The TV star said she was partying hard and in "chaos” but that she reached “a turning point” after she and her husband Mark Adderley welcomed Maddy in 2002.
Speaking on the How To Stay Married (So Far) podcast, Sawalha said it probably wasn’t quite the right time for the couple to start a family together.
“We were a beautiful disaster, we were two quite broken people when I think about it,” said the 57-year-old.
Sawalha said the pair were both “crazy” and were drinking a lot.
“When you think about how much we used to drink, we used to think it was funny to lie in the road and see if we would get run over!" she said on the podcast, which saw her talking to her hubby about their life.
The presenter said the first couple of years of motherhood were tough as it was a big change.
“I was 38 years old and I had lived my life exactly as I wanted to all my life,” she explained.
She went on: “I lived out of a suitcase for years, I was always on the move, I would party hard, I smoked like a maniac.
"I was heading to an early death, I really was.”
Sawalha, who also has a younger daughter named Kiki, said that after she had Maddy things changed as she reassessed who she was and who she wanted to be as a person and as a friend and parent.
“Maddy saved my life,” she said.
“Because I was just looking at this baby and saying, ‘Right, who am I going to be?’”
The star said she remembers walking along with Maddy and looking at her and wondering what her daughter was going to see when she looked at her mum
“That was literally my turning point in my life,” said the TV star.
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