Hunter McGrady was nervous about getting pregnant — because society had told her she should be.
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, who welcomed her first child in June, says that people often viewed her body as too "unhealthy" to become pregnant.
"Before pregnancy, society kept telling me that my body was unhealthy and that I'd have a hard time getting pregnant or staying pregnant. Every doctor's appointment, I was so nervous," Hunter told Health.
But over time, Hunter says she became more self-assured when talking to her doctors, making sure she was comfortable.
"I've become more bold when it comes to my body and doctors. In the past, I'd go in for an earache and they'd say, 'You should lose weight.' So, early in my pregnancy, I told my doctor that I didn't want to discuss my weight unless it became a real issue to me or the baby," Hunter explained.
She continued, "When I'd get on the scale, I'd tell them I didn't want to know the number. As someone who came from disordered eating, I've worked too long and hard to care about what that number is. My doctor was on board with it, and I had a healthy pregnancy until the end, when I got preeclampsia."
As for how Hunter dealt with her body's changes during pregnancy, she said had to meet herself again.
"My body was providing for someone else. I appreciated my body in a different way. Maybe it's because of the way society treats pregnant women. All of a sudden, people say you're glowing and fabulous," Hunter shared.
But when it came to life postpartum, she noted that everyone's attitudes changed, and she had to meet herself once again.
"Postpartum happens, and everyone asks when you're going to lose weight — there's that whole bounce-back culture. You're not sleeping, you don't even know your name — you can't think about bouncing back," Hunter explained.
She added, "It made me realize that throughout life, you have to meet yourself over and over again, because your body does change — and that's what's beautiful about it."