Serena says it's okay to be scared, but not okay to compare postpartum bodies.
Vogue cover star Ashley Graham has received a lot of advice about pregnancy from some pretty famous friends. Since the moment she announced her pregnancy in August, Ashley Graham has been sharing gorgeous pictures of her body's evolution. But as we all know pregnancy is just the teeniest sliver of the iceberg that is motherhood, and there have been a whole lot of mothers eager to tell her so.
In the new issue of Vogue, the supermodel and some of her famous friends share the advice they've been giving the mom-to-be.
"Now all anyone wants to talk to me about is being pregnant," said Graham, who is due to have her baby boy with husband Justin Ervin in January. "There's just this camaraderie. It's a secret society that I didn't know about."
While most of us don't take too kindly to unsolicited parenting advice, we might feel a little differently if Serena Williams was texting it to us.
Here are some of the choice bits of motherhood wisdom Graham has received:
Kim Kardashian: Pregnancy is harder than giving birth (but every mama has her own journey)
"Ashley, the pregnancy may be the hardest part, but the birth is the easiest," Kim Kardashian told Graham at Williams' fashion show this September.
Kim has had famously hard, complicated pregnancies, so that was her experience, but not every mother feels this way. For some pregnancy would rank as easier, while some would say that birth wasn't even as hard as the postpartum recovery.
Every mama's journey is different.
Jordan Foster: Friends make pregnancy and motherhood easier
Graham said she had a hard time during the first four months when she was keeping her pregnancy a secret and her body was going through all its crazy hormonal changes. "I felt like I didn't have anyone to talk to. I was gaining weight rapidly. And I felt alone. And the one piece of advice that my stylist, Jordan Foster, gave me was: Make pregnant friends. None of my friends were in relationships, let alone pregnant. And now I have nine pregnant friends."
We're so happy that Ashley found nine fellow mamas to connect with. Jordan gives good advice!
Serena Williams: It's okay to be scared
Serena Williams told Graham that it's okay to be afraid, there's a lot happening when your body transforms during pregnancy. It's okay to have moments when you admit that there is a lot going on.
"I was one of those people who wanted to know every ugly detail of what happens . . . down there . . . what happens everywhere," Serena Williams told Vogue of her conversations with Graham. "Like, why are my nipples so big a week into being pregnant? This makes no sense; the baby doesn't need to eat yet. I wanted to know every single thing, and I still love talking about it. Because I feel like it's important to kind of change the narrative and be like, it's normal to feel scared, and not be one of those women who are like, 'Oh, it's so great!' Just be scared out of your mind. That's normal."
Serena Williams: Don't compare yourself to other postpartum mamas
Not that Graham, of all people, is prone to thinking her body should look like everyone else's, but Williams wanted to reiterate this. "I had a little problem with the lies of girls on Instagram—like, coming out of the hospital holding the baby and . . . you know . . . looking thinner than before," Williams said. "That's not happening to me! That's one thing I've learned, and the thing I tell Ashley: Everybody—literally every body—is different. You might jump back in an hour. I didn't."
Amy Schumer: You'll get why parents are so excited to give advice.
Amy Schumer understands a thing or two about the unsolicited advice people offer to pregnant mamas and new parents, but now that she's got a few months of parenthood under her belt she also understands why parents offer it. It often comes from a good place, even if the timing isn't great.
"People are so in your face when you're pregnant because they're so f---ing excited for you. And you don't get it. You can't possibly get it. And then after you've had a baby you're like, 'Oh, I get it!'," Amy Schumer said she told Graham.
But Schumer also told Graham she's gonna hold herself back from offering unsolicited advice, but reminded Graham that she's only a phone call away if the new mama does ever want to hear Schumer's suggestions.
Graham is taking all this advice in, while "not putting too much pressure on myself" she said.
Though there is one thing she'd really like other moms to share with her ASAP: How to have sex when your bump gets huge.
"I've been literally asking every single one of my friends who have had babies or who're pregnant, like, 'What positions do you guys do?'"Graham said, wondering how everyone else works around their growing bumps. "This has to be a normal conversation among mothers."
If anyone has tips to share on that front, you can actually text them to Graham. Last month, she posted her new phone number on Instagram, in order to stay in touch with fans. Once again, Ashley Graham, we salute your bravery.