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For Katharine McPhee, having a baby came with a side effect she did not expect: peace.
It's been eight months since the American Idol alum announced the birth of her first child, son Rennie, with husband David Foster. In an exclusive interview with E! News, the 37-year-old new mom shed light on how becoming a mom has changed her for the better.
"I had a healthy love-hate relationship with the pregnancy and, of course, now that I have this amazing son, I look back and think of all of it fondly, like even the time when I was over the toilet," she said. "I think that I struggled a little bit with the getting bigger part." However, after her baby boy's arrival, she found a new perspective on what her body was capable of.
"What I didn't expect was to have the baby and then be so at peace with my body," she shared. "I had this, wow, like this huge appreciation of what my body had just done and given me that I wish that I'd given myself a little bit more of that grace through the pregnancy."
In hindsight, McPhee, who has spoken publicly about her past struggles with bulimia and anxieties over those issues resurfacing during pregnancy, would have showered herself with more words of encouragement. "I would have talked myself through a little bit more, like, 'Are you kidding me? You're gonna have this little thing in nine months that you're gonna be so crazy about, you have no idea. It's gonna make your heart explode,' and just, you know, 'Love on yourself every second.'"
Little did she know what awaited her on the other side of the birth. "I actually had this huge gift where I felt zero pressure to kind of get back to a certain standard," she said. "I was just like, 'Wow, this is such a moment in time to enjoy a new baby and give thanks to this incredible body that just did something so spectacular, like truly a miracle.'"
She felt that "gift" in action when it came time to model her newly released limited-edition capsule collection with MINDD Bra, a brand of bras designed for D+ women.
"I just arrived to the photo shoot and I didn't feel like, 'Oh, I wish I was five pounds lighter. I wish my stomach was more toned,' but I just embrace," she explained. "I think the old me probably would have had pressure to, 'Oh my God, I've got to like really stop eating because I have a photo shoot coming up'...I don't do that anymore."
As a result, "I'm so much happier, so much more peaceful," McPhee said, "and actually, the extra weight that I gained while I was pregnant has just sort of fallen off naturally. I never had to torture myself to do any of those things."
McPhee's capsule collection with MINDD Bra is available now.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237.