When Ugly Betty actor America Ferrera announced the birth of her second child, Lucia Marisol Williams, in May 2020, she was thrilled. But the birth came after a harrowing, anxiety-filled pregnancy for Ferrera — which, duh, she was about to give birth during a global pandemic.
This week on the Katie’s Crib podcast, Ferrera got honest about just how hard mid-pandemic pregnancy was for her.
“I could feel my heart rate and my anxiety and my blood pressure and everything go up,” Ferrera told listeners, describing how she felt while pregnant and watching the news of increasing cases and deaths due to COVID-19. “And also not being able to close my eyes at night and go to sleep,” she added, “because I’m sitting there with all these news stories swirling in my head.”
View this post on Instagram
As this baby grows inside and I attempt to breathe through the fears and unknowns of this time, I am thinking of all you other mamas bringing new life into this world right now. And also of all the women across generations and centuries and borders who have and are currently birthing new life in the midst of so many extraordinary and daunting circumstances. Life is a miracle, and mamas make it possible through their strength and power. Hang in there pregnant mamas! We got this. 📸 by @ryanpierswilliams (aka dada, aka quarantine partner)
For Ferrera, as for so many of us, the only answer was to simply stop. Reading. The. News. And honestly, going cold-turkey on CNN seems like a great idea to a lot of us right now.
“I have to put up my filter,” Ferrera explained on the podcast, of her choice to step back from reading the headlines during her pregnancy with Lucia. “Because I don’t have the emotional capacity to let that in. I realized that really early on for me… I had to be very disciplined about what I let in because it just doesn’t serve you, especially in a time when you don’t need that added stress when you’re pregnant.”
And it’s clear some of that stepping-back paid off, at least in terms of Ferrera’s emotional capacity. By the time Lucia arrived, this mom was pure joy and empowerment, as evidenced by her birth announcement — alongside a powerful callout to help mothers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“LUCIA MARISOL WILLIAMS arrived on May 4th to give me my Mother’s Day hugs and kisses herself,” said Ferrera in an Instagram post. “Mama, Dada & Big Brother are over the moon to welcome her bright light to our family. Quarantine may have canceled her Baby Shower but it didn’t stop us from collecting and delivering essential supplies to #YesWeCanMobileSchools — spaces for moms and children at the border to learn, play, and stay safe through these hard times. Dear friends, if you’re considering sending Lucia a gift, please donate to @yeswecanwf in her name. Or make a donation today in honor of the Moms you love! Visitfor more info.”
These are the best pregnancy-safe skincare products for anxiety-free self-care.