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By peoplestaff225
Updated January 01, 2007 08:41 PM
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On June 28, 2006, actress Mariska Hargitay, 42, and her husband Peter Hermann welcomed their first child, a 10-pound, 9-ounce son named August, now 6 months.Mariska graces the cover of Self Magazine‘s January issue and discusses pregnancy and motherhood, including her issues with gestational diabetes, which led to August’s large birth weight and an emergency c-section delivery. For more scans and interview highlights, click below.

When she first learned she was pregnant, Mariska said she was more than ecstatic: "Nobody wanted to be pregnant more than me. From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants. My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just so excited."

But the 15-hour work days on the set of Law and Order: SVU combined with the stress of an increase in episodes filmed each week caused Mariska to resort to food for comfort. She says, "I was overwhelmed by my lack of energy. All I could do to survive was to eat."

By her third trimester, Mariska had gained 54 pounds and contracted gestational diabetes, which caused her to make some changes in what she ate. "First time pregnant, you’re like, I gotta eat more! I have to make sure he has enough of every single food group! I did get into eating too much. This pregnancy was really hard for me at the end. I wasn’t mobile. Next time, I want to keep myself as strong as possible, so everything will go easier for me."

With hopes of getting pregnant again soon, Mariska enlisted the help of Peak Performance, a gym in New York City. She says, "After getting pregnant I felt so different about my body. I felt like it was a sanctuary, like August’s house. It was like, somebody lives there now—I’ve got to keep it nice and strong and healthy for him. And so now I’m thinking that someone else is going to live there someday soon, so I’ve got to get it ready. It’s very exciting." When she first started working out three times per week with her trainer, Jay Wright, Mariska felt intimidated, but soon found the hard work helped her get her pre-baby body back.

In addition, because she is breast-feeding, she made some changes to her diet, which also helped her slim down. She focuses on eating in balance – lean meats with lots of vegetables and fruit – and keeps that great perspective that makes her one of our favorite celebrity moms. She says, "For me, it was never about how I looked. I’m a mom now… I feel like a superhero!" She even took her belly pouch in stride: "After my c-section, I had a pouch on my belly for a long time, which has started going away, but all I can say is that it was a badge of honor. I was so proud of it. I felt like I joined the coolest club in the world—the mom’s club."

Source: Self magazine, January 2007 issue, pages 24-25

Thanks to CBB reader Jane. Huge thanks to SVU fan Joan for taking the time to scan everything!