Gemma Atkinson has opened up about the difficulties she faced following the birth of her daughter, Mia. Despite this, the 37-year-old confessed she would love to have another baby with her fiancé, Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez.
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Speaking in an exclusive film for Steph's Packed Lunch on Channel 4, the Hollyoaks star reflected on her experiences of childbirth. She needed to have an emergency c-section when Mia's heart rate dropped suddenly, with Gemma suffering a haemorrhage after the birth, losing nearly a litre of blood.
WATCH: Gemma Atkinson on coping with a traumatic birth
Gemma describes Mia, now two, as "the best thing that's ever happened to me" and, following her birth, shared her birth experience on social media to show it doesn't always go to plan.
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Exclusive: Gemma Atkinson on the challenges of bringing up baby Mia
"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," she said.
"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."
The Strictly star became a mum in July 2019
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."
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Meeting another mum who experienced PTSD after having her first child, Gemma revealed she's now considering having another baby.
"I'm at the stage where I want a sister or brother for Mia," she explained. "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."
Gemma and Gorka got engaged last Valentine's Day
Gemma, who is a regular on Steph's Packed Lunch, also met with a psychotherapist to learn more about how women can be helped through birth trauma.
"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," she continued. "If anyone needs help, please ask for it because you deserve to be the happiest, healthiest parent."
For help or advice, please visit: channel4.com/4viewers/help-support
Steph's Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All 4
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