While pregnancy is a beautiful journey, postpartum struggle is real for many new mothers. Not only does it bring with it some emotional challenges, there are also a few physical manifestations of it. Model Ashley Graham recently opened up about her experience, sharing that she had to face some traumatic postpartum surprises.
She told Parents that like many new parents, she, too, had had an idea about her motherhood experience, but the reality of having a newborn was much different. “Your whole life turns upside down,” the 33-year-old — who gave birth to son Isaac in January 2020 — was quoted as telling the outlet.
Right after she gave birth, the pandemic hit the world and the model said: “I have to say it was such a blessing because I got to have the maternity leave that I actually never thought that I would have, and the maternity leave that I didn’t know I was going to want to have.”
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“I had a mindset when I was pregnant, like, ‘Oh, I’m just gonna take two or three months off, and I’m gonna go right back into work, and everything’s gonna be so fine.’ And then when I met Isaac, I was like, ‘I don’t want to go back.’ But it was this beautiful balance of being able to work from home and being able to be with him,” she was quoted as saying.
On postpartum surprises, the model said that everybody told her if she breastfed, the weight would fall off. “Well, that was BS. And I’m still working on like 20 pounds. When I say working on, I just kind of look at it every day like, ‘Hello, new body’. And that’s just kind of how I go on with it.
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“And I think it was like around four months, my whole hairline fell out. And that was more traumatic than even birth because I was like, ‘My hair’s falling out in clumps — what am I doing?’ And then I realised it’s actually a thing. My skin got a bit irritated as well, and I had a little bit of rosacea that I had to combat.”
Somewhere else in the interview, Graham sounded more relatable than ever, especially to new mothers, when she said the hardest part of motherhood has been the ‘mom guilt’, of leaving the baby behind. “The first time I left was when I walked in Milan Fashion Week… It was the first time I was going to leave him — it had been eight months. I had lots of milk saved up, but just that idea of leaving him brought so much guilt. Then when I actually got on the airplane, I was like, ‘Wait, I could treat this like a vacation’. And that’s what I did for four days.”
Every mother goes through her own unique journey of raising her child, and everyone out there is trying to do the best thing. By being vocal about her own struggle, Graham has simply made it easier for other new moms who are confused and guilt-ridden at the moment.
Hang in there, you got this!