Why Pregnancy Has Keke Palmer Feeling Like "Superwoman"

Pregnant Keke Palmer loves the sight of a fierce mom doing her thing. She talked to E! News about preparing for her first baby and why she loved Jimmy Fallon's inspiring piece of parenting advice.

By Natalie Finn Feb 21, 2023 2:00 PMTags

Count Keke Palmer among those applauding how Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show performance shared the stage with her pregnancy reveal.  

"I'm just so happy to see what we're seeing with all of us women out here, work and doing our thing—and being pregnant," the Nope star, who's expecting her first child with boyfriend Darius Jackson, told E! News in an exclusive interview. "I think sometimes people treat pregnancy like it's a disease, like [sheepishly] 'I got pregnant.'"

But, Palmer continued, "I feel the most powerful that I have ever felt being pregnant. I feel like, 'Yo, I could do anything.' It gives you this Superwoman-type of strength. And also just the idea of knowing that you're gonna be somebody's mom—my friends and I talk about how a mother loves when she gets in an argument with somebody [to say], 'At the end of the day, I'm a mom.'"

The 29-year-old admittedly never understood what sort of point that was supposed to be.

"But soon as you start becoming a mom yourself, that's your thing," Palmer said, "like, 'Honey, I'm above.' And that's how you feel."

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And Rihanna, who also shares a 9-month-old son with A$AP Rocky, is hardly the only working mom who inspires the star.

"We have moms in their third trimester that are saving lives," Palmer stressed. "They're in the ER, nurses, doctors, lawyers, people doing stand-up... Moms are out here killing it."

And, she added, "I was telling myself that when I'm moving around and getting into stuff, it's good for the baby. Like, we're here together, we movin', we runnin." 

To put it mildly.

Starry Soda

In addition to the movies on her to-do list, including the years-in-the-making third Sister Act film, Palmer lends her voice to the animated Netflix comedy Human Resources, she just dropped the Meta talk show Are We There Yet, and she's hosting a podcastBaby, This Is Keke Palmer.

Plus, she enjoyed a romance with a tall drink of soda in a new commercial for the lemon-lime soft drink Starry that premiered during NBA All Star Weekend, and she's still busting out dances on TikTok in all her expectant glory.

Palmer attributes her exuberance to "true joy," explaining, "I've been happy in my life before, but it's quite different, the joy of knowing that you built something with someone, you created something, and you're gonna get to actually meet that creation— that progression is going to live and be in this world."

Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Interestingly, she's also quite excited to have a new person in her life who doesn't look at her and see "celebrity Keke Palmer." (Even though her son will be free to use a clip of his mom's pregnancy reveal on Saturday Night Live for show-and-tell one day.)

"I'm so happy for someone to look at me and not know me in that way," said Palmer, who started acting as a kid and broke out in Akeelah and the Bee when she was 12. "That is the coolest thing in the world. I remember what my life was like before I was an entertainer. And it's really hard to find people that see me and treat me that way. With social media, everybody is seen or perceived a way before you meet them. But a baby has no preconceived notions of who I am or who I should be. That is so special and so exciting."

And Palmer can't wait to find out who he is, too, aside from a Pisces or Aries (as she noted on The Tonight Show last month when she first shared she was having a boy).

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"I just think it's exciting to meet a new little person," she said. At the same time, "You have to remind yourself, as a parent, that this person really doesn't belong to me. I brought them into the world, I'm here to watch them, I'm here to be there for them."

"I might feel, like, 'Oh my gosh, I love him so much, and he came from me,'" she continued. "But at the end of the day, he has his own identity. So I've got to get to know him as a new person in my life that I just happen to be in love with already."

The Illinois native's support system includes her mother Sharon, who's been "very encouraging of me and my partner Darius," Palmer noted, in addition to giving her "encouragement and confidence in a new way" as a mom-to-be.

As for tips about the actual giving-birth portion of the process, Palmer shared that her mother's been advising her to "mentally escape" and remember, when the going gets tough, that "pretty soon I'm gonna be hanging with this baby."

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Palmer said she's been getting a lot of useful advice about pregnancy and the less-talked-about postpartum "fourth trimester," when a mom is adjusting to not being pregnant anymore and having a tiny human to care for. But perhaps her favorite piece of wisdom so far was what Jimmy Fallon offered when she visited The Tonight Show.

"He was just, like, 'You got it,'" she recalled. "I love that advice! Because I think that a lot of people over-advise when you're becoming a parent to the point where it's like, 'You know, there's really no one way to be a parent. There's no one way to do it.'"

Fallon's kind words were "just encouraging," Palmer said. "He's like, 'You're gonna figure it out as you go, and everything's gonna be great.' I think more of that advice is probably needed, because it encourages the parent to trust themselves. Yes, I love that advice."

—Reporting by Adam Havener

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