Laura Prepon, an actor and mom of two, is speaking out about her experience with motherhood and pregnancy in her new book, You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood, because she said she was “surprised at how many taboo topics there are for mothers.”
Prepon, famous for her roles on Orange Is the New Black and That ‘70s Show, opened up about how she had to terminate a pregnancy while filming the Netflix original series because of major health risks for her and the baby.
“For me, it was such a loss,” Prepon said on BuzzFeed News’ Twitter show AM to DM. “We were well into our second trimester and we thought everything was fine, and then we found out that there were major health problems with the baby in that the baby wasn’t going to survive, that I was at risk, and we really were left with no options.”
According to the actor, she had feelings of shame and anger at her own body, all while trying to focus on work during production of Orange Is the New Black.
“I went through all of this while we were filming, and I was very, very private about it — but ultimately I felt like so many women have gone through this and so many women don’t talk about it,” Prepon said.
Encouraged by her husband, actor Ben Foster, to share her story with the world, Prepon said she decided to include this in her new book because of all the other women who have also experienced loss and hardship during pregnancy.
“It’s a very personal thing, and I’m so glad I wrote about it — because number one: It was so healing for me to be able to do that and show that. And number two: So many people felt seen and heard and had gone through something similar,” she explained.
“And I feel like it’s not really talked about, because I feel like there’s this kind of shame around it, and there doesn’t have to be.”
Having that conversation allows people to feel less alone, said Prepon, especially at a time during the coronavirus quarantine when people are searching for a sense of “community.”
“When you have someone who’s going through this and you can empathize with them and talk to them, you feel less alone — especially with what's going on now,” she said. “We’re all self-isolating, and I feel like to have that community and that support group is so important, and that's one of the reasons why I wanted to share this story.”
Despite the fact that she feels added stress with a newborn baby because of the state of the world, Prepon said, she was more prepared for the birth of her second child, a baby boy, than when her 2-year-old daughter, Ella, was born. Even though everyone is forced to stay inside because of fears around the spread of the coronavirus, she and her husband were already gearing up to hunker down at home because of their newborn.
“We already had it set up in a way that we could have that really great, intimate bonding that you have with a newborn. We had already set everything up to be our nuclear family so we could bond and everything after the baby came. And then it just so happened that this pandemic happened,” she said.
“We’re just really trying to stay informed while also staying really positive and trying to really have this special time. These first few weeks when you have a baby, it’s really special. We’re trying to embrace it, stay present, and be a family.”