Yaya DaCosta Alafia has the kind of magnetic personality that makes you instantly feel like you’ve known her forever. It’s her infectious spirit, openness, and shining-from-within-beauty that have made her an in-demand young actress. When she’s not on movie sets with Oprah, this born and bred New Yorker can be found advocating for women’s maternal healthcare rights, and working on her very own documentary about birth in America. At the time of our shoot, Yaya was six months pregnant, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of her first child (son Sankara is now eight months old). With an at-home birth plan firmly in place, she admitted to feeling like she was settling into her power, and “stepping into a new dimension of womanhood.”