Most people will remember Myleene Klass from her famous white bikini shower scene on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! So it may come as a surprise that she’s not racing to get back into that kind of shape again, after giving birth to her third child.
“I’ve got two daughters, and the last thing I want to do is let them see me standing up and down on the scales when I’ve just given birth to a baby,” says Klass. “The last thing I’m going to do is berate myself, and beat my body up after it’s just done something amazing – and is continuing to sustain life.”
The model and presenter, and her partner Simon Motson, welcomed their first child together, Apollo, in August. Klass is already mum to daughters Ava, 12, and Hero, 8, with ex-husband Graham Quinn, while Motson is also dad to a son and daughter of the same ages.
“It’s funny because I’m known for putting on bikinis, but who’s to say there’s a prototype for how people should look in a bikini? I’ll wear a bikini at whatever size I am,” she says.
The 41-year-old says she gained five stone during her pregnancy with Apollo – more than her previous two. “It sounds ludicrous when I say it out loud! I’ve lost just over three, I’m sure the other two will melt away when I finally stop breastfeeding.
“I’m not trying to shift it yet. It’s almost an impossibility because my body wants to hold on to whatever it can to make sure the baby is fed.”
She isn’t feeling the pressure as a person in the public eye, that’s for sure – “Look at people like Lizzo, who literally do stick two fingers up to the establishment and celebrate what their bodies are capable of” – but says her body definitely feels different after having a baby in her 40s, compared to the first two times around.
Having a newborn to care for is also a “massively different experience” at 41, she says. “I’m more relaxed for sure. When you have a child when you’re younger, it takes one comment from someone else – they think your baby’s hungry, or that he/she is crying, and you start really second guessing yourself. Whereas this time around, you just let everything flow over you. I don’t sweat the small stuff.
“Mentally, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”
She’s even found it’s made her appreciate night feeds and the lack of sleep, in a way. “I don’t sleep at all! If you cut me open I’d bleed coffee. But I love it because I know it’s quite fleeting. Even the night feeds I look forward to, bizarrely! You understand just how precious this time is, and how quickly it goes.
“It’s because I’ve got so much support doing it this time, with Simon. I’ve been a single mum for a very long time, and to now have a partner, it’s just a really lovely experience for both of us.”
With five children between them, she describes family mealtimes as “mental”. She says: “I make the same thing [for everyone] but Simon seems to think it’s more like a hotel, and he does different things for the children.”
Klass is fronting a campaign with Kellogg’s as they launch their first kid’s breakfast cereal in 20 years, W.K Kellogg by Kids, the first no-added sugar, vegan cereal to contain fruit and vegetables.
“Any mum knows it can be a challenge once your children start going to other people’s houses, or once they’re at school they can make their own choices, so you want to make sure that before you send them off, you’re giving them something that’s really going to benefit them,” she says, adding that her daughters really like the new cereal range: “When I said ,’There’s vegetables in there’, they couldn’t believe it.”
Having two older children and a newborn at the same time must come with its challenges though. She says while Apollo’s needs are quite basic, “with Ava it’s the intricate needs of trying to navigate social media, what’s going on with her friends, what trends are going on, how she’s coping with school work. She’s becoming a woman, and that brings a whole host of new challenges.”
Instagram, Snapchat and beyond can be a minefield for parents who didn’t grow up with the same things. “The most important thing is that you trust your children and you give them the tools [they need]. Otherwise you’ll be forever helicopter parenting,” says Klass.
“I don’t get it right all the time, I just try my best.”
Kellogg’s by Kids Café opens this weekend in London to launch the first fruit and vegetable cereal created and for kids; W.K Kellogg by Kids.