CNN's Abby Phillip on Being Pregnant and Covering 2020 Post-Election Madness

The Inside Politics Sunday host and her husband Marcus Richardson welcomed daughter Naomi Angelina on August 16

When CNN's Abby Phillip found out she was expecting her first child, the senior political correspondent didn't have much time to sit back and enjoy the happy news.

"Shortly after the [2020 presidential] election, I was pregnant covering all the madness while in my first trimester and having morning sickness," she says in this week's issue of PEOPLE. "Working with the intensity that I did post-election while carrying a child was the hardest thing I've ever done. Between that and the delivery, I could accomplish anything at this point."

The Harvard grad, 32, and her husband Marcus Richardson welcomed daughter Naomi Angelina on August 16. Since then, the couple has been relishing in their new roles as parents. "I spent the first two weeks just being amazed that I created this thing," she says.

Phillip plans to take her full maternity leave before heading back to the CNN set so that she can enjoy every moment of new motherhood. "You only get your first one once, so I'm going to take that time, spend it with her and nurture her until she watches me go back to work and learns that mommy has a job."

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abby phillip
Daymion Mardel

In January, after four years as a CNN reporter and political analyst, Phillip was named host of the network's Inside Politics Sunday and promoted to senior political correspondent. With the professional upgrade, she joined the ranks of MSNBC's Joy Reid as one of three Black women headlining her own show on a major news network.

"I think a lot of times, especially early in my career, I often felt like there weren't a lot of people like me in this field, especially a Black woman, especially someone who's young," she says.

Watch the full episode of People Features: Abby Phillip on or on the PeopleTV app.

"When I started my very first job, I was a White House reporter. I was 21 years old when I walked into that building, and it was terrifying. You have to dig deep and say, 'Okay. I'm going to learn something new today and figure out how to make this next chapter of my life work,' " she adds. "That's what I've done. I've tried not to shy away from those kinds of challenges, and it has really served me well."

For more on Abby Phillip, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

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