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Meghan Trainor can see me, but I can’t see her. My Zoom is glitching (haven’t we had three years to get this right?), leading to a slight delay in my interview with the “Made You Look” singer. My screen finally clears and Trainor appears like the first spot of sunshine in spring, giving me the biggest grin and compliment — “Hi Sydni! You’re so cute, I love how you spell Sydni,” she says. Instantly, I feel more at ease. She’s a Grammy Award-winning artist with five studio albums (and a deluxe version of Takin’ It Back that dropped today!) and 17.1 million followers on TikTok. Yet, somehow, talking with her is no different than chatting with any mom friend, including complaining about the way our own mothers didn’t quite prepare us for this whole journey into momhood.
After congratulating her on her pregnancy with baby number two — she is also mom to the cutest 2-year-old boy in the world named Riley with husband Daryl Sabara — Trainor dives right in. “I have, like, way more symptoms this time,” she tells SheKnows. “Like, I didn’t have any symptoms with Riley, so this time I was nauseous and cold — freezing.”
She also craved sweets and pickles “all day and night,” whereas she only wanted salty things with Riley. I told her I could relate, and she felt validated. “My mom was like, every time was the same,” she responds. “I’m like, you’re a liar. You don’t know what you’re saying.”
Moms do tend to look back at pregnancy with rose-colored glasses, don’t they? Luckily, the “Mother” singer knows we need to hear the down and dirty, which is why she wrote a book called Dear Future Mama: A Tmi Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood from Your Bestie. She gave me a little preview into some of the challenging topics the book covers during our conversation.
“I didn’t like breastfeeding because my boobies weren’t good at it,” she says. “I was told by a specialist that my breasts — or my nips — were too small. I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ I had to like do some science, and it didn’t work.”
Trainor went on, “But, I did my best and I pumped for three months. And I gave up. I’m like, ‘I’m done!’” She added, “Once I got thrush or whatever it is, I’m like, ‘I’m good! That’s enough.’”
Good for her for proudly admitting that! Like, yes, fed is best, but for some reason, moms still feel the need to justify every decision about breastfeeding or formula feeding they make. Like here she is, just proudly saying, nope, not for me. That kind of confidence is infectious!
A post shared by Meghan Trainor (@meghantrainor)
Still, when baby number two is born sometime in the next 18ish weeks, she might try breastfeeding again. “I feel like I’m always going to give it a go,” she says. “But I also didn’t get my baby right away. I didn’t get my skin to skin at all. My husband was the only one that got skin to skin because I was, like, a c-section so I couldn’t even go to him until I was all recovered. So I think my body was like, ‘The baby’s not out!’ and I’m like, ‘It is out!’ You know?”
“I couldn’t make milk for days, like almost a whole week. It was bizarre,” she added. “Even at my best milking days, it would be like a whole 12 hours of pumping for like a little bottle.”
Trainor may be willing to try breastfeeding again, but there is one thing she is definitely not going to try. After guest starring in an episode of How I Met Your Father with her IRL bestie Hilary Duff, in which she delivered a baby in a bathtub, I had to know: “Are you going to try a water birth with this baby?”
“Hell no. Absolutely not,” she says without hesitation. Same, girl!
“I only considered it once when it was COVID, and I always do everything with my family, and I always pictured having my whole family — maybe not my brothers — in that room with me … I was like, maybe I’ll do a home birth. I’ll have the managers come over and we’ll have pom poms cheering for me. But noooooooo. No. I’m scared. I’m so paranoid and scared. I want doctors. Especially because Riley came out asleep, he had to go right to the NICU. So yes, I want the medicine. The doctors.”
Trainor told Romper in Sept. 2022 that her the NICU nurses insinuated he wouldn’t wake up due to her taking antidepressants.
“They kept asking me if I was on antidepressants during the pregnancy, and I was, but on the lowest dose possible, and all my doctors said it was safe and wouldn’t affect him,” she told the outlet. “It was really f—ed up. They had no name for what was wrong. He just wouldn’t wake up. They said, ‘It’s really up to Riley when he wants to wake up.’ I’d be like ‘Really? Can’t you just zap him and get him up?’”
She told me that her mental health is the most challenging part about motherhood. Having previously struggled with postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression myself, I could relate.
“My brain [is the most challenging part of motherhood]. The mom guilt I put on myself. My inner thoughts,” she says. “My scary inner thoughts. Like [Riley] plays so well by himself, and he’s a quiet boy. So I’ll be like, ‘Riley, I can’t hear you!’ and then no response. And I’m like, ‘Oh, he’s choking on something.’ I’m going to find him and it’s going to be awful. Like I go to worst case scenarios. So that’s been the hardest part is like trying to manage my brain.”
