Exclusive interview with Supermodel, advocate for ‘normalizing breastfeeding’, Designer and CEO of ERTH Jewelry Nicole Trunfio
What is the full name and ages of your children?
My first born son is Zion, age 2, turning 3 on January 11th, but acts like a teenager already. We are currently awaiting the birth of our new daughter which will be any day now, possibly the same birthday as Zion which would be fun! We haven’t decided on a name for her yet, we think its very important to meet them first. We took 11 days to name Zion, as we had him at home. This time we only have 2 days! As we will be in a hospital. The pressure is on!
Could you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am compassionate, tolerant and optimistic, I like to see things from multiple perspectives to understand the complexities of the human condition, I believe in love, equality and world peace.
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in the bush in the middle of Western Australia, I was a tom boy. I learnt to ride dirt bikes at age 5 and kept up on it until I was scouted to be a model in NYC. I am very VERY Italian, my childhood consisted of thick Italian culture, making Italian sausage, pasta sauce and wine all from scratch. I have 3 siblings and loved school and the arts. I thought I was going to be a lawyer, but I was scouted at age 16 and moved to NYC shortly after to become a model. Tom Ford was the first to book me for the Gucci Show in Milan and my whole world was changed forever.
What was your life like before motherhood?
Busy, I think in retrospect, most mothers think they are busy until they have children, a household to run, a marriage, a career, a business….. then they really know what busy is, but somehow, we are able to manage it. Before I became a mother, I was focused more on my modeling career and jetting around the world, going on tour with my husband. Now I run multiple businesses, still take modeling jobs I feel are in line with my brand and am very hands on with my son. My focus had changed. I work smarter now.
You are currently writing a book, can you tell me about it and what readers can expect?
I am currently writing a book about pregnancy, childbirth and everything your mother failed to mention. Its also an insight into hospital vs home birth.
I had a jaw dropping chain of events occur to me during my home birth and post. It was 6 months of living hell. The few people that have heard my story have never heard anything like it, I could have sued multiple people, but I chose to heal through the humour I found in writing.
It was a cathartic ritual for me and has turned into something I find very important to share with women and the world. After I saw the impact on my ELLE cover with Zion, I need there was space for an authentic voice out there, and to open a conversation, a safe conversation between the women of the world. That is my goal and my passion now, I feel as if some kind of a calling. The book, is a vessel to start this conversation world wide.
Describe the word woman in your own words:
The creator, the nurturer, life, and infinity, mother earth.
How did motherhood impact your career?
I learnt how to work smarter so I could be around for my family. I became clear and focused about what my calling and priorities were and most of all, my purpose. I became the women I would want my children to look up, be proud of and become themselves. Strong, independent, focused, compassionate, and useful to the world.
What is your opinion on home-birth compared to hospital birth?
You will have to read the book for that one!
What are your favourite skin and beauty products?
I am obsessed with therapeutic grade oils, I am in the midst of partnering with a company I am so passionate about. Follow me on Instagram for the update @nictrunfio. I incorporate these oils into my home, health & wellness, beauty, cooking and emotional life. They support me in all aspects and make me feel the most beautiful .
What did you think of motherhood before you became a mother?
Something of a fantasy, I am a pisces, a dreamer, so it was a fairy tail. Now, it is real, but even more of a fairy tail and even more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
Did you struggle with postpartum?
Again, this is a long story, that would we need to sit eye to eye and have plenty of glasses of wine for. Not many have heard it, you will have to wait for the book.
What core values do you want to teach your children?
To listen, to have compassion, to focus and to be polite. I think the curiosity of a child should be respected and nurtured, my son asks a million questions and always wants to inquire even to strangers about certain things. I always support his curiosities, he has learnt so much and has gained wisdom and confidence this way. I also want to teach that you get what you put in to things, hard work pays off, I want to teach them how to maintain healthy relationships with people and themselves, and also, how to manage their money and finances. Things they really should focus more on in school.
You are currently expecting your second child, what’s your favourite part about being pregnant?
I am one of those pregnant women who still move around like they are not pregnant. I have been a little too busy, I need to learn to relax and go and get a massage. One of my good friends gave me a trip to a day spa for my birthday that I am still yet to use, my birthday was in March. That pretty much sums me up. lol. I love feeling my baby move inside me, I love day dreaming about who she is going to be. I love the way pregnancy makes you glow and I love how people all of a sudden become more human towards you, especially in big cities. People should really treat each other that way pregnant or not pregnant. The world would be a much more wonderful place.
Did you face any challenges when learning to breastfeed? How did you handle them?
I did. My son actually had tongue tie, lip tie, which is something that is overlooked. We had multiple people come to check him and they didn’t recognize this as an issue, it is such a subtle thing that is not identifiable to the eye in most cases. There were conferences going on at the time, which tied this issue to ‘too much’ folic acid. I did take a double dose because I thought it was important after how much DRS and information platforms pushed it. It was impossibly painful to breastfeed and Zion was not getting anything, I was pumping constantly and desperate to make this work. I got mastitis and the whole nine. As soon as we had the tongue tie and lip tie released, which was done by laser in seconds by a paediatric dentist, it was like day and night. No pain at all. Mama and baby so much happier. It was the greatest thing. I want to bring this awareness to women, I know women have many issues with breastfeeding, it is important to triple check to make sure this is not one, as something so easily fixed can make for a world of difference.
Do you find that we still live in a society that makes you feel insecure about breastfeeding in public? If so, do you mind sharing your experience?
Absolutely, my husband being one of them. He is from Texas, quite a conservative state. I am Australian, the total opposite. When I started breastfeeding in public around him, he become very upset and uncomfortable. We spoke about it in depth, different cultures, different expectations. As soon as the ELLE cover hit, and he saw how much of an impact on the world it made, and how many people felt like him, he changed. Not so much feeling against it, but there being no dialogue about it, people are not conscious about this as an issue. To open the conversation and to dialogue about it is the best thing that can happen. Breastfeeding your child is life, its a gift, it should not be shunned no matter what the context is.
You feel most beautiful when?
I am present with my family.
When you get a quiet moment, what do you like to do the most?
Burn a candle or light some incense, rub some oils on my feet, take a warm bath or sit in bed and write…. much like what I am doing right now.