Robyn Lawley Says Shooting Sports Illustrated Six Months After Baby was ‘Confidence Building’

02/18/2016 at 02:00 PM ET

Robyn Lawley and Lily Aldridge are rocking the pages of Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit issue … and rocking their adorable babies.

Lawley, 26, gave birth to now 11-month-old Ripley Dorothy just six months before shooting in Malta for SI.

“I had a baby and in six month’s time I had to shoot it. I was like, ‘I don’t feel like my body is in any way, shape or form like it was the first time,’ ” she told PEOPLE after the cover reveal on Saturday.

“But they’re so confidence building … I feel sexy at my size, so I should be proud of that and I should flaunt it.”

Robyn Lawley Sports Illustrated Swim
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

The hardest part for the first-time mom? Time without Ripley. “You just want to be with them all the time, all day, every day,” she said of having a baby. “They’re your world.”

At Tuesday evening’s promotional event for the issue, Lawley said she missed one of Ripley’s “firsts” since she’s been in New York.

“I got my first ‘Mama’ yesterday, so I’m very excited,” she said. “[It was] on Facetime and I’m like ‘That’s depressing, but amazing at the same time.’ ”

Lily Aldridge Sports Illustrated Swim
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Aldridge, 30, echoed similar sentiments about time away from her little one, 3½-year-old daughter Dixie Pearl.

“I’m so proud to be a mom and I’m happy to have Robyn with me,” she told PEOPLE.

But it’s her baby girl — who joined the model in Turks and Caicos for the shoot — who Aldridge calls her “best friend” and the person who can always make her laugh.

She’s hilarious. She learned the word ‘exasperated,’ so she’ll be like ‘I’m exasperated,’ ” she said. “It’s hilarious.”

The 2016 edition of SI Swim is on newsstands now.

— Blake Bakkila

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