Hallie Jackson to share her experience as a 'pandemic mom' in new COVID-19 anniversary series

Hallie Jackson is lending her “unique perspective” as a "pandemic mom" to a series of upcoming reports marking the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus outbreak.

The “MSNBC Live” anchor — who gave birth to daughter Monroe with NBC News reporter and producer Frank Thorp last March — is taking part in two weeks of networkwide reports about the impact of COVID-19. The reporting, which starts airing Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show, aims to give a sense of what the “American experience has been over the last 365 days” and becoming a first-time mom during a pandemic, says Jackson.

The series, dubbed "COVID One Year Later: Life After Lockdown," will also explore the struggle some pregnant or nursing health care workers have deciding whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and will include interviews with Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenForgiving K in school loans would free 36 million student borrowers from debt: data IRS chief warns of unpaid taxes hitting trillion Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  MORE (Mass.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySchumer kicks into reelection mode Democrats target Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act Senators eye rollback of Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act MORE (Wash.) about legislation that would include more pregnant women in clinical trials.


“As a pandemic mom myself, I thought, you know this issue is something that a lot of other new moms and pregnant moms have been grappling with this last year,” Jackson, 36, told ITK in an interview. “The added stress, the added anxiety, the challenges that come with not just being a first-time mom, or first-time pregnant mom, but doing it in the middle of a pandemic, right when there's a whole series of questions that are now creating so much uncertainty around your experience.”

Jackson says her personal connection to the topic of pandemic motherhood forced her to open up in ways she hasn’t before on TV.

“I’m a reporter,” says the NBC News senior Washington correspondent. “I'm not like a person who shares a lot about my personal life in my stories … ever.”

“But in this instance, it felt like I was able to bring my own lived experience to the reporting of this.”

Jackson — who’s discussed racial disparities in maternal health and shared her experiences of scrambling to find places to nurse while on the job covering politics — says there’s not a risk of her work in journalism turning into activism.


“I think that that's something that I'm always extremely conscious about. In this story, I think it's OK to show some humanity and to let people in a little bit on the life that I'm experiencing and sort of the things that I'm going through as a pandemic mom," she says. "It doesn't change the nuts and bolts reporting of it.”

While her young daughter has lived her entire life amid the battle against COVID-19, Jackson says the joy of raising a child doesn’t disappear during a pandemic. She recalls venturing out for a socially distanced, masked-up park playdate with some new mom friends as Monroe experienced her first snowfall in Washington.

“You could only see people's eyeballs peeking out from under their hoods, but the babies loved it, and got to sit in the snow, and kind of play around with it,” Jackson says with a laugh. “It felt a little bit normal, even though it was obviously, you know, not normal in any way.”

Jackson is getting ready to celebrate Monroe’s first birthday next week, but she’s not exactly planning a wild bash. The festivities will include some FaceTime sessions with family, balloons, a cute photo backdrop and a smash cake baked by the journalist herself.

“It's definitely gonna look very different,” Jackson says of the low-key affair.

But watch out, 2022.

“I hope that her second birthday — I'm really crossing my fingers — will be the full out blowout that I think a lot of moms envision for their kids,” she says.