A post shared by Meghan Trainor (@meghantrainor)
She went on, “And I’m still on my antidepressants, and I was through the whole pregnancy and I’m so glad I did that because I didn’t have postpartum. I only had like the classic, like I’m a mother and I have terrible thoughts. But everyone has that.”
Despite his scary entrance into the world, Riley is the calmest, sweetest boy. Trainor and Sabara recently took him to Disneyland, and he seemed so unbothered. “He didn’t give a f, dude!” she tells me about the trip. “He didn’t care at all. Yeah, he’s very chill. He’s extremely chill.” She adds that he’s her “trick baby” because he isn’t giving her a true feel for how hard parenting can be.
the snacks at the end 😂 #disneyland #vlog @chris @darylsabara @ryan.trainor
♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor
Riley’s sweet-natured personality should help him get along with his baby brother or sister. “When he’s with like younger kids, he’s very soft and sweet. And he hugs — like we barely hug — we just grab him and smother him. But I have videos of him being like ‘mmm’ and hugging [other babies]. He’s such a gentle, sweet boy, I don’t know how we got so lucky.”
“But it’ll be great. And then I bought like baby dolls, and he’ll hold them. Then he’ll be like, ‘All done!’ and he throws it. And we’re like, ‘Wait, wait, wait! Be gentle!’” she laughs. “And he knows ‘kiss.’ Like every night before bed, he’ll say, ‘Kiss?’, so I think he’ll try to kiss the new baby.” Awww!
But the toddler is a little too chill sometimes, like when it comes to helping his mama in the kitchen when she prepares snacks. “He’s on to the next. He’s obsessed with planes and cars now. I wish he was more into helping, but he’s not,” she says. “I even tried to get that thing where he can climb and be a part of it, but he doesn’t care. But he’s wonderful.”
Trainor partnered with Quaker Rice Cakes, and designed her own recipes to create delicious new snack combinations. “I like that caramel base, because I’m all about the base, got peanut butter on top. This is what I’ve been craving, I’ve been eating it,” she says. “And I put banana slices on top because I’m smart.”
#ad I loooove trying different toppings on @quaker rice cakes lately – especially peanut butter and bananas on the Caramel Flavor Rice Cakes. It’s giving all about that BASE! 😉Teach me and tag me in more rice cake recipes. 🍌💕#QuakerRiceCakes
♬ original sound – Meghan Trainor
“Or if I’ll do the salty, lightly salted version of the bases. I’ll put some avocado on it like avocado toast. And salt and pepper,” she went on. It’s simple, nutritious, and oh-so-good when you are fighting cravings and hunger pains (like all busy moms). “I’m a picky eater, that’s why if I like a snack like rice cakes, that’s all I’m eating. I can eat them plain jane, especially in the car. I get so car sick, so I need to have a crunchy snack with me at all times. There’s always a whole bag in the back of the car with me ready to go.”
She’s been eating these rice cakes for years, because her own mom used them as a quick snack for her kids. “This partnership was so iconic for us and we all got emotional about it because my parents literally raised me on rice cakes,” Trainor continues. “My mom’s like, ‘The amount of rice cakes that we bought …it’s destiny!’ My mom lined these up herself because she’s so happy this happened. I can’t wait for everyone to watch the TikToks and maybe make their own recipes on TikTok and do the hashtags to teach me some recipes.”
Speaking of TikToks, Trainor uses her account to connect with others. “I have so much fun with being vulnerable and real,” she says. “Like I talk about my anal fissures on that app and they love me for it. It’s a safe place for me to be myself.”
Help☠️ normalize #analfissures😤
♬ original sound – Taylor Dean
After a brief moment of silence for all the time we’ve both lost on TikTok — “I doomscroll, I need TikTok on!” she said — Trainor pivots. She shared one way she fights her inner thoughts and recommends we try it, too.
“Every parent should do this,” she tells me. “Me and Daryl will high five and be like, ‘We’re good at this!’ Like when our kid is so happy, so kind, so sweet, we’re like, ‘Yo — we make good babies! Oh, we made a star.” So that’s why we’re confident in making more. We’re like, we’ve kept him alive for two years, we can do this.”
And when baby number two is born, don’t be surprised if you see another one or two more down the pipeline.
“The first thing I said when I saw Riley in the NICU wrapped up in all the tubes and wires, I was like, ‘Beautiful! We need three more,’” she says. “Yeah, I just want more and more and more.”
The Spy Kids alum is on the same page, and it’s all thanks to Trainor’s influence. “He actually didn’t even have a dad growing up so he never saw himself being a dad. So he said, ‘I didn’t see myself getting married or having a baby until I met you.’”
“But now he’s like, ‘We should make more, he’s perfect!’ and I’m like, ‘Right? We’re good at this.’”
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