On her first day back at The View after giving birth to daughter Liberty Sage in September, Meghan McCain is advocating for mandatory paid family leave in the U.S.
Sharing the story of her daughter's birth, McCain, 36, revealed that she suffered from postnatal preeclampsia following her emergency C-section, and had to remain in the hospital for a week before being able to go home with Liberty. Even after she was discharged from the hospital, McCain said that she was "physically unable" to return to work when she had initially planned.
"I was planning on coming back to the show for the election, in six weeks after I gave birth, and I was physically unable to," she told her co-hosts. "I had to have my husband and my mother-in-law help me do everything from shower to eat. It was deeply humbling, and to help me take care of Liberty."
McCain, who shares Liberty with husband Ben Domenech, said that the experience left her "angry" that all women in the U.S. aren't granted adequate time off from work to recover after giving birth.
"And the whole time I was thinking, what a privilege it is to have this kind of maternity leave," she said. "And then as I thought about it, the more angry I got that there weren't women in the rest of America that have the same kind of luxury that I had working here at The View."
McCain added that, given that the republican party is historically one of "family values," she "started getting more and more angry that conservatives in particular" are "leaving women in this country without the capacity and ability, unless you have an employer that allows you to take care of your child, to heal physically."
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"We are the only developing nation that doesn't supply women with paid family leave," McCain said, adding that the lack of mandatory family leave is "a really dark spot for our country."
"We as conservatives have to come together and allow all women in this country, no matter how or where they're from, or their socioeconomic class, the capacity to have what I just had, which is three months of bonding time and breastfeeding and healing from an emergency C-section, which is what I had to have, and postnatal preeclampsia," she said.
Recognizing that "it takes personal experience sometimes to get on board," McCain invited her fellow co-hosts to make mandatory family leave an initiative for the show in 2021.
"We'll do what we can," Whoopi Goldberg said.
Speaking with PEOPLE last month, McCain said she was grateful for the time off granted to her by The View.
“I’ve been loving every moment with Liberty and have been so appreciative of the time ABC has given me," she said. "There has been so much that has happened since Liberty’s arrival so I’m so excited to bring my perspective back to The View. Also, I miss my co-hosts!”
Elsewhere in Monday's episode of The View, McCain described motherhood as "insane."
"After I gave birth, I was like, 'Women do this. This is what we do, we give birth like this.' Being with a newborn baby has been surprising to me because motherhood, I think as everyone knows, was not a simple journey for me. Being with her is like the way I've heard described taking ecstasy. It's just amazing," she said.
"I've been in this bubble of love," the new mom said, adding of Liberty, "she's just perfect, and it feels like having a little piece of my dad back."
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