Māmā Muse Interview: Raina Masters

We spoke to Raina Masters, mum-of-three (toddler and twins), international model and social media influencer, about pre-eclampsia, mum-guilt, normalising post-partum bodies and feeling complete.

Kia ora Raina,
Thank you so much for taking the time to kōrero with us. Can you please start by telling us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Auckland but raised in Nelson. I come from a family of six kids, so my life has always been busy and full on! I love coming from a big family – there was never a dull moment. I left Nelson when I was 16 years old and moved to New York to start my modelling journey. Went all around the world with that before coming home and settling down. It was really life changing travelling at such a young age – I had to grow up pretty fast.

Wow that must have been incredible! And now you’re home, and a māmā to three beautiful tamariki. Can you give as an overview of your pregnancy with twins Noelle and Willow?

Firstly, it started off with us being told I was having an early miscarriage, then 10 days later we were told that we were having twins! Our twins are identical, also known as Monochorionic diamniotic (Mo-Di). They were in separate sacs but shared the placenta which automatically put them at high risk. The pregnancy was constantly being monitored with scans, regular midwife appointments and blood tests. Willow’s (twin A) cord attached to the side of the placenta, so around 29 weeks we ended up monitoring her with weekly scans as her growth started to slow down. All in all, it was a pretty smooth pregnancy though thankfully.


And how was the birth?

We had a planned caesarean, and the girls came seven weeks early at 33 weeks weighing 4 & 4.9 pounds. We were in NICU for 15 days. The birth was so beautiful and I’m grateful for the team the helped me and my babies.


How did your experience differ from your pregnancy and birth with Arlo?

My pregnancy with Arlo was incredible. No problems until around 34 weeks when his growth started slowing down. I ended up getting induced at 39 weeks. In the hospital I developed pre-eclampsia and got really sick, really fast. I didn’t know what pre-eclampsia was (thankfully) and in my mind I had an easy relaxing natural birth that only took 20 minutes to push him out, but it turns out I was pretty sick and ended up staying in hospital for a week. Arlo was 5.9 pounds and really healthy though.


How was your fourth trimester experience with Noelle and Willow?

Adjusting from 1 to 3 was pretty smooth initially. The babies were prem so they slept so much and it meant I could too with all the support around me. They are in sync with each other with sleeping and eating which really helps. As they get older and they all want my attention it’s definitely becoming more challenging, but they are becoming more aware of each other and noticing that I’m busy with their sister/brother and being more observant with the situation, which I hope will make them more patient. I’m still trying to process that I have two more babies.


How did Arlo adjust to having two sisters? And how has the transition been for you, going from being a mum of one, to a mum of three?

He was over the moon for the first day or two when we brought them back from the hospital, but once he realised they were staying his behaviour definitely changed. I get so much mum guilt because I have to prioritise my babies over him at times and he doesn’t always understand. Sometimes he plays up but he’s becoming more patient and understanding as each day goes by. Arlo is extremely empathetic and can now expresses his emotions verbally.

Adjusting felt really natural to me personally but I’ve definitely had my off days. I couldn’t imagine life without them all and all the support around me. I know one day they will all grow up and move away and that scares me most. Time is precious, so I’m soaking up every moment with them.


How has your feeding journey been?

Both times my milk didn’t come in, but all my babies adjusted to formula fine!



“I didn’t realise how much I could love, and my life just feels so complete. My heart is so full, and my cup is overflowing with love. Even the days where I don’t feel enough, I know I’m enough just from the looks on my babies faces.”



How did you find the adjustment to motherhood emotionally and mentally? Who or what was your saving grace during that time?

Not going to lie, a cheeky wine in a hot bath has helped me through some shit. I have a strong family and friends circle that I keep really small. They have my back at any time so thankfully I’ve never felt alone or struggled too much. I always ask for help if I need it and don’t hold back. I’m really open with my emotions.

Mentally it’s challenging when you have sleepless nights and have to get up for your babies but as soon as they’re asleep I miss them so much.


There’s a picture on your Instagram, where you’re holding the twins at 10 weeks postpartum, and you’ve captioned it ‘if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart’ You look incredible and strong and so beautiful . Can you tell us a bit about that picture, how you were feeling at the time, and how you feel looking back at it?

I really wanted to normalise postpartum bodies and I find that social media can be so fake. So being so raw and open with how my caesarean and marks looked and how my body has changed, made me feel really strong. I didn’t realise how much I could love, and my life just feels so complete. My heart is so full, and my cup is overflowing with love. Even the days where I don’t feel enough, I know I’m enough just from the looks on my babies faces. I am an amazing mother, and I was definitely born to be one!


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A post shared by Raina Masters (@iceyrains)

Thank you for sharing that! You absolutely are a super māmā! What advice would you give to other māmā who are expecting twins?

Ask for help when you need it and don’t listen to people who don’t have twins that put our situation down. Having twins is a miracle and blessing. Yes, it’s not going to be easy but it’s so rewarding and your twin will always have a best friend. Double the kisses and double the cuddles. Routine is key and try make everything as simple as possible. Keeping them in sync with each other is really important.


What does self-care look like for you now that you’re a māmā?

Sleeping as much as possible! I love a good bath and I love to take care of my body. I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to work with a fitness company called Rutherford Fitness who has kindly lent me a treadmill.


What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

How strong I am and how I can do anything I put my mind to. Being patient and understanding. I have so much respect for other mothers especially solo ones. I have so much more motivation to do more in my life to ensure my kids have the best chance. I want to be a good role model. Travelling the world made me grow up pretty fast and it was so cool to do it solo. My priorities have changed and my mindset. Life is so short and precious.

Finally, can you please tell us about a māmā who is your muse?

I really look up to my friend Maia! She’s truly something out of this world. She has four babies and still whenever we are together she finds ways to help me. Super mum and such a natural. So proud of her and she gives me so much advice also being a twin mum. Thankful to have her in my life.