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Jamie Chung says she used a surrogate because she worried pregnancy would hurt her career

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Jamie Chung and her husband, actor Bryan Greenberg, surprised fans last October when they announced the birth of their twin boys.

Now, for the first time, the “Dexter: New Blood” star, 39, is opening up about her and Greenberg's decision to expand their family through surrogacy.

“I was terrified of becoming pregnant. I was terrified of putting my life on hold for two-plus years. In my industry, it feels like you’re easily forgotten if you don’t work within the next month of your last job. Things are so quickly paced in what we do,” Chung told TODAY Parents in a candid phone interview. “So it’s a compromise that we made together as a couple.”

Chung noted that the stigma surrounding surrogacy is pervasive. It’s one of the reasons she kept the pregnancy private, despite sharing her egg freezing journey in 2019.

“I think there’s a little bit of shame. It’s still not a very common thing and we weren’t ready for judgment,” she explained. “We really just did it to protect ourselves. We announced things when we were ready to."

Chung rose to fame in 2004 as a cast member on MTV’s “The Real World: San Diego,” and landed her first major role in the 2008 ABC Family miniseries “Samurai Girl.” She recently wrapped filming on “Reunion,” a comedy that co-stars Jillian Bell and Chace Crawford.

“People probably think, 'Oh, she's so vain. She didn't want to get pregnant,' and it's much more complicated than that. For me, personally, and I will leave it at this, it’s like, I worked my ass off my entire life to get where I am,” Chung said. “I don’t want to lose opportunities. I don’t want to be resentful.”

It’s not the first time Chung has gotten candid about motherhood.

In a Facebook Live in December 2021, Chung revealed she struggled with postpartum depression.

Chung opened up to TODAY Parents while promoting her partnership with Duracell and its #PowerSafely Campaign. The initiative was launched to help reduce the risk of accidental ingestions of lithium coin batteries, which are used in everything from thermometers to games.

Related: Mom advocates for safer button batteries after daughter's death

Chung said her 7-month-old twins — she and Greenberg, 44, have not publicly disclosed the boys’ names — are on the move and getting into everything.

“My number one priority is to keep my kids safe,” she said. “If a kid swallows a battery, it could be catastrophic.”

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