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Uzo Aduba Reveals the One Thing She Would Never Tell Herself as a New Mom: 'It's Made Me Stronger' (Exclusive)

The 'Orange Is the New Black' alum welcomed daughter Adaiba in November

<p>Uzo Aduba/Instagram</p> Uzo Aduba and baby

Uzo Aduba/Instagram

Uzo Aduba and baby

Uzo Aduba is settling into her favorite role yet: Mom.

While chatting with PEOPLE about her partnership with Colgate on their "My Smile is My Superpower" campaign, the Orange Is the New Black actress, 43, opened up about life as a new mom to 4-month-old daughter Adaiba, and the importance of teaching her to be confident and love herself.

"It's truly just amazing. It's the role of a lifetime. It is certainly one of the most thrilling parts I've ever played, being a mother," says Aduba, who welcomed her baby girl with husband Robert Sweeting in November.

"It's taught me so much about myself. It has taught me a lot about how I want to exist in this world. It's made me stronger, but it has also shown me how strong I am at the same time," she adds of being a mom. "It really is the greatest gift that I've ever experienced."

The Painkiller star says she's also excited to be a "mother who works," and have the opportunity to show her daughter "examples of strong working women."

While Aduba is loving her days as a new mom, parenthood comes with its daily challenges. Still, she reminds herself she's doing a great job.

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Related: Uzo Aduba Welcomes First Baby, Daughter Adaiba: 'I've Joined the Club'

"I think the number one thing that I say, both to myself and to other women, soon-to-be moms, current moms is, 'You're doing great,' " she tells PEOPLE. "It's a full-time and a hard job. I tell anybody who is doing it, 'You're doing great, just right where you are. I never say, 'Keep it up. You're so strong.' Nothing like that. You're doing great because you're just trying to pour into it the most and the best that you have. Full stop."

"Whenever I'm met with a challenging moment, I just say that, 'You're doing great.' And as long as my best efforts are the intention, then that's really all you can ask of yourself. That's all I try to demand of myself in those situations."

Aduba also emphasizes the importance of asking for help as she balances life as a working mom.

"I think there is an unspoken rule that exists for moms, for parents, that you're supposed to just shoulder it all. You're supposed to figure out how to do it all yourself," she explains. "And where I'm from, there is the village, there is the tribe. We're not living there, we're living here. And so it's really actively looking to build a tribe for myself that can help support me so that I can be the best mom that I can be. And the best mom that I can be is one that is loving and loving to her and loving to myself as well."

Aduba is working with Colgate on their "My Smile is My Superpower" campaign to remind people everywhere — including her baby girl — that the most beautiful smile is the one they own. As part of the campaign, Colgate is unveiling an original music video titled "The Beauty of Gaps," which celebrates a range of different smiles.

"I was excited to partner with Colgate because with this campaign that they're doing, 'The Beauty of Gaps.' When I was younger, I didn't always celebrate my gap. I wanted to have braces," she admits. "I begged my mother for braces and she would tell me along with others that I had a beautiful smile. And I eventually grew up and saw the beauty in my own smile."

"it felt so exciting to be a part of this Colgate initiative where they are saying, 'My smile is my superpower.' Because I sincerely believe that. I spent so much time not smiling in my life, I smile now all the time, and I say it's because I feel like I'm making up for lost smiles."

The actress hopes to help others embrace their smiles and celebrate individuality. "There's no such thing as an imperfect smile. Your individuality is something to stand on. Your uniqueness is something to be celebrated," she says.

"I think particularly now, having become a new mom and having a little girl of my own who will eventually look at me and see how I celebrate myself and perhaps take those examples as lessons, it's important for me for her to know that she is perfect just the way she is," adds Aduba. "It's important for her to celebrate all of herself. And I can start with the little things like a smile."

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Read the original article on People.