Portraits by Indiana Piorek
Published in Issue 19
Jasmine Armani is a model, musician, and poet. Better known by her Instagram moniker @bbyafricka, Armani has been a muse for LA design house No Sesso, and recently posed for David LaChapelle’s Spring/Summer 2019 Kenzo campaign, just before the birth of her son, Shavo. In addition to her many talents, Armani is a new mommy! We talk to the iconic matriarch about what it’s really like to give birth.
What has been the most surprising thing about motherhood so far?
Probably the lack of sleep. I thought I’d be able to stay up and be fine, because I used to always be out late, but it’s way different when you’re beyond tired from having just given birth, and dealing with a newborn. I’ve had to put Shavo on my breast the whole night just for him to stay asleep.
Is there any advice you wish someone had given you about pregnancy, birth, or motherhood?
I wish someone had told me better ways to make the baby come out faster, because I had to be induced. That whole process, getting my cervix to dilate and those contractions, was worse than pushing him out x3. I also wish I was told how difficult breast feeding is, and how painful, and just how much your body truly goes through. I was kinda blind to that.
What normal thing did you take for granted before having a baby?
Definitely my personal hygiene or even getting 5 mins to myself. Doing my makeup, my hair, getting dressed, having time to eat. All of that honestly. It really is no longer about you after a baby.
Do you feel like a mother the minute the baby is born, or does it take a while for those feelings to come?
I definitely think I felt like a mother as soon as I was handed my baby, plus carrying the baby for 9 months definitely preps you for the whole motherly role and bond.
Is having a baby as scary as it seems?
Yeah it for sure is hella scary. I’m scared to have another one to be honest. I don’t even wanna think about sex.
Do people treat you differently now that you’re a mother?
I feel like other moms and my family do mostly because it’s a mutual respect. Like now that I see motherhood first-hand, I definitely have a newfound respect for other mommies, especially ones with no help. I feel like I just am different, and people come to me with a different approach and respect for my time.
Has childbirth altered the way you think of your sexuality?
Yeah I think Ima definitely tone it down, like I literally never think of sex anymore. I just recently hit the six week mark and I just don’t even care. I don’t feel like my body is personally even ready for sex yet, like I still just don’t FEEL the same down there. I still get weird little pressure pains n stuff.
Do you experience “Baby Blues?”
Not really. I have though, when my nipples were cracked and I still had to try to breastfeed. I would cry because it hurt so bad. I had to give my son a bottle. I couldn’t pump it was too painful, and I just felt like a bad mom because I wanted to give my child the best I could give him. If he’s crying and I don’t instantly know how to stop him, I get emotional and overwhelmed, but it gets better. Now I only breastfeed, and I understand it’s ok for him to cry a little.
Is having a baby mind-altering? I read that smelling the top of your baby’s head can be psychedelic.
I definitely have baby brain since I was pregnant. It’s just a love and experience like no other honestly. No one else but a mother would ever understand. Even when my baby is sleeping and I have a minute to myself I’m like “Damn, what am I supposed to do now.” They really become your world.
When will you return to your music and modelling career?
I honestly never stopped. Even while pregnant I was recording and also modelling. I’m only a bit concerned now with modelling, if I can’t bring my baby along or have him model with me, because he’s very attached to me and I don’t feel comfortable leaving him with anyone when he’s this small.
What do you love most about your new baby?
Everything. I love his face, the hair on his forehead, his dimples, how he looks at me, his breath, his little hands, his big belly, the dimples in his knees, baby cellulite. I love his feet, just everything.
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