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Jennifer Love Hewitt, American Baby

Courtesy American Baby

Jennifer Love Hewitt is glowing!

Since announcing her second pregnancy in January, the Criminal Minds actress, 36, has eschewed the spotlight to spend time with husband Brian Hallisay, 36, and daughter Autumn Hallisay, 16 months. Now, for the first time, Hewitt talks about Baby No. 2 in American Baby's May 2015 issue. "Pregnancy is magical. I'm grateful," the TV star admits. "It's not lost on me what a gift it is to be able to get pregnant."

Jennifer isn't joking!

"I've been an actress for 25 years, and have had to be hungry at times for my career, so being pregnant is completely freeing," she says. "When I was expecting Autumn, I ate everything I saw! I told myself, 'Oh there's a donut—I should have that.' Now with this second pregnancy, I know the baby really doesn't 'need it.' So I eat healthy foods in general, but I also indulge in little things that I crave."

Jennifer Love Hewitt, American Baby Magazine

American Baby Magazine

The actress says her cravings aren't "too weird," but she is into pickles. "I sort of just like the things that I normally like, but more of it. I'm a big jalapeño person when I'm pregnant, which I like anyway. Italian food, which I kind of like anyway. You know cake, hotdogs—you name it, really. Pretty much anything."

She embraces her curves, saying, "Your body changes so much, and there's a sensuality about that. I say accentuate the fact that your legs look thinner than they ever have, and your boobs look great: Work it!"

Jennifer Love Hewitt, American Baby Magazine

American Baby Magazine

Jennifer also explains that she sees pregnancy as a reminder to slow down. "Because so many of us are busy or driven, we forget to take care of ourselves," she says. "But when you're pregnant, it's all about you—and that baby inside of you. Enjoy a nap; for some reason our generation thinks we can't do that! Really listen to your body. I hope to continue to be a little kinder to myself after pregnancy."

How does she unwind, exactly? "Date night looks a lot like DVR, some sort of brought-in dinner substance or me cooking, and right now I go to bed at like 8:15," the Client List actress confesses. "It's a lot like being married to Betty White."

Jennifer Love Hewitt, American Baby Magazine

American Baby Magazine

Brian "was a genius" when she was in labor with Autumn, and she has faith he'll be just as helpful the second time around. "He's a very calm, super-stable person by nature and doesn't add drama," Jennifer says. "He treats me to things, like when I text him that I'm craving the cherry pie from Ralph's market."

"I think most men get these superpowers when their partners are pregnant."

Jennifer is excited to meet Baby No. 2, but she'll miss being pregnant. "As somebody who's been in this business for a long time and had to sort of be all about what your figure looks like, your regimen—I think if you can let that stuff go and really embrace what you're doing, you feel kind of awesome," she admits.

See more behind-the-scenes footage from the cover shoot at Parents.com.