shows differently. My close friend is due next month, and didn’t pop ’til 7 months – also overnight. Even though I popped at 5 months (my second), at my current 7 months I’m still under my pre-pregnancy weight. As long as she is getting prenatal care, she and the baby will be just fine.

sososad on

This actually made me dumber by reading it. Hope that kid comes out smarter than her parents.

cat kit on

This article wasn’t long enough! Lol.

canna on

It’s about proportions too…she has a huge chest and huge rear…and uber thick thighs. So if she’s carrying small on top of all that, it gives the illusion of an unusually small pregnant belly.

By the way, the correct comment is “I couldn’t care less”, Coco. Not “I could care less”.

Laura on

Love her bc she doesnt hide whom she is, and is not pretending to be “mother theresa”, or tying to fit into size 2 clothing while pregnant *COUGH*COUGH*like some other rappers wives do* and best of all, she is enjoying her pregnancy loving every min of it. Congrats COCO! xoxox

Anonymous on

Coco is NOT pregnant. I don’t understand why she is uncomfortable to say that she has a surrogate – nothing to be ashamed about. I understand she is a celebrity, but not being able to conceive is not the end of world. There are many options.

Kat on

It makes her bump looks smaller because she has a huge rear.

megan on

“because literally the night eight months came, I went to sleep and I woke up with a bump.
That’s how fast it happened. It didn’t happen over a certain period of time. It literally happened over night and I couldn’t believe it.”

Wow, what a liar. There’s no shame in admitting to using a surrogate. Telling childish fibs to cover your tracks is ridiculous.

KH on

For some reason I have always kind of liked her…she seems like a sweet person.
Somebody should show Kim Kardashian this article.
“When you become pregnant you totally honor the fact that you’re pregnant and you love the bump, and you love the feeling of something growing inside of you. You could care less about your body,” she explains. “I say to this day, I could be pregnant for the rest of my life. Believe it or not.”
That is how a mother should talk about the experience of bringing their child into the world. Pregnancy can be rough, but so good too. Kim K saying things like “This has been the worst experience of my whole life” is horrible, especially saying it publicly. When her child reads that some day, I am sure they will think, “Really mom? Even worse than when your Dad died???” :(((

Angie Sagazzi on

I for one am very disappointed in coco,i myself used to watch their reality show and I loved them as a couple,but not anymore.I get it that it’s their life they can do whatever,but when she looks in people’s eyes and camera lens and blatantly lie’s to her supposed “fans” she says she loves so much,that’s when i can see it could irk someone,there are a few reasons she went all out and hired a make up artist to plaster her fake silicone “bump” daily yes it’s expensive but they can afford it for instance her announcing couldn’t have came at a more clever,convenient time such as announcing your fake pregnancy on your first pilot talk show,with her announcement their ratings shot up,that whole supposed rumor of her cheating on ice went away and pregnant celeb equals more $$$ and more exposure,more opportunities in case their talk show goes south,coco ain’t no dummy she’s beyonce’s biggest fan

tasha086 on

I’m not saying she is lying. Either way it’s not my business to care and I don’t. I have looked at several pictures and i’m just trying to figure out how someone can be that small full term. As a mother of 2 children it doesn’t seem possible. She seems happy though so that’s all that matters.

Liss on

I was in tip top shape with my children. I gained 19 lbs., 19 lbs., and 21 lbs. and had a 7 lb. 3 oz baby, a 7 lb. 13 oz. baby, and a 8 lb. 2 oz. baby. I left the hospital in size 4 sundresses each time. Having said that, I was HUGE with each pregnancy…all belly. I had absolutely no lap with any of the three. My abs were toned and tight, but that did NOT stop my belly from showing and growing. I do NOT believe this woman is or ever has been pregnant with this child. Even people who are toned and don’t show much still show, and they are all belly. Why is she so deparately trying to deceive everyone?

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