“I give her so much credit. She helped us get started and guided me through the fears and the process,” Menounos, 45, exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “[Kim] really guided me to just trust and have faith.”
The journalist says that Kardashian, 42, “was the first to know we were pregnant.” Menounos — who announced in February she and husband Keven Undergaro were expecting their first child — explains that she “couldn’t resist telling” Kardashian the good news at a gala in November 2022.
“She’s such a chill, calm person,” Menounos tells Us of the Skims founder. “Anytime I had questions or needed advice, her responses were instant. I had really leaned on her a lot.”
Us exclusively debuted Menounos and Undergaro’s daughter, Athena Alexandra, on Wednesday, July 19. Athena was born via surrogate on June 23.
whom she wed in 2017, welcomed daughter Athena Alexandra on June 23 via surrogate.
Menounos tells Us that Kardashian’s own fertility journey — which includes welcoming daughter Chicago, 5, and son Psalm, 4, via surrogate — gave her “the permission and the courage to say, ‘OK, I can do that too.’”
Kardashian, for her part, gave birth to her and ex-husband Kanye West’s two eldest children, North, 10, and Saint, 7. Following those high-risk pregnancies, the now-exes used surrogates to carry their youngest children.
The Kardashians star’s openness about her own health ups and downs resonated with Menounos, who says she’s “really grateful” Kardashian was in her corner.
The new mom calls Kardashian one of her “all-stars,” alongside Menounos’ doula, Lori Bregman, Stephanie Levivitch from Family Match and attorney Andrew Zimmer, who Kardashian introduced Menounos to amid her IVF struggles.
“All of these angels came together to help us be able to do this,” Menounos explains. “And of course, the biggest thanks [goes] to our surrogate and her family.”
The “Heal Squad” podcast host’s road to motherhood spanned 10 years and included infertility issues and IVF treatments. When Menounos was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017, her treatments were paused. Although the tumor was removed, Menounos was advised not to carry her own child which led to a three-year surrogacy process.
“Athena is our miracle baby,” Menounos tells Us. “The whole house is on happy crack! … It’s just so much love.”
Watch the exclusive video above to learn more about Menounos’ life as a mom — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.