When actress Camilla Luddington gave birth to her second child last August, she says her 15-hour labor felt even more difficult, thanks to the mask she had to wear.

Like so many other moms who have given birth over the past year, her delivery was much different than Luddington ever could have imagined. The Grey’s Anatomy star had been through birth once before, with 4-year-old daughter Hayden. But she said welcoming Lucas amid a pandemic and while wearing a mask made it a whole different experience.

“It was over 15 hours wearing a mask,” she said in an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “It was intense. Anybody else who gave birth during the pandemic, I feel like we have a bond too because of things like that.” Luddington added that she felt “claustrophobic” while wearing face-covering during labor.


The actress found it even tougher because she said she hadn’t realized ahead of time that she’d need to be masked. “It just wasn’t something I had thought about and when I found out I would have to, I cried,” she told People magazine. “I completely understood the importance of wearing one, I just dreaded it. Labor is so physically exhausting I couldn’t imagine adding a mask.”

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The majority of Luddington’s pregnancy took place during the pandemic, and she said that raised her stress levels considerably. “I absolutely had more daily anxiety,” she said in People. “Not only did I have concerns over contracting COVID and what that could potentially mean for my pregnancy, I was also worried about things like my husband not being able to be present with me during the birth.”

A pandemic pregnancy culminating in a masked delivery isn’t what any new mother would wish for. We are so looking forward to the days when newborns can look up and see their mama’s whole face for the first time—without a mask in the way. Until that can happen safely, however, we’re applauding all the strong mamas who are pushing through.