Having hung up the infamous red swimsuit, former Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin has dived into motherhood head first with four kids — 10 month old Stella, Hudson, 3, Spencer, 12 and stepdaughter Caia, 8. Currently working on a book about being a mom and having had postpartum depression after the birth of each child, she opens up to Breezy Mama on the symptoms she experienced, discussing her Playboy past with her kids, her feelings if her own daughter wants to pose one day, whether she’d do a Baywatch reunion and more.
Were you able to recognize the signs of your postpartum depression or did someone have to point it out to you?
I knew something wasn’t right when I felt unusually sad and withdrawn. I was weak and emotional almost all the time — I knew it was game on… once again!
What steps did you take once you realized?
With my second child I was more aware of the symptoms, so I went to my OB/GYN first and then was pointed in the right direction as to meds, etc.
Let’s talk the red swimsuit – would you wear it again for a reunion show?
I’ve done two Baywatch reunion movies… Would I wear the red suit again at this point in my life? Let’s just say, they’d have to pay me a lot of money!
Are you in touch with any of the cast?
I’m in touch with almost everyone I worked with — that says a lot about the cast. I had such a great time and met some wonderful people I feel blessed to call friends. I’m lucky to be a part of something so iconic!
Have your kids seen Baywatch?
My 12 year old has seen a few episodes and the actual movie he’s in. He was only 8 weeks old when they dressed him as a baby girl for the scene playing Ashley — my baby in a storyline. He’s not very happy about it — perfect blackmail when he’s 16 and doesn’t follow the rules!
Is your 12 year old aware that you were in Playboy? How do you cover THAT topic?
I’ve had many conversations about Playboy and other unfortunate topics we’ve been faced with! Spencer’s amazing and incredibly mature for his age. After some of our talks, he’s said,”Mom, I’m really proud of you and I respect the decisions you’ve made in your life!” WOW!
For me, being featured in Playboy was a choice I made very carefully, knowing I’d be faced with these questions from my children at some point. I’m proud to say, I’m in the company of some brilliantly powerful women such as Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford, Lauren Hutton, Racquel Welch, Elle Macpherson and so many others.. I feel honored to be a part of something so big and to me Playboy is simply classic. It will sadly one day only be a memory to the new generations in Hollywood. My grandchildren and their children will be proud to say their granny made history!
Have his friends noticed that his mom is, well, hot?
With the Internet and tweens nowadays… Yes, of course his friends are very aware of who I am and the shows I’ve done. I have to say, I think I’ve thrown them off by my sweat pants and no makeup when they come over. I think they assume I’ll look like the TV spots and magazines ads they’ve seen me in and get bummed when all they get is Spencer’s mom! 🙂 You have no idea what a kick I get out of that! 🙂
Would you be okay if your daughter wants to one day pose in Playboy?
The #1 goal in my life is to raise my children to be respectful, kind, hard working individuals. With that being said, I know my daughter will make the best decision for herself and her family at that time. I will support her and cheer her on if she chooses to pose for Playboy. Being one’s mother you feel a huge responsibility for their outcome in life. I truly believe, she’ll be the one I look up to!
Have there ever been times where you felt disheveled, the kids were, um, not on their best behavior and you thought to yourself, “I used to be on the number 1 show in the world!”?
I’ve been in the same situations everyone has! How about being the teacher’s helper in the preschool class while your child acts… nasty and disrespectful the entire time for no reason at all — embarrassing! Or trying to whip down the aisles of Target with a screaming child, another that needs to poop, while one persistently wants to check out the new Playstation 3. Meantime, my $6 Starbucks is spilling everywhere… Just take a deep breath and smile to another day in paradise!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m currently working on a postpartum depression book that will be out next year. I have two mommy style show’s that are in development that I co-created. I’m so excited for this new chapter in my life, I feel like my work is far from over and feel blessed to be able to share my stories and experiences to the mommies of the world!
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