The influencer has been exceptionally candid throughout her fertility journey, even before the bump pics. After a miscarriage in 2019, she and her husband Brendan Fallis made a series of videos detailing their decision to do IVF and addressing the stigmas that come with fertility treatment. They were refreshingly open, even about the hard parts.
We chatted with Bronfman shortly before her due date to talk about her new partnership with Poppi, and it became clear that this level of honesty is not just "for the ‘gram." She brought the same tell-it-like-it-is openness, whether we were chatting about her pregnancy routine or birth justice. Read her thoughts, ahead.
Refinery29: What’s been the most unexpected part about pregnancy?
Hannah Fallis Bronfman: “I really expected to have cravings, and was hoping I’d have a funny story about it, but it never happened. My mom always told me she had them with me. She would have peanut butter and would pair it with the strangest things. But a craving for me never materialized.”
How did you handle the stress of pregnancy in a pandemic?
“Self-care definitely became a priority. For me, having a good routine was crucial. Every morning, I’d take a few moments to myself before getting on my phone. I had my post-lunch digestive routine, which was doing a little bit of breath work. Then, I’d have my Poppi drinks, which are sparkling and apple cider vinegar-based, and really great for your digestive tract. It also made me feel like I was having a little mocktail. And then I’d have my wind-down routine. I’d take 20 minutes to indulge in my face massage and skin-care routine or take a 30 minute bath."
How did working out factor into your pregnancy routine?
“Generally I've been very active through this pregnancy. Obviously I can't do all the things that I was doing before. But I really just listened to my body and did what felt good. In the beginning, I was super tired, so I’d work out maybe twice a week. As I progressed into the pregnancy, I felt like I got my energy back and would maybe do five days a week. Then in the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been reaching the end of my pregnancy, I've been cutting back more again and focusing more on stretching.”
Has the way you think about body image changed at all throughout pregnancy?
“I’ve always felt confident in my skin, but being able to grow a human is on another level. I’m just amazed by how our bodies know how to do this. We grow the placenta — this organ — and then it exits our body after we have the child. I feel like I’m starring in my own SciFi film. I’ve never been so in awe of what my body can do. Especially getting pregnant after loss. [After miscarriage and fertility struggles], I was convinced that my body wasn’t going to do what it was supposed to do. And now it is, and that’s so beautiful. I have a different level of gratitude and appreciation.”
You’ve talked in your Instagram stories about the shocking maternal mortality rates among Black women. Can you talk a bit more about what birth justice means to you?
“I was really taken aback by the staggering statistics. It's a problem around the country, but there’s definitely more devastation in the state of New York, which is where I'm from. In New York state, Black women are 12 times more likely to suffer through a complication that results in death in childbirth. For me, as a Black woman who’s giving birth in New York, it took a lot for me to not internalize these horrific stories and stats. But I also wanted to shed some light on them. It’s crazy that no one’s talking about what’s going on with Black women who are the backbone of our society.”
How have you balanced raising awareness of the problem with the need to protect your own mental health?
“I know it’s important to have family and a support system who can also speak up on my behalf — my husband and my doula. But I also gathered as much knowledge as possible. I’ve heard stories firsthand about how you get into a medical situation and you’re not the ‘professional’ in the moment, and your preferences are pushed off. And you’re almost made to feel like [the medical professionals] know best, even though you’re the one in your own body and you know how you feel. But the more you know how to speak up for yourself, the more prepared you can be in these situations.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.