Bethenny Frankel Dishes on Motherhood and Breast-Feeding
Forget the single and carefree Bethenny Frankel you grew to love on "The Real Housewives of New York City." It's time to get to know the new Frankel who married Jason Hoppy back in March, and gave birth to their daughter, Bryn, four months ago.
That's right: The savvy Manhattan businesswoman who created the Skinny Girl brand is now shifting her attention to changing diapers and tending to her baby.
And, along with her new starring role as Mommy, Frankel has partnered with Ameda breast pumps to kick off the company's "I Breastfeed Because ..." campaign, created in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7.
The reality star chatted with ParentDish about the joys of parenthood and why her decision to nurse was a no-brainer.
ParentDish: How would you describe the motherhood ride?
Bethenny Frankel: It is so nice, sweet and pure. Bryn doesn't know anything other than me, so to feel needed like that is so awesome. Nothing anyone ever said to me could prepare me for this!
PD: What has been the most eye-opening experience so far?
BF: How challenging it is. There is never a break, you are always on. I have gained a whole new respect for women, especially those who are mothers.
PD: How did you prepare for mommyhood?
BF: I didn't prepare. I got pregnant, stayed healthy, worked and here we are.
PD: Did you get any tips or advice from any of your co-stars on "RHNYC"?
BF: I don't give advice and I don't take any, either. I want to do it my way.
PD: Bryn is now 12 weeks old, so what milestones has she reached?
BF: She is pulling my hair. She is giggling, smiling and she really has a great personality.
PD: How has becoming a mom changed you?
BF: It quiets down all of the other nonsense. It has also made me a calmer, nice and happier person. I have also become more content.
PD: You are the spokesperson for the campaign "I Breastfeed Because ..." So we'll ask you that very question: You breast-feed because?
BF: I breast-feed because it is an incredible bonding experience with my baby that will last me a lifetime. It is both a challenge and a reward and the best decision I could make for my daughter because it is so healthy for her. I think it is a beautiful time.
PD: How do you like nursing?
BF: It is challenging, but at the same time it is a special and beautiful bonding moment.
PD: Many people associate you with the Skinny Girl brand and breast- feeding with weight loss. Is that why you chose to breast-feed your daughter?
BF: I never thought of the weight loss aspect of breast-feeding. If I was so concerned about weight loss I would be at the gym every day, and I haven't been doing that because I have not had the time. I know people have that perception, but I think it is a beautiful and natural thing to do. It is too much of a commitment just to do it for the weight loss aspect.
PD: You're starring in a reality show about getting married and having a baby ("Bethenny Getting Married?") Will you tweak the show's title going forward and have the series center more on being a mother?
BF: The show is going where I am going. But yes, the reality of my life right now is balancing career and motherhood. So many women go through what I am going through and I can tell you it is a struggle. Although my career has exploded, I also have the most important responsibility in my life and that is to be a good wife and mother.
PD: What has Bryn taught you?
BF: How important family is and what I put into it is what I get out of it. She also taught me that I found the right man.
PD: Some men get jealous when the baby arrives because women tend to shower their infant with all of the attention. What do you do to avoid this?
BF: I try to divide the love equally and, yes, that can be challenging. My husband is so involved in Bryn's life that he doesn't get that way. We are both so into her, but we also make sure to give back to each other. We will go out on a silly date -- even if she is in the baby seat sleeping -- to grab sushi just so we can be together and bond.
PD: Has Bryn brought you and Jason closer together?
BF: Yes, 100 percent closer together. Jason has far exceeded my expectations and because of that I see him differently.
PD: What do you like best about being a mom?
BF: I like the mornings with the baby. She is so sweet the way she giggles. I love the fact that I am the person she needs the most.
PD: How have your priorities shifted now that you are a mom?
BF: It is all about her.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.