Gemma Atkinson says traumatic birth left her with nightmares

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Gemma Atkinson has said she finally feels ready to have a second baby after she was so traumatised by the birth of her daughter Mia that she had nightmares that left her screaming.

The former Hollyoaks star needed an emergency c-section when her baby’s heart rate dropped suddenly and Atkinson suffered a haemorrhage after the birth, losing nearly a litre of blood.

She said the experience in 2019 left her having nightmares and adamant she would not want another child with partner and Strictly professional Gorka Marquez.

She told Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch: “All these things were going through my mind, what did I do that caused all that to happen?

“I was telling myself for weeks and weeks I’d failed at childbirth.

“I was having horrible dreams that someone was going to take Mia from me.

“I remember my mum running in my bedroom and I was sat up screaming, sweating.”

She added: “We went out with the pram and a lady said, ‘Oh I believe it (the birth) wasn’t a success was it, you know, what happened?’

“My mum piped up and said, ‘It was a huge success, Mia’s there, Gemma’s here, total success’.

“Something clicked in me then, my body had done me proud because it had recovered and got me through.”

Atkinson said she is now considering having another baby, adding: “I’m at the stage where I want a sister or bother for Mia.

“The first few months of Mia’s life, I kept saying to my partner, Gorka, ‘I’m not going through that again’.

“I’ve now come of it and I feel I could.”

Atkinson met with a psychotherapist to learn more about how women can be helped through birth trauma and offering advice for anyone who has had similar experience, she said: “It was strangely comforting speaking to the women, it makes you feel like you’re not on your own, you’re not the only person who had a difficult labour.

“If anyone needs help, please ask for it because you deserve to be the happiest, healthiest parent.”

Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All 4.

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