Claire Sweeney has spoken of her regret at returning to work so soon after the birth of her son Jaxon. The 45-year-old told Lorraine Kelly that agreeing to perform in an Aladdin pantomime when her baby was less than two months old was "too much", but said she did so through necessity.
"I was breastfeeding dressed as a genie when he was six weeks old," Claire confessed. "It was too much. I didn't know any different. I have to pay bills, it wasn't because I was desperate for the sparkle. I have a mortgage to pay."
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Proud mum Claire Sweeney with her little boy Jaxon
She added: "My confidence was gone. I was overweight. I would have liked to have had longer than nine weeks off work.
"But I was a single parent. I was the sole provider at the time, so it was a case of needs must. People thought I must be desperate to get back on the stage, but it wasn't the case."
Claire welcomed Jaxon, her only child, in September 2014 with former partner Daniel Reilly. The on-off couple split for the final time in June of last year, but Claire was insistent that the pair remain close. "We're still really food friends, it's so important," she told Lorraine. "Whatever differences you have, I love him and his family and Jaxon can see our friendship."
The actress remains on very good terms with Jaxon's father Daniel Reilly
Claire's comments come just a few weeks after she revealed on Loose Women that had feared she wouldn't make it through labour alive. She told the panel that she had actually changed her will shortly before giving birth because she was so concerned about leaving her baby without a mother.
"I was convinced I was going to die during childbirth," she admitted. "I had written my will 10 years ago but I changed it just before, in case."
Claire also discussed her choice of name for her young son, revealing: "I couldn't decide on Jackson or Jaxon. When I googled Jackson, it came up with son of Jack, but Jaxon means son of God, so I went with that. My friends said it sounds like the name of a detergent though! I did consider the names Angel and Gabriel, too."