Hunter McGrady Got Real About Life With a Newborn

The SI Swimsuit model gives honest look at being a new mom.

When you think of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, glamour and carefree beach days come to mind. But, unfortunately, real life isn't always as blissful. That's especially true when it comes to motherhood.

Hunter McGrady welcomed her first baby—son Hudson—in June and was overjoyed with the new addition to her family. But while the 28-year-old has been showcasing adorable photos of her first few weeks of being a mom, she also has revealed the challenges she's been encountering.

The model took to Instagram on Monday as part of Breastfeeding Awareness Week to share her "frustration" with the process and explain that it hasn’t been the experience she expected.

"I had this grand idea that I would give birth and Hudson would latch on, it would be beautiful, I would have an amazing supply and Voila! Food for him on demand, easy peasy," she wrote. "Lordy, that was not the case at all. I was immediately met with frustration, sore and cracked nipples, lots of nipple shields, lots and lots of nipple butter, and most of all, lots of tears."

McGrady explained how she still doesn't know what to do. She suffered from mastitis and revealed her "baby wasn't gaining weight." Ultimately, the model decided to do a combo of breastfeeding, and formula, a decision that didn't come easy.

"I felt so ashamed at first because I felt so overwhelmed by the thought of exclusively breastfeeding," she said. "I realized quickly that thought was more about me and what I wanted and less about what was best for him." Despite describing the journey as "exhausting" and "scary," McGray also said it was "incredible" and the "most amazing thing I've ever done in my life."

And this is just the most recent instance where the new mama kept it real. Last month she posted a mirror selfie wearing just a bra and underwear with a caption explaining her healing process and getting comfortable with her body after giving birth.

"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a mirror, 12 days postpartum, with breast milk stains, and Depends diapers, pure exhaustion, asking herself to learn to love this new body," wrote McGrady. "To give herself grace, to feel the gummy-ness of her new tummy, and the loose skin and remembering that this body not only created life, but housed it for nine months, went 45 hours into labor, and is now feeding it daily all with one vessel. I feel so grateful for this body today."

Not only is the model candid on social media, but she also openly talks about things like mom guilt on her podcast Model Citizen. And another recent post sums up why McGrady is such an important role model. "Not perfect, not edited, doesn't fit my feed aesthetic," the model captioned an image of herself looking tired while holding her son. "But it's a very real look at what the last five weeks have been."

Jordi Lippe-McGraw


Jordi Lippe-McGraw is a Contributing Editor for SI Swimsuit covering all things lifestyle from travel and beauty to entertainment and wellness. Over her nearly 15-year-long journalism career, her work has appeared in the New York Times, WSJ Magazine, Forbes, and more. Plus, she’s appeared on TV shows such as Wendy Williams, TODAY, E!, and MSNBC for her expertise. Jordi's personal passion for travel has brought her to over 50 countries on all 7 continents, including Antarctica at 5 months pregnant. She's also an avid penguin and truffle lover.