Olympic Medalist Shawn Johnson East Reveals How She's Grown Since Becoming a Mom (Exclusive)

Shawn Johnson East is expecting her second child with husband Andrew East, and while this is her second time around with motherhood and is more prepared than she was her first time, it still comes with its challenges. Being an athlete at such a high level, Johnson East says she was used to being a "perfectionist" but now that she's prepping for a family of four, those expectations are out the window. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Johnson East says while she still strives to do it all for her family, she's a little easier on herself these days.

"You know, before I became a mom, I was definitely a perfectionist — especially as an Olympic athlete — I put a lot of pressure on myself to meet super high standards. On top of that, I think my perception of motherhood was influenced by what I saw on social media — I'd see moms that were totally glammed up making five-course meals for their families," she detailed. "And, now that I'm a mom myself, I laugh at that thought because it's just totally unachievable, at least for me. Now that we're going to be parents to two under two, I'm not putting too much pressure on myself to meet that 'perfect' standard."

The 29-year-old mom and her husband welcomed their first child together, daughter Drew Hazel East, in November of 2019. When Johnson East spoke with PopCulture in the summer of 2019 while she was pregnant with Drew and after suffering a miscarriage, Johnson relayed her concerns over her two-vessel umbilical cord — which meant her umbilical cord had one vein and one artery. Most umbilical cords have three vessels — one vein and two arteries. Johnson's East complication typically affects only 1% of pregnancies and meant that it could lead to a number of complications.

After going through that experience, Johnson-East said that because of what she has learned, she feels a little more prepared since she's been through the process before, but that it still presents new hurdles to jump. "Yes and no," she said when asked if she feels more at ease this time around. "With this baby, I'm more comfortable going through the pregnancy journey because I know more about what to expect, but at the same time I'm in a different place than when I was pregnant with Drew. Now, I'm trying to keep up with a toddler who is always on the move, while also dealing with the uncertainty of the world we're living in. What I'm learning is that each pregnancy will be totally unique — and we can't wait to see how this baby will add to our family dynamic."

While she's gearing up for baby number two, Johnson recently partnered with Eggo in part of their L'Eggo with Eggo and is thrilled because she admitted that it's a brand and type of food she ate quite often as a kid herself. "My mom actually laughed and said, 'Finally!' when she found [out] I was working with Eggo because, like I mentioned, they were literally my lifeline growing up."


Johnson noted that what fans don't know about her is that she was quite the "picky eater growing up" and Eggo waffles were something she ate a lot. "And Drew has definitely taken after me in her love for Eggo waffles, too!" She said when the company approached her "in helping parents L'Eggo of morning madness, it was a no brainer for me," as the company encourages parents to ease up on trying to do it all.