America Ferrera Admits She Had Anxiety About Giving Birth During the Coronavirus Pandemic

(Jc Olivera/Getty Images For National Hispanic Media Coalition)

America Ferrera is getting candid about how she felt prior to giving birth to her second child.

The Superstore star chatted with Katie Lowes on her podcast Katie's Crib about being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic, her fears triggered by childbirth and the anxiety she felt at the time.

"There's the anxiety about the virus itself, which is like you don't want to get sick, you don't want your children to get sick, you don't want your newborn baby to get sick," she explained. "I try to stay away from the news cycle because I think you can drive yourself absolutely insane…I just know I have to put up my filters because I don't have the emotional capacity to let that in."

Ferrera shared that early on she knew that there was an overflow of information that made her uneasy. "Unfortunately in this day in age you have to be able to stop yourself and know what's healthy and know what's not."

"For me, I could feel my heart rate, my anxiety and my blood pressure go up. And also not being able to close my eyes and go to sleep at night because I'm sitting there with all these news stories swirling in my head," she recalled. "And just realizing early on I had to be very disciplined about what I let in because it just doesn't serve you, especially in a time where you just don't need that added stress when you're pregnant."

The actress and husband Ryan Piers Williams welcomed their baby girl named Lucia on May 4. They are also parents to 1-year-old son Sebastian.

As the conversation continued, Ferrera told Lowes that all her plans she had for her daughter's arrival "systematical [went] out the window." While she thought that she was prepared and knew what to expect, as she had already given birth before, she knew it would be completely different.

"Even as I had the thought, 'This is going to be exactly the same,' there was another voice that was like, 'Girl, don't you know anything? Nothing is ever going to be the same,'" she noted. "That voice was right."

With many businesses shut down, Ferrera also explained that she's not able to go see her osteopath or get acupuncture, which helped her body feel better after giving birth the first time.

"I can't walk right now, I can't walk 20 minutes without being like, 'This is painful and I have to sit down.' So all these things that I've come to lean on and felt like I built my support system, none of these things are available to me right now," she stated. "[I think], you have to let that go and really invest a lot more trust in myself and in the fact that I can do this."

She continued by saying that she's trying to be as "grounded" and put her "big girl pants on."

"[I'm like], 'The whole world's dealing with this, you can do this. This is the time your baby chose to come into the world for some reason, so here we go,'" she said she told herself. "But like I said, there is real anxiety, there is real emotion, there is real fear…A lot of it would be there anyway. It feels amplified and it feels overwhelming.. in this moment."

Weeks before giving birth, she sent an inspiring and comforting message to fellow expectant moms amid the "daunting" pandemic.

“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,” she wrote. "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,” Ferrera continued. “Hang in there pregnant mamas! We got this."

For more on Ferrera's pregnancy journey, watch below.


Why America Ferrera Didn't 'Enjoy' Her 'Ugly Betty' Emmy Win

America Ferrera Welcomes Baby No. 2 With Husband Ryan Piers Williams

America Ferrera Sends Inspiring Message to Fellow Expectant Moms Amid ‘Daunting’ Coronavirus Pandemic