Getting candid. Priyanka Chopra is opening up about her tough journey to become a mother.

The Quantico actress – who welcomed daughter Malti with her husband, Nick Jonas, in January 2022 – revealed she faced backlash for having her daughter via surrogate.

“I’ve developed a tough hide when people talk about me,” Priyanka, 40, told British Vogue in an interview published on Thursday, January 19, adding that she’s been accused of “outsourcing” her pregnancy.

She admitted that it’s “painful” to hear people discuss her daughter. “I’m like, ‘Keep her out of it.’ I know what it felt like to hold her little hands when they were trying to find her veins. So no, she’s not going to be gossip,” Priyanka said. “I’ve been really protective of this chapter of my life with my daughter. Because it’s not about my life only. It’s hers too.”

While Priyanka chooses to keep the reason why she opted to welcome their daughter via surrogacy private, she said experienced “medical complications.”

“This was a necessary step, and I’m so grateful I was in a position where I could do this,” she said. “Our surrogate was so generous, kind, lovely and funny, and she took care of this precious gift for us for six months.”

As for the trolls that criticized the decision, she insisted that they will never fully know the whole story. “You don’t know what I’ve been through,” Priyanka said. “And just because I don’t want to make my medical history, or my daughter’s, public doesn’t give you the right to make up whatever the reasons were.”

The Jamshedpur, India, native also recalled Malti’s birth experience, in which she was delivered preterm a whole trimester before her due date.

“I was in the OR [operating room] when she came out. She was so small, smaller than my hand,” Priyanka explained. “I saw what the intensive-care nurses do. They do God’s work. Nick and I were both standing there as they intubated her. I don’t know how they even found what they needed [in her tiny body] to intubate her.”

The Baywatch actress and Nick, 30, spent the first month of Malti’s life at the neonatal intensive care unit. “We spent every single day with her on my chest, on my husband’s chest,” she said. “I didn’t know if she would make it or not.”

Priyanka Chopra Responds to ‘Painful’ Backlash Over Welcoming Daughter Via Surrogacy
Marechal Aurore/ABACA/Shutterstock

While the couple has chosen to keep their daughter’s life out of the spotlight, the “Sucker” singer previously thanked the healthcare workers for taking care of Malti.

“What we shared on social media was the feeling that we had — the gratitude, obviously, to have our baby home, but also for each and every person that was a part of her journey in the hospital,” Nick told People in June 2022. “It was eye-opening in a lot of ways … It was really important that people know that whatever their journey is, or whatever challenges might come up, you’re not alone.”

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