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Tatyana Ali and her hubby, Dr. Vaughn Rasberry, welcomed their first child, Edward Aszard Rasberry, on September 16.

Before the actress delivered her bundle of joy, she slayed a gorgeous maternity shoot with Lance Gross for Essence Magazine.

Lance, who is a gifted actor and photographer, wrote, “Had the Honor of Turning my Camera on @tatyanaali for her Maternity photos?”

In her Essence exclusive, Tatyana revealed her son is named after her grandfather and great-grandfather, she’s breastfeeding, and she used a doula for her delivery.

How did you decide on a doula?
We decided on it together. I have friends who’ve had different birth experiences. Some in the hospital, some at birth centers, some at home, and the common denominator was actually having a doula and somebody who’s really there as an advocate for both parents, and for the baby, who can come and navigate. Especially because we decided to do it at a hospital, [and the doula helped] to kind of navigate the hospital, what our experience is like, and make sure our wishes were met. She was awesome.

It’s incredible, watching new babies experience the world for the first time.
Right, everything is new and he’s changing every moment of every day. He has laser focus on anyone who’s in the room. It’s amazing. It’s miraculous. It really, really is. He’s smiling. We’re learning all of his facial expressions. He hasn’t done a full-out laugh yet. That’s what we’re waiting for—he smiles a lot, but he hasn’t done a giggle [yet].

What’s your new mommy routine like?
I decided to breastfeed solely, so that is really what my schedule is [all about]. You know, it’s something that is not necessarily instinctive, like there are messes and there are different techniques and styles. Then you have to learn the style of your baby and how much they want to eat. The learning curve has been huge.

See photos on page 2.