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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Hi InStyle I'm Kelly Rowland and I'm here to answer all of your questions. So Kelly, tell us about your new campaign with Band-aid? I'm very excited about this campaign with Band-aid, once I heard about the campaign I immediately wanted to be a part of it. Because of the fact that of course it's just encouraging everyone to stick with it. It doesn't matter what it is And for me it made me think back to a story basically where am involve with the wrong kind of team you know that was representing me and I remember thinking to myself I need a better team, I need something different, I need different circle around me and i did and it was actually a really hard decision i had to make. I made it and it was actually the perfect decision because sometimes you have to take some risk and when you fall down you have to get back up, it's all of how you get back up and how you persevere and how, I just feel like now is just a great time for so many young people They're just people period actually to just know that, to just have it be like a second and it's been awesome to be a part of the brand family it's always I feel like we've always been in the family. they've always been in the family [INAUDIBLE] So it's a really great combination. And speaking of changes you also just wrote a book, Whoa Baby, which is an amazing candid guide for new moms. Yes. Was that something that was always on your bucket list? No. I'd never even thought to write a book. The book came about because I actually needed a book like this. I remember going to speak to my doctor. I had like literally no exaggeration Seven and eight questions to her a day after I had my son. I remember thinking I was so prepared because I was reading Jenny McCarthy's belly less what do you expecting all these different books that made me feel prepared and I knew what was gonna happen. But nothing prepared me for what happened afterwards. There was no books on post-pregnancy, and I remember asking Dr. Venkman, who I actually collaborated with on the book. I said, "There's nothing out?" She said, "No." Some wants you write a book she says my patients have more questions of about what happens after then before she says someone write a book I said we are going to write a book so it's here now I'm so excited it's opposed pregnancy book and people are like is it about mother hood it's not about mother hood I'm still learning about motherhood and all honestly but I'm very excited we are very They're yeah, transparent in this book I talk about everything under the sun, what happens emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally. And I'm just really proud of it. And I have of course doctors and well, doctor Bitman of course, but Different people that are that specialise in their field trainers, physical therapist, psycho therapists, stylers cuz I I'm 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 So yeah, it's a great book. Well baby if you are expecting or you just had a baby or even if you are a year in cuz I was actually something that I experienced with something new that happened with my body after i had my baby. This is the book for you, Well baby How has your child, your style changed since having kids [SOUND] I'll think it's changed drastically, I think I'm definitely more conscious about my stomach because that's where I had my stretch marks and sometimes they show up sometimes they don't, [LAUGH] it's like I wear this things but I've been very self conscious about me while everybody is like They look fine, stop trying to cover your stomach. But I'm subconscious about it. But I've grown to get comfortable with them. What were some other interesting things you learned about post-pregnancy during this writing process? A year and a half after I had my son, I remember getting ready to go to the To an award show. And I lifted my foot up to put my foot in my dress and I literally froze. I couldn't move and I just was crying cuz it was the most excruciating pain like shooting down my back like this. And I remember thinking, what is wrong. Funny enough, one of my close girlfriends Juliet Barnes she is actually a physical therapist, she is apart of the book as well She was there at the house and she was testing my back. She had to pick me up, physically pick me up and take me to my bed because I couldn't move. And she checked my back, she's like. It's nothing there, so she said, turn over. She checked my belly, and three of her fingers fit in between my abs. It's this thing called [UNKNOWN] rectae. And I didn't know anything about it. Nobody told me about it. And it was the separation of your ab muscles and basically, it can affect your back. If your core isn't strong enough, it does affect your back, and I've been working on that just with my trainers, trying to strengthen my core up. But it's definitely, like you have to continue to work at it. Well you look amazing. Thank you! Can you explain a little bit of your post-baby exercise routine? Absolutely. My post-baby exercise routine, I must admit Only because I was, I timed myself. I said I wanted to drop weight rather quickly. So I worked out twice a day. I worked out in the morning and I worked out in the evening. And whether that was, I remember around the time where my husband and I were trying to find a nanny. So I would take Titan with me on my Runs or my jogs rather walks and my workouts and he would be there with me in the stroller. I remember doing yoga, soul cycle just two workouts a day and soul cycle really burned everything off and I had a really great Great little system happening so it worked. Do you have any other mum hacks that helps you get ready in the morning and start your day? Mum hacks that helps me get ready in the morning are one would be to it really early coz they wake up really early I try to like it as together just a little bit Early in the mornings, though, that when they come in you're bright eyed and bushy tailed as much as you can be. [LAUGH] How about your wind down routine in the evening? What's the first thing you do after Titan goes to bed? Well, you said the first part of that was just wind, wind down. It's my wind down time. Time I have like a little glass of wine sometimes just to chill, I might get some work done. Or I might watch a favorite TV show if I have time. Is there anything you're binge watching right now that you like? Yes, I was out of the country and I couldn't catch up on my Black-ish. It's like my favorite show on Television. [LAUGH] That's a great one. Yes. And you are filming the voice Australia right now. Yes. What's is it like over there? What's is like living there? Incredible, because there when we were experiencing the last bit of, I went and they were still in summer. So I go there and it's so hot and beautiful outside and my son is there with me. He's like [FOREIGN] he speaks Spanish, he's bilingual and he wants to go to the beach everyday. So I'm at work, he goes to the beach and it's beautiful. I love it. The food is good, the people are so nice Just, Yes, it's really cool. And and apart from the contestants, who are some other artists you are loving right now. Artists? My god, I am in love with Kendrick Lamar's new album "Damn". Such a great album, I literally have kept it on repeat and I went to Coachella both weekends. Just to see him. And he was remarkable. He was absolutely remarkable. Who else am I listening to? My God Kaleed. He's awesome and we actually just went in the studio together but he's so talented. He's so fresh and just good spirit. That's Texas for you. That's Texas. And on the topic of music it's hard to believe but it's the 20th anniversary of Destiny's Child which is unbelievable. [LAUGH] Well. I knew so did you have a favorite song and maybe hard to choose bt what would be your favorite? To perform. Ooh to perform? [BLANK_AUDIO] I still love performing Say My Name. Only because it's always a moment that you actually don't have to sing. I remember like a long time ago just forgetting the words one day. How could you forget the words to Say My Name? I know it's ridiculous but I did. And but it was the verses, so give me a break. But basically I remember just for getting it, it was like this. And just had everybody sing the song. And the crowd killed it. It was so great. Has Titan heard any of the songs yet? No, he hasn't. I need to play him some actually. Yeah. I mean three weeks ago was his first time of seeing me perform ever. We were actually in Australia and I was doing the voice and we had where myself, Delta, Seal and Boy George were onstage and he was just watching us in like this wonder like why is she up there? And I remember that night he said mummy mummy seen good and I was just I just cried cuz cuz I was actually nervous that performance just cuz it was his first time seeing me perform. It's adorable and if not any of your own songs do you have any favorite songs you like to sing to him? Favorite songs I like to sing My household is just obsessed with Kendrick right now so Humble is like his favourite song. We play that in the morning we play Bruno Mars, what else does he love, he loves the whole Watch The Throne album actually. And there's a song that I just recorded which he keeps singing the chorus to which lets me know that I'm gonna keep that song for the record. Awesome. And then we have an audience request, Nick would love if you could just give a shout out to his seven-month-old son, John Bentley. Hi John Bentley. We're so happy you're here on earth. Congratulations, that's awesome. Amazing. Why I think that's about all the time we have, thank you so much Kelly- Thank you. For joining us. Thank you for having me. Thank you InStyle