Having a baby is meant to be one of the happiest times of your life, but when Stacey Solomon had her first son Zachary aged 18 she experienced postnatal depression and admitted she felt that her “life was over”.
The condition affects one in 10 women and as many as 50% of teenage mums.
Bravely opening up to Yahoo Celebrity UK during our Facebook Live interview, the ‘Loose Women’ panellist revealed she was torn between working two jobs while attending college and desperately wanting to repay her mum and dad for looking after her and her son.
She told us: “There was a point when I had Zach and I felt like my life was completely over, and I felt that having a child meant I couldn’t leave that child, I’d never be the same person. My whole life changed, it took me a little while to get out of that. It didn’t change my ambitions.
“At that point I wanted to go to college and get my A-Levels, and I didn’t want having a child to prohibit me in anyway, and I wanted money to support myself and Zachary, and to give back to my parents who were looking after me in their home. You do what you have to do, you take any job, I’ll take it, I’ll work every hour of every day.”
Being a teenager, juggling work, education, and motherhood, Stacey didn’t realise she had depression but says people should speak out when they are feeling low.
The 27-year-old star added: “There is help out there for postnatal depression, but I didn’t discover that’s what I had till later in my life. Don’t be afraid to speak about it. The most important think we could do is to eradicate the stigma and the pressures, don’t feel guilty, don’t feel like a bad person, don’t be embarrassed to talk about it.
“Sometimes I get worried, how will Zach feel that I opened up about postnatal depression? But then I think it’s probably a subject I should talk to him about anyway. Because he’ll become a man who is going to have a partner in life and one day he might experience the same thing with his partner.”
The ‘Loose Women’ panellist – who is supporting McCain’s We Are Family campaign – didn’t suffer from the condition after having her second son Leighton and says she “doesn’t know why it was different” but “having two (chidlren) feels like having “two hundred”. But, as she’s one of seven children, including step brothers and half brothers and sisters, she is keen to expand her brood.
She’s now happily dating former EastEnders star Joe Swash, whom she’s been with for two years. And though the couple aren’t ready to get married and have kids yet, Stacey wants to have children again with or without Joe.
She told us: “It’s definitely something I would like to happen. But I would like more children whether it is with Joe or not. I am one of seven – with step brothers and half brothers and sisters. And I would like more children but it’s not something I could consider right now. I’m not sure I am ready to do it all again just yet, I want the boys to be a bit older and to make sure they’re happy for that to happen.”
Stacey recently shared a positive body confidence video on Instagram last month that gained huge traction, and admitted she thinks the social media site is flooded with unrealistic images of women, saying: “I don’t think it’s bad to put filters on, I do think it’s unhealthy to airbrush everything out.”
“I’m a slim woman with a size 10 figure but I still have bits on my body that hang out, I still have boobs that hang lower than most 27 year olds, but I think that’s OK. And I think its about saying to people well that’s absolutely fine, I love my body, I’m walking around, I’m really privileged, instead of kind of airbrushing everything out and saying this is what I look like all the time.
“I couldn’t care less if there are a couple of people who are like ‘no one needs to see you in your bikini!’ And I think if no one needs to see me then why did they pay a random photographer to go out there and take pictures of me without my knowledge?”
The McCain ‘We Are Family’ campaign is championing modern day families in all their diverse shapes and sizes.
Half of Brits (49%) don’t think popular culture reflects the reality of modern families.
84% of Brits can’t recall seeing anything in today’s popular culture that featured a family like their own in the last six months
45% of Brits think more needs to be done to show the reality of everyday family life in popular culture
For more information, head to the McCain Facebook page.