What Karlie Kloss Wants You To Know About Pregnancy

The mental and physical changes she wasn’t prepared for.

As the familiar face featured in ads for iconic labels like Versace, Swarovski, and Estee Lauder, you’d think supermodel, TV host, and self-proclaimed “boy mom” Karlie Kloss isn’t typically phased by seeing herself on a billboard. Her latest campaign, however, is a little different. “It’s so surreal to see my two babies on a billboard in Soho,” she says upon seeing the photos from her partnership with baby brand Coterie. The series of imagery and videos — which also includes fellow moms Dr. Mona Amin, Reese Blutstein, Mei Kawajiri, and Tabria Majors — presents Kloss alongside her little ones, Levi and Elijah, with the ultimate goal of sparking an honest conversation about the mental and physical changes women go through during pregnancy and postpartum.

Kloss, who most recently gave birth just six months ago, was a bit more prepared for such changes (which for some women can include hair loss, mood shifts, fatigue, and more) this time around, but admits that she’s constantly in awe of the journey — or what she calls “a beautiful marathon that you run.” Although she’s witnessed her body evolve throughout pregnancy and post-childbirth, it took Coterie’s campaign to help her truly understand the science of it all.

“During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a transformation truly like no other,” Kloss explained to TZR. “You spend double the amount of energy. Your ligaments are stretched and your ribcage actually expands two to three inches — that also takes time to go back, let me tell you. Your heart pumps 50% more blood and 10% faster. For me, really understanding how much your body is working and growing and changing actually helps me have more compassion for myself and more respect for my body — especially in the recovery of it.”

As much as she was impressed with the physical feat of carrying and birthing a baby, Kloss tells us that the most surprising aspect about motherhood was her emotional transformation. “For me, becoming a parent has opened my heart, my life, and my understanding of and deep empathy for our collective human experience in more ways than I could’ve imagined,” she shares. “All the cliches turn out to be true. It’s so hysterical, you’re like ‘what are all these crazy people talking about?’ It sounds like a cult, but it’s the greatest club that you never knew you were missing out on until you’re in it.”

It turns out that Kloss’ mom club actually started forming well before her first child was even in the plans. Supermodel and close friend Jourdan Dunn’s son Riley was born in 2009, not long after the two former Victoria’s Secret angels first worked together. Despite their closeness (Kloss is even Riley’s godmother), she admits she only now understands the depth of what Dunn went through as she entered motherhood all those years ago. “I really did not understand or appreciate just the enormous life change that she was going through,” the 40-time Vogue cover girl says.

But now it’s a different story. Kloss looks to Dunn as well as another fellow model, Ashley Graham, for parenting advice and inspiration. “Ashley is a dear friend and she’s a boy mom of three, so she’s been a role model to me,” she says. “Her boys are just a little bit older so I feel like I see what’s coming down the pike based on what’s going on in her house.” Others Kloss considers part of her so-called “mom tribe”? Dr. Mona, a pediatrician who is also featured in Coterie’s campaign, and of course her own mother, for whom the model says she now has more respect than ever.

When it comes to what kind of mother Kloss has become, she confesses that she’s still learning. Most recently, she’s simply trying to balance her time between two little ones and her personal and professional commitments. But thanks to the other mothers in her life paving the way before her, plus trusting her own instincts, she’s ready to take on whatever’s ahead. “I’m finding my way, growing into myself in this chapter of my life,” she explains. And the idea of embracing the process — the good, the bad, and the ugly — is what drew her to the Coterie collaboration in the first place (well, that and her genuine respect for the brand’s best-in-class diapers and wipes — which she discovered through Graham’s recommendation). “That's what this campaign is all about — celebrating the beautiful changes and evolution of self.”