You Can Be Fit, Fabulous, and Pregnant: Samantha Harris's Secrets to a Fit Pregnancy
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You Can Be Fit, Fabulous, and Pregnant: Samantha Harris's Secrets to a Fit Pregnancy

Samantha Harris, host of Dancing with the Stars, shares her pregnancy diary and tips for having a fit and healthy nine months.

Months 1-3

Month 1: Exercising Restraint

We're having a baby! When my ob-gyn's nurse called to confirm it, I snuck out to the E! News parking lot and called my husband, Michael. We were both ecstatic.

It feels like the perfect time to start a family. But I know that life's about to change in a big way, starting with how I treat my body. I started dancing at age 7, and I love tough classes, like Cardio Core Ball at the nearby Equinox gym. My doc said to go for it but to wear a heart-rate monitor to make sure my heart doesn't beat more than 130 times per minute. I used to run up all 200 of the Santa Monica Stairs, and my heart rate would rise to 172 bpm; the other day I had to stop at 50 stairs and walk.

Month 2: A New Way of Eating

Knock on wood -- I haven't been tired or had morning sickness. A big reason is my new breakfast of four or five boiled or scrambled egg whites with OJ and fruit or yogurt. For lunch, it's salad with grilled chicken; for dinner, fish with sliced vegetables. For dessert, I love Skinny Cow Cookies 'N Cream ice cream sandwiches. The only thing I desperately miss: raw-fish sushi. I've gained a few pounds this month -- so long, skinny jeans! I've retired my Levi's Premium Slim Fits, at least for a while.

Month 3: Beating Stress

On the second week of last season's Dancing with the Stars, I wore a purple satin dress that showed a little belly pooch, and the Internet started buzzing with rumors. I made an announcement on the show a few weeks later. Heather Mills told me she's going to send over a book that she used to help get her newborn to sleep. At a party, Naomi Watts said that high-waisted dresses are the best thing to wear during pregnancy, so I bought a few cute ones. I'm now up about five pounds and have to use a rubber band to keep even my "big" jeans closed. I've been so busy with work that I make it to the gym only once or twice a week. But Michael and I have been taking walks around our neighborhood to de-stress.

Months 4-7

Month 4: Getting Support

Dustin Hoffman is my new favorite celebrity! At a photo exhibit, he put his hand on my belly, predicted a boy, and told me that parenting is the best thing a person can do. Now that I'm up eight pounds, my B-cup bras aren't cutting it. I got some great new ones at Gap Body -- they're supportive and comfortable and have just enough padding.

Month 5: Finding Beauty in the Big (and Small) Things

I admit it's been a little hard to see my onetime six-pack become a full-blown baby bump. But instead of covering it up with big shirts, I'm wearing fitted tops to accentuate it. At the MTV Movie Awards, Jessica Alba kept touching my belly and telling me how cute my tummy looked, and Eva Mendes said, "God, your boobs look amazing!" This month's highlight: a 3-D ultrasound. Everything is where it should be and the baby is healthy and wonderful.

Month 6: Now It's All About the Belly

I'm taking more exercise classes now that the show is done for the season, but I've really had to change what I do in them. My latest: a class combining a half hour each of cardio, sculpting, and yoga. I don't do any moves flat on my back or any inversions (my doctor says they reduce blood flow to the baby). And I take lots of breaks and drink water constantly.

I've now gained 14 pounds, and my belly has really popped. Since I've started to feel full very quickly, I'm eating five small meals a day. My nutritionist, Christine Bybee, has helped me come up with snacks that combine protein, carbs, and fat to keep me full and energized: celery and peanut butter, cottage cheese and Wheat Thins, or an apple slice with turkey.

Month 7: Looking Ahead

My friends are throwing me a shower in Malibu next month, and Sarah Chalke (from Scrubs), Laila Ali, and Kelly Carlson (from Nip/Tuck), the on-air girls from E! News and Tia Carrere and others from Dancing with the Stars are all invited.

I'm so busy planning: When's best to fly home with the baby to see my family? What do we want in a nanny? (Dancing with the Stars has started again, and I'll work as long as I can until the baby's here.)

I'm still working out -- even a 20-minute walk makes me feel empowered. I also know it will help me get back into a fitness routine after the baby's born. Instead of worrying about losing my figure, I'm embracing this beautiful time. I have the rest of my life to get in shape, right?

Samantha Harris's 4 Must-Haves

  • I check my Polar heart rate monitor constantly to make sure my heart rate is in a safe range while I'm working out. Polar F11, $180,
  • I slather on Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula after showering to prevent stretch marks; it smells good, too. Massage Cream for Stretch Marks, $5,
  • Rock & Republic's maternity jeans fit my new curves. Tyler in Tainted, $250, Fred Segal, 323-655-3734
  • Nike Air Max 360s give me great support. (Even feet stretch during pregnancy!) $140,

Tune in to E! News weeknights at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST/PST, only on E!


Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2007.