Ashley Graham Says Body Control Goes 'Out the Window' During Pregnancy: 'I Haven't Felt the Same'
Ashley Graham learned the importance of relinquishing control after her first pregnancy.
The model, 33, is preparing to give birth to her second child, after welcoming her firstborn, 18-month-old son Isaac Menelik, last January. "I think being in control when you're pregnant, it just gets thrown out the window," she tells PEOPLE while discussing her new partnership with Knix.
"And I learned that the hard way when I tried to control everything when I was pregnant with Isaac and I told myself that I was going to bounce right back because I was breastfeeding and everybody told me, 'Oh, if you breastfeed you're going to lose all the weight,' " Graham adds. "And I had a few honest women tell me you will never feel the same. So they were just blunt with me and sure enough, I haven't felt the same.
"And then boom. I was like, 'Well, I just got pregnant again so maybe I'll never feel the same and I don't even know what I felt like before I was pregnant with Isaac anyways,' " she says.
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Graham recently joined Knix as an investor and their first-ever global brand ambassador, helping introduce the brand to the activewear space with their latest line, Knix Active. Graham swears by the leakproof leggings and she loves sleeping in the low impact bras, while the high impact bras are perfect for a good workout.
"It's all about where it usually hits on the belly and it just hits you in such a good way that like you're not uncomfortable all day," she says, also praising the body inclusivity, with sizes ranging from XS to XXXXL and wireless bras up to 42G.
"I started off as a customer. Then I kept wearing the same clothes after Isaac and that doesn't normally happen," Graham explains. "I just went down a size and that's the beauty of it. It's clothes that are made for every type of person at every stage of their life and here I am pregnant again, still wearing everything."
Graham's involvement with the brand came after she connected via Instagram with Knix founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths. "I love Joanna. She's so badass," Graham says. "She created this company. She's also a mother. She launched it while she was pregnant. She's just so innovative with her ideas."
As an ambassador for Knix, Graham will appear in the brand's campaigns, while also participating in the Life After Birth Project. In partnership with Carriage House Birth, the initiative is a traveling gallery that spotlights different women's birthing experiences and postpartum journeys.
The Pretty Big Deal podcast host has frequently decried mommy shaming while advocating for other moms. "I think that the best thing I did was find a mommy community and when I'm pregnant, I find other pregnant people to just call and ask [questions] because this pregnancy is so different from the last and different symptoms, different feelings," Graham says.
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"And then when the kid gets here, then you have a whole other slew of questions because they don't come with a manual, so [I'm] all about the community," she adds. "And I think that if I didn't have that, I would be so lost."
Graham and husband Justin Ervin, 32, announced last month that they're pregnant with their second child, after Isaac was born on January 18, 2020. "I don't think he understands the concept of being a 'big brother,' " Graham says of Isaac. "He knows that there's a baby in the belly. Because I say, 'Where's the baby?' And then he points and then wants to kiss it."
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