Former Days of Our Lives actress and expecting mom Ximena Duque offers tips to feel and look great during pregnancy.

By Lena Hansen
January 16, 2018 03:22 PM
Credit: John Parra/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Ximena Duque just welcomed her daughter Luna to world on Jan. 14. The stunning Colombian actress — who has had roles on Days of Our Lives and Queen of the South — shared the happy news on Instagram yesterday. She posted an adorable photo of Luna’s tiny feet framed by her hands and her husband’s hands making heart signs around them. “Thank you all for being so concerned about us,” she wrote. “@lunaadkins3 arrived yesterday Jan. 14 at 4:56pm. At that moment, our world stopped and our lives changed forever. It wasn’t an easy birth, I was in delivery for 39 hours and a half and I had a few complications, but I thank God that we are both safe and happy.”

Hours before going into labor, Duque, who turns 33 Jan. 30, opened up to PEOPLE CHICA about all things pregnancy, revealing that even pre-baby, familial bonds strengthened. Duque’s 13-year-old son Cristan was thrilled to be a big brother. “My son is very happy. I’m sure he will fall in love with his little sister,” she told PEOPLE CHICA. Her husband, Jay Adkins, provided invaluable support during pregnancy and promises to be hands-on with his little princess. “Jay is an absolutely awesome husband, dad and friend. I couldn’t ask for a better man. He takes care of me every minute of the day, and gives me peace of mind,” she added.

As for her food, fitness and beauty regimen during those trimesters, Duque’s golden rule — don’t give in to every craving — was not always easy to maintain. “I had a lot of cravings, from chocolate to burgers to sodas,” she admitted, “But my mind was stronger and instead I ate fruits and healthy snacks.” One such nibble she shared on Instagram Stories is a parfait made of two spoonfuls of Greek yogurt and one of cottage cheese, topped with berries, banana slices and granola. She also likes nutritious meals like grilled chicken with spinach, brown rice and green beans.

Duque paid attention to what her body told her. “Pregnancy has different stages where sometimes you are more hungry than other times,” she said. Gradually cutting down on certain foods made the withdrawal process easier. “At the beginning of my pregnancy, I ate a lot of carbs because the baby is growing and you get super-hungry. The second trimester I cut the carbs to once a day and that was at breakfast, and for the last trimester I haven’t been eating that much carbs because I know the baby is full-grown.”

Duque —who has stayed active by walking and swimming — drove the Internet wild in September when she posted a sexy video dancing and showing off her belly. Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up on the activities you love, she assured: “My advice would be to eat healthy, to enjoy the pregnancy and be happy, enjoy the journey.”

Nor does it mean missing out on beauty trends. As the actress illustrated with an Instagram shot of an updated shade, dyeing one’s hair while with child is no longer a big no-no. After changing her blonde hair back to her natural brown, she sent photos to her followers. “These days there’s plenty of products that pregnant women could use,” she said of hair dyes for that do not contain toxins and can be used if your doctor gives you the green light.

While her advice for moms-to-be included getting as much sleep as possible, the new mother of two’s shuteye schedule will now be determined by little Luna. Duque plans to breastfeed and devote herself entirely to the baby for the first eight months, but she hopes to return to acting soon after. Although she has an upcoming project in queue with Telemundo, she is thirsty for more roles in the American market. “I would love to act more in English,” she shared. “That is my goal for this 2018!” She’ll have to see what Luna says about that as well.