Being a new mom can be complicated, and that’s okay.

Shay Mitchell is on the new cover of Women’s Health, and in the issue she opens up about giving birth to daughter Atlas in October 2019, and the criticism she faced afterward.

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“Right after I had Atlas, if I ever made a comment about how I didn’t feel like myself, people were like, ‘Well, you just had a baby,’” she says. “Yeah, I know I just had a baby. I’m very grateful for my body, and that it gave life, but I’m still allowed to express that I don’t feel like myself.”

For Mitchell, being honest about childbirth and the experience of motherhood is very important.

“I was strong before I had Atlas, and I wanted to feel that way after,” she says. “We celebrate our bodies before we’re pregnant; we celebrate our bodies with bumps. We should also celebrate our bodies at whatever point we feel our best again.”

Mitchell is also focused on a consistent fitness routine, including deadlifting.

“Getting up to 50 pounds was a boss move,” she says. “I was really proud of myself.”

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In the meantime, Mitchell has founded travel brand Beis and tequila beverage company Onda, and is lending her voice to Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of the Filipino graphic novel Trese.

“People are like, ‘Why?’ and I’m like, ‘Well, why not?’” she says of jumping into a variety of projects. “Look, I have one life to live. I don’t want to say, What if?’”