celebrity

Jamie Chung was “terrified” that being pregnant would ruin her career. So she chose surrogacy.

Content warning: This post deals with fertility and postpartum depression and might be triggering for some readers.

Jamie Chung has a relatively successful career in Hollywood. She has had roles in hits such as The Hangover Part II, Dexter: New Blood, The Misfits and Lovecraft Country.

But throughout her career, the 39-year-old has said she has feared being "easily forgotten".

In Hollywood, there is a level of A-list elite that don't budge from their position. But for the rest, it's often described as a constant revolving door where actors must consistently prove themselves and secure roles in order to stay relevant in the cut-throat industry.

It's for this reason that Chung decided to have her twin boys - born in October 2021 - via surrogacy. In an interview with TODAY this week, she said it was a decision she knows is controversial and has privilege attached to it. 

But it was a decision she felt she had to make for the sake of her career. 

Watch: Kim K's surrogate on KUWTK. Post continues below.


Video via E!

Chung said she her actor husband Bryan Greenberg made the "compromise" together as a couple. 

"I was terrified of becoming pregnant. I was terrified of putting my life on hold for two-plus years. In my industry, it feels like you're easily forgotten if you don't work within the next month of your last job. Things are so quickly paced in what we do," she said.

In 2019, Chung shared her egg-freezing journey with her fans, writing on Instagram: "I've been stewing over the idea of freezing my eggs for a couple of years now, and decided to move forward with the process only just recently. I did my research on facilities and then it all boiled down to these deciding factors - I want options. I'm buying time. I'm unsure and scared and hopeful. I have the best life partner a person can ask for and I know I want to one day raise a child with Bryan. I'm just unsure when that will happen."

At the time, Chung saw egg-freezing as an opportunity to create a conversation and share her thoughts with others who were curious. But when it came to surrogacy, she was wary. 

"I think there's a little bit of shame. It's still not a very common thing and we weren't ready for judgment," she explained to TODAY. "We really just did it to protect ourselves. We announced things when we were ready to."

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"People probably think, 'Oh, she's so vain. She didn't want to get pregnant,' and it's much more complicated than that. For me, personally, and I will leave it at this - it's like, I worked my ass off my entire life to get where I am. I don't want to lose opportunities. I don't want to be resentful."

Chung has also opened up about how she experienced postpartum depression after the surrogacy journey. "I was so resentful, and I had anxiety and I was angry," she said on Facebook Live.

She elaborated in an interview with PEOPLE. "Therapy really helped me prep mentally for this lifestyle change," she said. "You don't want to start with something negative or challenging, but I do think that these postpartum depression issues are so real."

Chung said she felt guilty about those feelings and the path she had taken. 

"It's just because you're overwhelmed and you're full of anxiety and it's a scary transition for some people. Every fertility journey is unique - it's a tender topic."

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Although the gig of being a mother is tough, Chung said she wouldn't have it any other way. 

"Since the birth of my little stinkers, I have a new profound appreciation for mothers. So to all the mothers out there that survived another day, you're DOING GREAT! Surviving is thriving, you roll with the punches (and kicks), laugh when times feel difficult, have a glass of wine, and then get up the next morning only to do it all over again," she wrote on Instagram.

"Occasionally something magical happens - a smile, a laugh, a connection and you're sucked right back in. And after all the shit, literal and figurative, you start to enjoy the journey and suddenly you're that person at the party showing strangers your baby photos."

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio.


With her sons now eight months old, Chung said she has chosen to go back to work. Although the types of acting roles and projects she takes on have changed.

"Anything that takes me away from them for too long... It's overwhelming for one parent to take care of two kids or any child at all. But to have twins is a whole other level of energy that is needed," she explained to The List.

"It's changed a lot. You look at every project from a new perspective because you're like, 'Is this role worthy of taking me away from my kids?'"

She noted that her and Greenberg have relied heavily on family and friends to help too.

"A lot of people are like, 'Get a nanny,' but I'm very hands-on. I like doing it myself, and yes, I'm happy to accept the help, but if I'm available to do it, and I'm around to do it, then I would most absolutely raise my own kids."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

You can also contact PANDA - Post and Antenatal Depression Association - for support. You can find their website here or call their helpline - 1300 726 306.

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Feature Image: Getty/Instagram @jamiejchung.

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