After people have kids, they often take a career break—but not if you're Kelly Rowland. Following the birth of her son Titan, the singer was plagued by questions about post-pregnancy. So she did what any ambitious woman would do and wrote a book about the postpartum challenges facing new moms, appropriately titled Whoa, Baby: A Guide for New Moms Who Feel Overwhelmed and Freaked Out (and Wonder What the #*$& Just Happened) ($17; amazon.com) and teamed up with Band-Aid on a new ad campaign about perseverance.
In a live broadcast on InStyle's Facebook page, Rowland got candid about the new release, parenting, and, of course, Destiny's Child. Watch the video above to see the full Q&A, or read on below for the excerpted interview.
Tell us about your new partnership with Band-Aid.
Once I heard about the campaign, I immediately wanted to be a part of it, because of the fact that it encourages everyone to stick with it—it doesn't matter what it is. For me, it made me think back to when I had the wrong team representing me, and I remember thinking to myself, "I need a better team. I need something different. I need a different circle around me." And I got one. It was a really hard decision that I had to make, but I made it, and it was actually the perfect decision. Sometimes you have to take some risks. When you fall down, you have to get back up. It's all about how you get back up and how you persevere. Now is such a great time for so many young people—and people period—to know that.
Was writing a book something that was always on your bucket list?
I had never even thought to write a book. It came about because I actually needed a book like this. I remember going to speak to my doctor—I had, literally, no exaggeration, seven to eight questions for her a day after I had my son. I was so prepared because I was reading Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs ($12; amazon.com), [Heidi Murkoff's] What to Expect When You're Expecting ($14; amazon.com), all of these different books that made me feel prepared, but nothing prepared me for what happened afterward. There were no books on post-pregnancy. I remember asking Dr. [Tristan] Bickman, who I actually collaborated with on the book, "There's nothing out?" She said, "No, someone should write a book. My patients have more questions about what happens after [pregnancy] than before." I said, "Oh, we're gonna write that book."
It's here now, I'm so excited—it's a post-pregnancy book. It's not about motherhood. I'm still learning about motherhood, in all honesty. We're very transparent in this book. I talk about everything under the sun: what happens emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally. I have doctors and different people that specialize in their field: trainers, physical therapists, psychotherapists, stylists, because I am a little vain—I wanted to look cute after I had my kid, but I didn't know what to wear. I didn't know how to dress my body.
How has your style changed since having kids?
I don't think it's changed drastically. I think I'm definitely more conscious about my stomach because that's where I have my stretch marks. Sometimes they show up, sometimes they don't—it's the weirdest thing—but I've been very self-conscious about them.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about post-pregnancy during the writing process?
A year and a half after I had my son, I remember getting ready to go to an awards show, and I lifted my foot up to put my foot in my dress and I literally froze. I couldn't move. I was crying because it was the most excruciating pain shooting down my back. I remember thinking, "What is wrong?" Funny enough, one of my close girlfriends, Juliette Barnes, who's a physical therapist, checked my back, then asked me to turn over and checked my belly and three of her fingers fit in between my abs. It's this thing called diastasis recti. I didn't know anything about it—no one told me about it. It's the separation of your ab muscles, and it can affect your back if your core isn't strong enough. I've been working on that with my trainers to strengthen my core up. You have to continue to work at it.
Well, you look amazing. What was your postpartum exercise plan?
I must admit, I wanted to drop weight rather quickly, so I worked out twice a day, in the morning and the evening. I remember there was a time when my husband and I were trying to find a nanny, so I would take Titan with me on my jogs. I did yoga, [I did] SoulCycle. SoulCycle really burned everything off. I had a really great little system happening.
Any mom hacks that help you get ready in the morning?
Do it really early, because they get up really early. I try to get myself together a little bit early in the morning, so that, when they come in, you're as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you can be.
What's your wind-down routine in the evening?
That's my "wine down" time. I have a little glass of wine to chill, I might get some work done, or I might watch a favorite TV show if I have time. I was out of the country and I couldn't catch up on my Black-ish. It's my favorite show on television.
You're filming The Voice Australia right now. How do you like living there?
It's incredible. When we were experiencing the last bits of our winter, they were still in summer, so it was so hot and beautiful outside. My son is there with me, so he's like, "Playa! Playa!" He speaks Spanish, he's bilingual, and he wants to go to the beach every day, so he does that when I'm at work. I love it: The food is good, the people are so nice.
Besides the contestants on the show, which artists are you listening to right now?
I'm in love with Kendrick Lamar's new album, Damn. It's such a great album. I literally have kept it on repeat and I went to Coachella both weekends just to see him. He was absolutely remarkable. Khalid is awesome too. We actually just went into the studio together. He's so talented and so fresh and has a good spirit. That's Texas for you.
Speaking of music, it's the 20th anniversary of Destiny's Child. What was your favorite song to perform live?
I still love performing "Say My Name." It's always a moment that you don't have to sing. I remember forgetting the words a long time ago and just had everybody sing the song, and the crowd killed it.
Has Titan heard any of the albums yet?
No! He hasn't. I need to play him some. Three weeks ago was his first time hearing me perform ever. We were actually doing The Voice and we had the performance where myself, Delta Goodrem, Seal, and Boy George were on stage and he was just watching us with this wonder, like, "Why is she up there?" That night he said, "Mommy sing good." I just cried, because I was nervous since it was his first time seeing me perform.
VIDEO: Catching up with Kelly Rowland
What are your favorite songs to sing to him?
My household is just obsessed with Kendrick right now, so "Humble" is his favorite song. We play that in the morning, we play Bruno Mars, he loves the whole Watch the Throne album. And there's a song that I just recorded that he keeps singing the chorus too, which lets me know that I'm going to keep that song for the record.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.