Renee Bargh is about to embark on her greatest adventure yet. In anticipation of welcoming her first child, we sat down with the television presenter at her Avalon home to find out what she’s looking forward to the most about motherhood.
As the co-host of US television show Extra, Renee Bargh spent over a decade in Los Angeles interviewing the world’s starriest names. But when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe, the 37-year-old made the decision to return to home turf - with two Emmys and a spot as co-host of The Voice Australia in tow.
Now, the small screen darling is taking time away from the red carpet to raise her family. At the time of our interview, Renee was 35 weeks pregnant and a month later, she welcomed her first child, a son named Tide, with longtime partner Andrew Lange.
In anticipation of the birth, we spoke to the Australian native at her Northern Beaches home to find out what she was looking forward to the most about parenthood.
“Everything!” she tells The Inarra. “Most of all the level of unconditional love I’m about to encounter and the expansion of the heart that comes with that.”
A far cry from La La Land, Renee spent the first three years of her childhood in Vanuatu and now hopes to instill the life lessons she learned growing up in her son.
“It was so beautiful. We lived in cloth nappies in the tropics, eating coconuts, running naked, and swimming in the ocean,” Renee recalls.
“We didn’t have fancy clothes or cars growing up, but mum and dad would always ensure my sister and I were happy and healthy,” she adds. “Holidays were spent trekking in Nepal and Vietnam, it was a very cool eye-opening childhood.”
A few years later, her parents relocated to the Byron Hinterland, a move which would further shape Renee’s values. “I’m a true Northern Rivers girl. It was such an amazing upbringing and was a very different place back then. Mum and dad were incredibly conscious of keeping us grounded. We lived on five acres with cows and ate fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden.”
“My parents were a little bit older by the time they had me, they had already lived their lives and done most of the things they wanted to do. I don’t feel like my sister and I missed out on anything.”
It was her mother’s approach to parenting that influenced Renee the most, and she’s excited to bring these teachings into her son’s life.
“Mum’s earthly demeanor definitely impacted me. She opted for a lot of natural health avenues via naturopaths alongside Western medical practices. It was an incredibly holistic upbringing. I want to do as much as I can to connect my children to the earth, just like my mum did for my sister and I.”
Renowned for her candidness on social media, Renee has always spoken openly about her desire to have children. When she announced her pregnancy, Renee’s Instagram following rallied around her and became a constant source of support.
“Once I announced the news, it was a huge relief,” she says. “I was suffering in silence during the early stages of my pregnancy; I wasn’t seeing anyone and kept saying no to events. But the reaction to the announcement from my Instagram community was just pure excitement. In turn, this made me look forward to the journey even more.”
The Today Show presenter’s love of fashion also played a fundamental role in helping her to feel confident during pregnancy. “I felt so alone and unwell, and it sounds trivial, but getting dressed and feeling good in what I was wearing was everything for me.”
“The early stages of pregnancy are hard as you are in the awkward time of navigating the news of your pregnancy and feeling a little ‘bigger’ but certainly not showing any signs of a bump yet. I was often on Channel Nine secretly wearing a dress unzipped at the back with a blazer over the top!”
Matteau, Silk Laundry, Camilla and Marc, and Maurie and Eve are some of the failsafe labels Renee turned to during this time and she credits Rihanna for helping her to find confidence in her newfound maternity style.
“Rihanna really upped the game for pregnant women when she announced her first pregnancy in that iconic pink coat with her bump exposed. I definitely took inspiration from her. It was really liberating for me to wear outfits that showed my bump. I just rocked it!”
In anticipation of welcoming her first child, Renee sought joy in daily rituals, from morning ocean dips and journaling to calling her girlfriends. Now, she’s taking a well-earned break from the entertainment industry and is looking forward to spending time with her growing family.
“Being a mum is all I’ve ever wanted and I need to focus on this phase of my life for a little while. I’m so lucky to work with such an understanding team who have told me to return when I’m ready.”
“I’m looking forward to taking a step back and focusing on what’s really important.”