What a woman! Danica McKellar, who first stole our hearts as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, is now inspiring us to get excited about math! Her New York Times bestselling books Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math challenges us to look at the way we socialize our young girls: “Society teaches girls that they have to choose between being smart and being attractive.” Her upcoming book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, hits shelves next month and encourages girls aged 13-15 to excel at – and enjoy! – math.
No only is she launching a new book, she’s also delivering her first baby later this year! Danica and her husband, composer Mike Verta, are preparing to “do lots of ‘babywearing’ in wraps/slings, and of course give the baby tons of love.” The 35 year old mom-to-be opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her passion to empower young girls, her pregnancy and her hopes for a natural childbirth.
CBS: Congratulations on your first pregnancy! How have you been feeling?
DM: “I’ve been feeling great! My first trimester I did feel a bit queasy, but now I feel terrific and am full of energy. I’ve been doing yoga. I actually made a yoga DVD called Daily Dose of Dharma and I’ve been doing it every day! And with my full appetite back, I’ve been eating tons of organic foods, staying away from processed sugars, white flours, and anything artificial. It’s the same as my normal regime, but I’m being even stricter, because everything I put into my body is literally building this precious baby inside me. As much as I may crave them, it’s not the time for donuts!”
CBS: Are you reading all the books?
DM: “I’ve read a nice variety of both birthing and baby books. So far I’ve read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth, also her breastfeeding book – two of my favorites. I’ve also read Hypnobirthing, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and I’m making my way through Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book which is like 700 pages long. I’ve read others, but those are my favorites.”
CBS: Do you plan on a natural childbirth?
DM: “Absolutely. That being said, I know we can’t always know what medical surprises may happen during childbirth. But my hope is to go fully natural – no epidural, no interventions. Wish me luck!”
CBS: What are some of the things you plan to do – and not do – with your baby?
DM: “I plan to breastfeed for at least a year. Mike and I plan to do lots of ‘babywearing’ in wraps/slings, and of course give the baby tons of love. The rest will work itself out.”
CBS: You have a degree in mathematics and you encourage young girls to embrace math. Tell us about your books and how you try to encourage young girls that ‘math doesn’t suck.’ Why do you think so many people struggle with math?
DM: “This society teaches girls that they have to choose between being smart and being attractive, and with my books, not only do I make math easy by teaching it in terms of topics they’re already thinking about (shopping, boys, etc.), but I show them that being smart is actually an important part of being fabulous!
Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math (for ages 9-11 and 11-13) are both New York Times bestsellers, and that makes me happy because I know I’m reaching lots of girls. I also get emails from them, telling me I’ve given them incredible confidence and I hear all about their greatly improved math scores. It’s an amazing feeling. My third book, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, (for ages 13-15, or anyone taking Algebra) comes out August 3rd, 2010. So I’m delivering a book and then a baby later this year!”