In a new interview with Lo Bosworth on her podcast Gut Feelings, Maria Menounos opened up about what it’s been like to navigate having a newborn daughter at the same time as she learned she was battling pancreatic cancer. Menounos explained that she wasn’t able to spend a lot of time celebrating in the months leading up to her baby girl’s arrival, reminding all parents that it’s not only OK—but essential—to ask for help, especially in those early months.
“Well, I had a unique journey because I wasn’t able to carry my baby,” Menounos told The Hills alum on the Jan. 16 episode. “So I had a surrogate.”
“And also, I was going through this journey where I had my multiple organs severed, removed and was trying to heal from that. And so I wasn’t able to have a baby shower, I didn’t do any of the traditional things. Even so, I’m not really a traditional person, so it didn’t matter to me.”
As a first time mom-to-be, Menounos simply asked her friends for help on all things big and small. “When you’re a first time mom, you don’t know anything. You don’t know how to put this carriage together… What are you supposed to set up and do? It’s so much work. So ask for help.”
“I told my friends, ‘I don’t need the baby shower, I don’t need any,” she continued. “‘I just need your help. Help me get the things I really need that you guys have already vetted and know are great. Avoid me the stress of trial and error. And can you help me one day put it all together? We’ll have wine, we’ll have a cheese board, just please come help me.’ And so they did and everything was set up and ready to go.”
“So I would accept any and all help that you can get,” she advised. “And don’t be afraid to ask people to help, especially when you’ve gone through something. … So if you’re a new mom, ask other moms who have gone through it that can help shortcut it for you.”
“Just know you’re not going to know everything,” she concluded. “It’s going to be OK.”
Her advice is so solid, especially for the many new parents who feel they must master everything on their own or they’re not succeeding at parenthood. Asking for help is so crucial no matter what stage you’re at or what you’re going through.
Menounos welcomed daughter Athena, now 6 months, with husband Keven Undergaro in 2023. Thankfully, Menounos is now cancer-free after extensive surgeries last year. We’re wishing her and her family nothing but good health as they celebrate all of baby Athena’s milestones.