By: Joanne Rosa, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The View co-host and new mother Meghan McCain returned to the show from a three-month maternity leave with updates on her daughter, Liberty Sage, and a newfound support for mandatory paid maternity leave after experiencing health complications from giving birth.
“Motherhood’s insane,” McCain said on the show. “After I gave birth, I was like, ‘Women do this. This is what women do. We give birth like this.'”
But she went on to say that it’s been “surprising” being with her newborn daughter because motherhood so far has not been a “simple journey.” Nevertheless, she described it as “amazing.”
McCain shared photos of 3-month-old Liberty during Monday’s episode of the Emmy-winning daytime talk show, the first of the new year.
“I’ve been in this bubble of love and baby time, and she’s just perfect,” McCain said, adding that having Liberty in her life “feels like having a little piece” of her late father, Sen. John McCain, back.
McCain says she and her husband, Ben Domenech, are “so in love” with Liberty.
“She’s so feisty. She’s a wildcat. I mean, surprise, surprise. She’s my daughter,” McCain said.
McCain also opened up about her emergency cesarean delivery, the postpartum preeclampsia she experienced and being hospitalized with a magnesium drip for a week after giving birth.
“It really, really kicked my butt,” she said. “I was planning on coming back to the show for the election in six weeks after I gave birth and I was physically unable to.”
“I had to have my husband and my mother-in-law help me do everything, from showering to eating — it was deeply humbling — and to help me take care of Liberty,” she added.
McCain went on to say that throughout her maternity leave, she often thought about the “privilege” she had in having time to recover from her complications and bond with her daughter.
“As I thought about it, the more angry I got that there weren’t women in the rest of America that had the same kind of luxury that I had working here at The View,” she said.
McCain pointed out the conservative emphasis on being “the party of family values” even when there is a lack of support for a mandatory paid maternity leave for all women.
“Everything about our ideology sort of stems from the nucleus of the family,” McCain said.
“We are leaving women in this country without [that] capacity and ability — unless you have an employer that allows you to take care of your child — to heal physically, which is something that needs to happen,” she added.
But she noted that supported for mandatory paid maternity leave is increasing. Senators Marco Rubio, Joni Ernst and Kyrsten Sinema support an improved maternity leave policy in the United States, she said.
“This is something that’s really, a really dark spot for our country. We are the only developing nation that doesn’t supply women with paid family leave,” she said. “We as conservatives have to come together and allow all women in this country no matter where they’re from or their socioeconomic class the capacity to have what I just had, which is three months of bonding time and breastfeeding and healing.”
In 2021, McCain hopes to raise awareness for a mandatory paid maternity leave on “The View” and plans to “really put pressure” on lawmakers to support the cause when they appear on the show.
“Ask them why the women of America don’t get the same kind of maternity leave that Meghan McCain got,” she said.
“Ivanka Trump was one of the people that was really trying to push [paid family leave], and she failed.” McCain said. “But that doesn’t mean that the women of ‘The View’ can’t hold politicians’ feet to the fire and use our platform to hopefully put this into action.”
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