PREGNANT Kimberley Walsh chats about not having a nanny, not worrying about baby weight, and not planning a big wedding... just yet.
Pregnancy is often a trigger for looking after yourself a little better and being more careful about what you eat.
But when you’ve spent the last decade as one-fifth of one of the UK’s biggest ever girl groups - with all the body-image pressures, touring schedules and dance routines that go hand in hand with that - being with child can be a welcome excuse for letting go a little.
“You should [be careful about what you eat], I suppose,” says Kimberley Walsh, who announced in February she’s pregnant with her first child. “I’m used to being more careful but I’m going against my natural instincts and letting myself have more.
“I sort of think, ‘If I want it and my body tells me I want it, I probably should have it’.
“At the beginning I was starving all the time, which is weird for me. I was obsessed with spicy chicken wings and I wanted pizza and burgers, all the bad stuff. But that’s passed now.”
Kimberley, whose home town in Bradford, has a breezy, laid-back outlook about her new stage in life - but that isn’t a surprise, she has always embodied a down-to-earth likeability, a reliable normalness, no matter how successful she and her fellow Girls Aloud-ers became.
The group announced their split in March last year, but by that point, they all had a string of sideline projects under their belts.
“It’s all a bit of a new thing for me,” says the 32-year-old. “It’s an exciting new chapter.”
The pregnancy’s been a “pretty easy run so far”. There was some “mild but constant” nausea for the first five weeks, but she feels “good” now, “blooming” even, and as such, she is keen to keep active.
“I usually try to workout three times a week, so I’ve carried on doing that but toned it down,” she explains.
“I got a trainer to make sure I’m doing everything right, because I was worried, but she said, ‘Honestly, it’s fine, it would be worse to completely stop as you’ve been doing it so long’.”
That said, these workouts came to an abrupt stop when Kimberley broke her wrist recently (she slipped on the mat outside her back door). It’s currently in plaster so Justin (Scott, her partner of ten years who she lives with in North London) is having to help her with things like getting dressed.
“The only exercise I can do now is squats, and walking,” she says, laughing. “I have been trying to walk more, rather than running. I know they say you can run [when you’re pregnant] but I don’t feel comfortable doing it, so I go on long walks instead. Hopefully that will keep my strength up.”
She hopes she’ll be just as relaxed and sensible about exercise once the baby arrives, despite how tricky it can be for celebrity mums to keep perspective.
If they lose their baby weight too quickly they will be criticised, but if they dare to let themselves gain a few pounds, they’ll be reminded of that too.
“Unless you have a nanny, the idea of going back to a full fitness regime is quite unrealistic, and I’m going to be exhausted for one thing,” she reasons.
“I’d like to obviously get back into shape, but I’m not going to be like, ‘I have to do it in a month’, which some women are which kind of freaks me out.
“So many celebrity mums make many mothers feel bad that they get back [into shape] so quickly, but they’ve probably got help, a personal trainer and nanny.
“My friends go, ‘How do they look like that?’, and I tell them, ‘It’s not the same situation as you, where you have to put the baby in a seat and try to do a workout at home, on no sleep’.”
By the sounds of it, a nanny isn’t on the singer’s wish-list. “I’m planning to do it all on my own, well, me and Justin, not get any help,” she says.
“My mum basically brought all four of us [Kimberley has two sisters and a brother] up on her own, and I think if she can do that and work full-time, I can do it. If I didn’t, I’d be cheating.”
Now, despite her pregnancy and despite reportedly being worth an estimated £6million, Kimberley is still eager to keep busy.
“I’ve got a few things I’m still involved in, like a clothing campaign with Very, Specsavers, and I’m working on a show idea with Denise Van Outen and Kara Tointon, a new musical/Strictly extravaganza that we’re hoping to do in the New Year, but they haven’t put any pressure on me. Denise said, ‘You just want to enjoy time with your baby and you will know when you’re ready to get back to it’,” she says.
For Specsavers, she’s promoting the brand’s Love Glasses campaign and Spectacle Wearer Of The Year awards - “I’ve got about five pairs to serve different needs, a few fashion pairs for outfits and a couple of practical pairs for driving or watching TV”.
Pregnancy, it seems, has also changed how she feels about other things; namely marriage.
Because she’s been asked countless times whether she and Justin have plans to get hitched, and it’s always been something she said she wasn’t too bothered about - but now Kimberley feels differently.
“We’ve been pretty laidback, which is why we’ve never bothered to do it, but now we’re like, ‘Oh, we do want to be a family, and have the same name’,” she says, smiling.
“We will get married, but not before [the baby], I can’t face the thought of being pregnant and the stress of all that, so maybe when we’re more settled.
“It might be a big Girls Aloud reunion, but only of the wedding kind - we’ve only just split up, you’ve got to give us longer than that..!”