Are we the only ones who shrieked in excitement when Rihanna announced her first pregnancy in January 2022? Back in 2020, Rihanna mentioned in an interview with British Vogue that she could see herself having “three or four kids” in the next 10 years—and now she’s well on her way to making that happen. She first became a mom when she welcomed a baby boy in May 2022. And now, Rihanna just announced she’s expecting her second baby after debuting her baby bump during her Super Bowl LVII halftime show performance.
While pregnant in 2022, Rihanna was often photographed (looking stunning, BTW) while attending an Oscars afterparty, headed out on date nights, and was featured on a cover of Vogue magazine. Everything from her relationship with A$AP Rocky to her maternity style has caused a stir in the media—the people can’t stop talking about Rihanna (see, we can’t either!).
But celebrity or not, most mothers have probably heard their fair share of comments about their pregnant body, birthing decisions, or parenting style. It can feel as if moms are placed under a microscope as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed. Even if they aren’t intended to be malicious, comments can unintentionally place doubts in the minds of moms, new or seasoned. Yet, Rihanna is unapologetically showing that moms do not fit under one label.
Below, I’m sharing five motherhood lessons I’ve learned from Rihanna since she became a first-time mom.
5 Motherhood Lessons I’ve Learned From Rihanna
1. Moms Do Not Owe Anyone an Explanation
When people speculate that someone may be pregnant, assumptions about when they conceived among other things may begin to circulate. As exciting as it can be to learn about someone’s pregnancy, it can feel invasive when people constantly comment or ask questions about it.
What can feel even worse is when someone else calls out your pregnancy before you’re actually ready to talk about it. In Rihanna’s case, we saw how many outlets shared rumors of her first pregnancy. But she didn’t confirm until she was ready to share. And, after her epic halftime performance at this year’s Super Bowl, people again started speculating that she’s expecting her second baby after giving birth to her first in May 2022. Though she confirmed the happy news later that night, this serves as a reminder that a woman’s pregnancy is for her to process and enjoy. Women do not owe anyone access to their motherhood journey or pregnancy.
2. We Can Shift the Conversation Around Mothers’ Bodies
Most people who’ve been pregnant or considered having children have heard about how having a baby changes your body. Many have felt the expectation to snap back after giving birth or even experienced a stranger commenting on (or touching!) their baby bumps.
For Rihanna, she chooses to acknowledge her changing body by determining how she wants to feel about it. In her own words to Vogue, she knows her “body is doing incredible things right now” and refuses to “be ashamed of that.”
3. Maternity Style Can Be Defined on Our Terms
You may have loved dressing your bump in the latest maternity fashion or you could have cared less about worrying about what to wear. One thing’s for certain, though: Rihanna’s decision to dress how she wants is helping redefine what’s deemed “appropriate” for moms to wear. By showing up in the world how she wants to, she is giving other moms permission to do the same. Who decided moms are supposed to look a certain way once motherhood begins? Your style during pregnancy and after is exactly that: your style—and each mom has their own.
4. We All Don’t Feel the Same Way About Motherhood
This is a delicate topic, but it’s hard not to notice the way some moms feel they are failing if they don’t “do motherhood” a certain way. From feeding to sleep training to parenting decisions, there’s a lot of judgement placed on mothers. Not only that, but some moms may feel apprehensive about sharing their experiences if they don’t match the majority of other moms.
For those who are considering becoming mothers or are pregnant, you may find yourself afraid of what you’ll experience based on different social media posts. In fact, Rihanna previously shared she was worried about experiencing postpartum depression (PPD) based on stories she’d heard from other women.
Editor’s Note: Research shows PPD can affect 1 in 8 women. If you, or someone you know, are experiencing postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, please seek help from your health care provider or reach out to a close friend or loved one. If you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting your baby, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-TALK.
Maybe you had a rough experience entering motherhood or maybe you felt that pregnancy glow all nine months. The point is, again, that you can decide how you feel about pregnancy and/or being a mother.
5. If You Haven’t Prepped Your Nursery Yet, It’s OK
If you’ve found yourself scrolling on Pinterest and collecting ideas about your child’s nursery but haven’t actually started decorating, it’s OK. You don’t have to feel pressure to have a Pinterest-worthy room for your child, especially if it causes stress. In an April 2022 interview, Rihanna openly admitted that she hadn’t really purchased anything, from nursery decor to infant onesies, before giving birth to her first child.
One thing to know is that when you bring your newborn home, they’re not worried about what their new room looks like. Sure, they may sense they are in a new environment. But you won’t hear, “Wow, mom, you didn’t paint an animal mural on the wall? You’re going to hear about it tonight when I’m crying and you can’t sleep.” While you may not be able to sleep for other reasons, it’s not because your brand-new baby is unhappy with their nursery decor.
You don’t have to be a celebrity or well-known public figure to experience opinions on your pregnancy or parenting, but you can take a cue from Rihanna by focusing on how you want to feel during your motherhood journey. What matters is how you show up for your child, and if you happen to inspire others in the process, you deserve to be celebrated too!