Author, vlogger, podcaster, presenter, actress and mum Giovanna Fletcher (phew!) is due any day with her third child - and her family (along with every single one of her devoted Instagram followers) are becomingly increasingly really excited about it. Already mum to Buzz, 4, and Buddy, 2, Gi has been super busy over the past few months (including arranging a seriously covetable nursery).
It seems three is the magic number for Giovanna right now, as she prepares to welcome her third child with hubby Tom and also launches the third series of her chart-topping podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby. The honest and relatable series (which has just reached TWO MILLION downloads) features a who's who of celebrity mum guests including Emma Willis, Jo Malone and Angela Scanlon, with a stellar line-up planned for upcoming episodes.
M&B spoke to Giovanna about her third pregnancy, hypnobirthing and why her podcast is loved by so many mums...
Hello Giovanna! How has your third pregnancy changed from your other two?
This is my first summer pregnancy - the other two were winter babies, born in February and March, so the main chunk of my pregnancy took place in the winter. Bizarrely, my hands and my feet haven’t swollen as much as they usually do, which is strange because you’d think with the heat they’d be like balloons. I’ve only just taken off my engagement ring because that got a bit tight, but my wedding ring’s still on. I wonder if that's because in winter you make yourself really snuggly so you get a bit more sweaty, but I don’t really know!
This year's heatwave has been a little tricky, but I’ve been able to stay away from the heat for the majority of the time. When the heatwave got really hot that was quite uncomfortable, but I’ve just been trying to take my time to get everywhere so I don't get too warm. I'm all about frozen bananas though with a little bit of dark chocolate and some hazelnuts, they're the most amazing thing ever.
Have you had any unusual cravings?
I’ve had more of a sweet tooth with this pregnancy - although I’ve always had a bit of a sweet tooth, to be honest. In my previous pregnancies, I've very much been about my salt and vinegar crisps. This time around I am a bit sweeter, but nothing like pickles and ice cream or anything like that! I have never had anything like that. I think it’s just a case of, "Oh, I’m pregnant, I really fancy these things, and I really like them, so I’ll have them and not feel guilty".
When's your due date?
My actual due date is the beginning of September, but Buzz was 37+4 weeks, and Buddy was 38+4, so I guess we're on the final countdown now. It’s been quite busy these past few months - possibly the busiest I've been during all of my pregnancies.
Along with Tom and I writing our book trilogy Eve of Man, and some filming in Manchester for something coming out early next year, the podcast has also taken up a lot of time. It feels like I’ve been running around a bit lately so the third child hasn’t really sunk in properly! Now I’m coming to the end and I’m like, "Oh! This makes it all very real" - now that I’ve not got lots of other things to do.
How are Buddy and Buzz feeling?
They’re really excited! They both love to say hello to the bump, it’s very cute. They absolutely love babies, they always have done actually. My sister was staying here with my niece and they just absolutely adore her. Also, my friend Charlie brought his little boy Oscar over recently. Before, if you asked Buzz whether he wanted a little brother or sister, he would always say sister. But within five minutes of Buzz being with Oscar, I said to him, "this is what it’d be like if you had a baby brother". He replied, "I want another brother now!" So he’s completely changed his mind in the past week, but I think he’ll be happy either way.
We’ve never found out whether we’re having a boy or girl and we haven’t this time either. I like when you’re in the hospital and you have that sudden rush and you’re like, "Oh my god! Is it a girl or a boy?"
Have you chosen a name?
We have a few names in mind for a boy or a girl - but you just never know until you meet the baby and have to pair them up with a name for life. The boys have both given their thoughts, Buzz wants Anakin for a girl but we’ve managed to persuade him that that’s not going to happen! There are loads of names flying around at the moment though.
Have you planned your birth? We know you’ve chosen hypnobirthing in the past…
I’ll be doing hypnobirthing again, definitely. I think some people might be scared of it, they think it’s a bit of hippy-ish and a load of nonsense, but I do think that if you take the hypnobirthing route - which is essentially concentrating on your breathing or going to bed listening to an MP3 and focusing on what’s about to happen - at least it will keep you calm. It’s absolutely amazing but I know it’s not for everyone.
Giving birth is one of the first things a mum is judged for but I think everyone should do what makes them feel comfortable. Some people hate hospitals and want to be at home, other people hate the idea of being at home and want to be in hospital so they feel safer - it’s completely up to the individual but for us, so far, hypnobirthing has been amazing. Even if it’s not a straightforward pregnancy, those sort of methods will help keep you calm.
What can we expect from the third series of the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast?
We’ve got all sorts of guests coming up, including Louise Penland, Georgia Jones and Amanda Holden. Emma Willis is coming back in - she started the whole thing off as a guest on the pilot episode. With her new documentary coming out about training to be a midwife, we felt like it would be a good time to reflect on her own birth and how she feels about it now she’s done some midwife training.
Joe Wickes will also be on - I was amazed when he said he’d do it because he’s always been quite a private person. But since he’s had his daughter Indie he says all he wants to do is talk about her! There’s so much coming up on this series, and quite a variety as well. It’s been such a joy. I can’t believe people just come and sit with me for an hour in the studio and just share their experiences. It’s been absolutely fascinating and so enjoyable.
Plus, you've just reached two million downloads, congratulations! Why do you think the podcast's resonated so much with mums?
There’s something about being in the studio, sat opposite the other person and having your headphones on which makes it so intimate. You’re not worried about sharing. The whole idea is that you’re not on your own and there’s no judgement. It’s about celebrating the fact that we all parent differently and we all have different things that we do to get through. We're all doing the best that we can, and it's a combination of all of those things that people have connected with. It’s amazing being out and about and people coming up to me to say they love the podcast - it's what most people say actually.
Who's been your favourite guest so far, and why?
It’s so hard to choose. Most people have made me laugh, but Angela Scanlon had me howling. She was still in the eye of the storm, just five weeks into motherhood, but was just laughing at everything. What I find fascinating about the podcast is when you’re talking about motherhood, the line between laughing and tears is so close. You can be talking about something really emotional and then be laughing your head off.
Jo Malone’s episode was another highlight and really surprised me, it was quite emotional and she’s just such a fascinating woman. Each guest has been so wonderful though and has just opened up and let us in, which is amazing.
Who’s your dream guest?
I’ve always said Kate Middleton or Michelle Obama, I mean - we’re thinking big! If we’re still talking international, I’d say Busy Philipps, who is absolutely amazing on Instagram and everything else that she does. The way that Pink shares motherhood online is so great, her kids are travelling the world with her on tour which I think is just brilliant. And, of course, Serena Williams. To have someone who’s been so dedicated to her training for so long, and with all the things she’s recently said about her sacrifices and juggling her motherhood duties, I think that would be a really good chat.
Series 3 of Giovanna’s podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby is out now.
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