Ashley Graham is crediting a group of “incredible” women for helping her during pregnancy — she recently welcomed twins with husband Justin Ervin — and with postpartum care.
“I am forever grateful for these incredible women who were by my side during the experience of carrying twins and my postpartum journey,” the model wrote on Instagram Thursday, sharing snapshots of the support group (whom Graham didn’t identify by name) that played an immeasurable role in her second pregnancy.
“I couldn’t have imagined what it would entail, but I know it would not have been the same without them,” she added. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts – from me, from Justin, from Isaac, and from the twins. We are unbelievably blessed to have you.”
In January, Graham and Ervin, who share two-year-old son Isaac, welcomed twin boys Malachi and Roman, whose names the model announced in the most stylish fashion: A photo shoot. “My boys have been the greatest teachers and biggest reminders that I can do hard things,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a breastfeeding pic. “This has not been easy, but it’s so worth it. still can’t believe I have 3 children. Can’t wait to share my birth & postpartum journey with you all soon…”
Graham’s new photo delivers on that promise. Whether these women were professionals who played a role in her pregnancy care (she loves yoga, acupuncture, and cupping) or personal friends, their presence was obviously vital. Postpartum care isn’t prized in the United States, which doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave (unlike in most of the world) and where mental health resources for new moms aren’t always on hand, despite the threat of postpartum depression.
But it’s not just new moms who are risk for the mental health disorder — in a 2020 study of 5,000 women published in the journal Pediatrics, one in four experienced high levels of depression symptoms “at some point” three years after giving birth. The remaining women had low levels of depression during that period. “Our study indicates that six months may not be long enough to gauge depressive symptoms,” lead author Diane Putnick, Ph.D., said in the study. “These long-term data are key to improving our understanding of mom’s mental health, which we know is critical to her child’s well-being and development.”
Separate research showed that self-confidence among moms (both first-timers and experienced ones) flip-flopped between pregnancy and their child’s first birthday.
Graham, who is fortunate to have a tribe, shows us why motherhood is never a solo act.
Celebrate the beauty of different breastfeeding journeys through these photographs.
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