Oti Mabuse opens up on 'trauma' of baby arriving two months early

The Dancing On Ice and Strictly star said NHS staff and her new group of NICU mum friends helped her get through a tough start to motherhood.

Watch Oti Mabuse opens up on 'trauma' of baby arriving two months early

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Oti Mabuse has given a rare insight into her "traumatising" first weeks of motherhood after her baby daughter arrived two months early.

The Dancing On Ice judge and former Strictly Come Dancing star welcomed her first child late last year, but her premature baby spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at University College London Hospital (UCLH).

Dancer Mabuse spoke to This Morning on Thursday about the experience, saying she had kept it to herself for as long as possible so that she and husband Marius Lepure could adjust to their situation.

What, how, and why?

Oti Mabuse is one of the judges on Dancing On Ice. (ITV)
Oti Mabuse is one of the judges on Dancing On Ice. (ITV)

Mabuse and her husband Marius Lepure welcomed their first child at the end of 2023, but did not make the usual big celebrity birth announcement as their daughter was born two months early - so they kept her arrival to themselves for around 10 weeks as they adjusted to the shock.

Speaking to This Morning on Thursday, Mabuse said it had been a "traumatising" experience, but added that she had made a new group of friends with the other mums in the NICU.

The TV star said of her baby daughter: "She was in the NICU for about six weeks, she came two months early which was totally unexpected. I gave birth at UCLH and they were so amazing, the NHS. I don't usually get sick, so I'm never in hospital and I don't have to use the NHS that much. But then I really needed them and they were incredible.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Oti Mabuse and Marius Iepure  attend the Vanity Fair EE BAFTA Rising Star Party at Pavyllon London on January 31, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Oti Mabuse and husband Marius Iepure shared their news at Christmas. (Getty Images)

"They looked after us so well, not just me but all the mothers there. I have a few NICU mum friends now, we keep in touch and we talk about each other's children.

"The whole process, to go through it was something really traumatising and I didn't really talk about it."

She added: "I didn't say anything for about nine, 10 weeks because first of all I wanted time with her and my husband, we just wanted to be a family. Motsi came from Germany, my parents came from South Africa. We wanted to have fun and enjoy Christmas. Then we were like, now we're all calm and everything is ok, we can talk about it and celebrate her."

Talking about what motherhood is like for her now, she said: "It's this new level of exhaustion which we learn to work with, but it is the most amazing thing ever when I wake up in the morning and I see my little baby's face. I love motherhood, I love how it feels. I love that new feeling of, 'this is who I need to become to be strong for you'."

What else happened on This Morning?

Brooke Vincent admitted she wouldn't do Strictly because she said she would
Brooke Vincent was also a guest on This Morning. (ITV/screengrab)

Brooke Vincent also appeared on Thursday's This Morning, where she admitted that watching her younger cousin Ellie Leach win Strictly Come Dancing had not inspired her to sign up for the show.

Vincent had guided Leach through her early days in soap on Coronation Street, but as host Josie Gibson asked her: "Would you ever do Strictly?", despite having done Dancing On Ice Vincent replied: "Oh god, I can't now, can I, after she's won. I'd be like the failure.

"She just did amazing, it was amazing to watch. You get bored of saying how proud you are of someone so I was trying to word it in different ways - 'well done! You did really well this week!'"

This Morning airs on ITV at 10am on weekdays.

Read more: Dancing On Ice