Tia Mowry may be a performer with over 30 years in the industry, but her smile and contagious laughter never seem like an act. She isn’t afraid to share how painful and full of uncertainty the process of becoming a part was for her. When she first shared her infertility struggles with the public, she learned how liberating transparency can be. Now she wants to help open up expectations around what pregnancy and parenthood should look like.
Stigmas associated with infertility block many women, especially celebrities, from being open about their struggles. And for a while, Mowry felt that same pressure. “People see celebrity parenting as easy, but sometimes the journey to becoming a parent is not always cake and candy.”
Growing up, Mowry only had a linear view of parenthood: Meet someone you like, get it on, get pregnant, and you’ve started a family. Of course it’s not always so easy. “I only focused on the typical path, and when I was experiencing fertility issues, I felt alone and sad.” Now she’s fully transparent about how difficult growing her family was and hoping her voice and authenticity will inspire other families to be honest about their process.
Mowry’s message is the cornerstone of her partnership with Coterie, a premium baby care-brand that emphasizes sustainability and product innovation. Mowry’s story is part of a book published by the brand, Not Another Parenting Guide, which showcases personal stories of diverse roads to parenthood.
A short film accompanies the effort, which spotlights the many paths to parenthood, including miscarriage, fertility treatments, surrogacy, adoption and more.
Over six million women in the US alone deal with pregnancy difficulties, and Mowry is leading this campaign to create a cultural conversation around their challenges. “If my story even reaches one woman and helps her feel supported in her journey to not feel alone, then I will feel that I have succeeded,” Mowry says.
For years, Mowry quietly suffered — and dealt with — extremely painful periods. However, early into her marriage with Cory Hardrict, she realized the ease she expected around starting a family wasn’t happening. “I was diagnosed with something called endometriosis, which is a highly inflammatory condition that can cause infertility… My whole world was turned upside down with the diagnosis.”
Once she finally understood what had caused her years of pain and was preventing her from starting a family, Mowry went through a very dark period. “I was on and off pain pills and birth control pills because I was still having complications,” she shares in the book. She underwent two surgeries, but it wasn’t until she took control of her health by making lifestyle changes that the pain eased.
“Changing my diet completely changed my life,” Mowry told Romper.
She stopped eating foods associated with inflammation (dairy, processed foods, junk foods) and replaced them with healthy greens, fresh fruits, and high-quality proteins. “The journey went from frustrating to challenging to rewarding and the pain finally subsided… I believe I was able to suppress my symptoms by allowing them to stay dormant.”
Mowry is now mom to 10-year-old Cree and 3-year-old Cairo, and is effusive about the joy she feels when she looks at her children. Her message isn’t that a change in diet is the solution to all pregnancy issues; what she wants is for people to understand that the process will look different for everyone, and there should be no shame associated with infertility or complications. Mowry hopes to inspire others not to hide their experience and to join the conversation. “Being authentic and open about pregnancy is so important to me! I’d love to see more people share their stories.”
“Being pregnant and having children is not black and white,” she adds. “There is so much to it and I would really love to see more platforms expand on this.”