Maria Menounos: "Raising my daughter in the Greek community will give her strong roots, church is important"

Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos' first reference to the surrogate mother who gave birth to her daughter - "She has values"

Maria Menounos has been enjoying the role of mother for the last few months. The Greek-American presenter had their first child with Keven Undergaro, through a surrogate mother, and in an interview she gave to Today, she referred for the first time to the woman who gave birth to their daughter, Athena.

"A lot of moms (say) that at some point, daughters turn a little tough," the journalist and actor tells "I thought, how do I avoid that? I didn't do that with my mom, I was so respectful of my parents and I wanted to be like them. I (might) have to be real strict, like they were with me."

With a newborn daughter at home, Menounos has years to decide.

"Bringing my daughter up in the Greek community is going to be really important, giving her those strong roots, going to church and letting her know it's (good) to have and be a good member of the community."

Maria Menounos

“When you’re met with a potential death sentence, everything changes,” she told People at the time. “I need people to know there are places they can go to catch things early. You can’t let fear get in the way. I had that moment where I thought I was a goner — but I’m OK because I caught this early enough.”

In February 2023, Menounos and Undergaro announced they were expecting a baby with help from a surrogate.

Maria Menounos

Menounos spoke to for her partnership with RXBAR’s limited-edition ManifX bars with customized wrappers on which people write their goals (for example: meditate, go for a walk). Customers can enter for a chance to win the bars from September 7 to September 21 on

Manifestation is a daily habit for Menounos, who says she navigates the unknown with positive thinking and appreciation for the gifts she has.

"We’re so good at catastrophizing and allowing fear to have its way with our minds," she tells, adding, "Gratitude is the greatest place to be emotionally ... so when I have a fearful moment — and I’ve had many — I will choose positive thoughts."

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