“Jersey Shore’s” Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi used to be known for her perma-tan, drunken brawls and infamous “smushing” antics.
But now this 24-year-old pint-sized reality star is settling down. Snooki is newly engaged to boyfriend Jionni Lavalle, who gave her a 5-carat diamond on Valentine’s Day, and the couple has a baby on the way.
“I feel like I’m going to be a good mom,” she said.
In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Juju Chang at Manhattan’s Albee Baby, Snooki, who is heading into her second trimester, talked candidly about how pregnancy has changed her behavior and her life. Here’s a hint: No more GTL.
“A lot of people definitely underestimate me, but this isn’t a joke,” Snooki said. “Once you realize you’re pregnant and you have your little daughter or son in you, I mean, you stop [partying]…and I feel it changed me overnight.”
Snooki’s father, Andy Polizzi, said pregnancy has suited his daughter well.
“I just think it brought her to the next level of adulthood,” he said. “She’s changed so much.”
Here are some of the most surprising things about pregnant Snooki.
1. Snooki Gave Up Lots of Pregnancy No-Nos
On the “Jersey Shore,” the gang was rarely without a drink in their hands, but Snooki said she is going stone-cold sober for the baby.
“Pregnant people shouldn’t be in a bar, I feel,” she said. “All my friends are like, ‘you can have a glass of wine.’ I’m like, ‘No.’ I refuse because I’m going to be that person that has a glass of wine and [the] baby comes out with three legs.”
Being pregnant has completely changed her priorities, Snooki said. Where she would once worry about going out, Snooki said her focus is now on being healthy.
“I just don’t like to be around people that drink because then I’ll be like, ‘cool, I miss it,’” she said.
Snooki said she is also giving up lots of other pregnancy no-nos, such as hot tubs, hair bleaching — although she recently had ammonia-free highlights and blonde extensions put in, both pregnancy-safe — tanning beds and spray tanning.
“I’m actually embracing the paleness,” Snooki said. “It’s kind of a new look.”
2. Snooki Doesn’t Crave Pickles Anymore
Snooki and pickles used to be synonymous. Her love for them knew no bounds on the “Jersey Shore,” where she would drink pickle juice straight from the jar or munch on one in hand.
But now that she’s pregnant, Snooki said she no longer wants the food that is craved by most moms-to-be.
“I don’t crave pickles,” she said. “I crave a lot of fruits. Cold fruits, pineapple, just because I feel like I get little hot flashes sometimes so I like cold things that cool me off.”
3. House Music in the Delivery Room?
OK, so there is still one signature Snooki thing that the reality star said she can’t live without: House music. In fact, she said she plans to have the beat thumping in the delivery room.
“House music calms me down, no matter my situation,” Snooki said, “For some people it’s classical music or Elton John, I’m House music.”
4. Snooki Is ‘Scared’ to Breastfeed
For many women, breastfeeding is often seen as a way for a mother and child to have an intimate bond, but Snooki said she is not interested.
“I’m just scared,” she said. “My friend did and she said it was so painful…but I definitely want to pump because it’s the best nutrients for the baby.”
Although she has not completely warmed to the idea of pumping breast milk either. “It’s kind of like you’re a cow and you’re just milking,” she said.
5. The Couple Has Picked Out Baby Names
Snooki revealed she will be having a baby boy a few weeks ago, and she and fiancé Jionni Lavalle said they have settled on a name.
“I think we’re going to do ‘Lorenzo,’” Snooki said. “Because then you can call him ‘Enzo.’”
And if she were having a girl, Snooki said she would have gone with the name “Giada.”
6. Snooki Wants Four Kids
With one baby on the way, Snooki and Lavalle are already talking about having more children. Three, she said.
“Being adopted and the only child, I want my kids to have brothers and sisters to hang out with because I was lonely,” Snooki said.
Despite her busy schedule, Snooki doesn’t plan on hiring a baby sitter for baby Lorenzo because she said she only wants friends and family to care for the little guy.
7. Pregnant Snooki Refuses to Ditch Sky-High Heels, Leopard Print
At 4 feet, 9 inches tall, Snooki said she is holding fast to some of her signature style and refuses to give up animal prints and those six-inch heels.
“Until it feels uncomfortable I’m still going to rock them,” she said. “I’m 24 and I’m pregnant. It doesn’t mean I need to be wearing flats and ugly shoes. I can still look good.”
The reality star’s fame helped her launch a brand empire with a line of suntan lotions and perfume. But Snooki said she is also looking for an opportunity to do a baby clothing line and already designed a pair of baby slippers – in leopard or zebra print, of course.
“I like being gaudy because it’s just, you know, different,” she said. “It’s a different style. I don’t like blending in with people.”
8. The Couple Says They Won’t Hide Partying Past From Kids
Pregnancy has also provided an opportunity for Snooki to re-invent herself. Her new MTV reality show spinoff, “Snooki & Jwoww,” is designed to showcase two best friends on one last hoorah as bachelorettes before Snooki walks down the aisle.
But it won’t be easy to shed her “Jersey Shore” reputation, something even Snooki knows will live on in re-run heaven.
But when asked if she would be embarrassed if her kids discovered their mother’s drama-filled, drunken past, Snooki said no, and plans to face their questions head on.
“I just learn from my mistakes,” Snooki said. “Like when I got arrested two years ago, I wish that didn’t happen, but it did and it’s a learning experience, so my kids can hopefully learn from that.”
Her future husband seemed to agree.
“I’m just going to tell my kids, you know, because they’re going to see it. They’re going to hear about it. They’re going to Google it no matter what I say. So I’m just going to show them myself and say, ‘this is what mommy did. Learn from her mistakes,’” Lavalle said.