She is mother to a happy, healthy one-year-old daughter – but Gemma Atkinson has opened up about how motherhood unexpectedly sparked anxiety for the first time.
The radio host and actress, 35, revealed that when her first child, Mia, started sleeping through the night, she was terrified about cot death.
Speaking to The Sun’s Fabulous magazine, she said she would wake up in the middle of the night repeatedly to “put my finger under her nose in sheer panic”.
The TV star believes that her worries stem from losing her father to heart disease when he was 52 and she was 17.
The former model said: “It sounds silly but if I was to do a job where I had to fly somewhere, I’d be thinking: ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to get on the plane without Mia.’ That makes me feel vulnerable.”
In the UK, approximately 200 babies a year are lost in this way, and there are concerns that the decline in cot deaths is stalling in England and Wales.
In July 2019, she welcomed Mia with partner, Strictly pro Gorka Marquez, who she met on the set of the dance show in 2017.
Atkinson, who came to prominence appearing in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale, admitted that their sex life hasn’t suffered since becoming parents.
She said: “People have said to us that after having a baby the passion goes, but I don’t think the passion for him could ever go.
“It’s still there, just sometimes it’s not a priority because you’re tired and you’ve got a baby.”
She continued: “Some people try to force the fact that they’ve got a night free so have to be intimate... but if that’s forced, it’s not worthwhile anyway.
“We’re at such a comfortable stage whereby I can do the whole sexy underwear thing and it’ll be great, but equally I can also come in with baby sick on a baggy T-shirt and greasy hair and it’ll still be fine.”
Atkinson also took part in a glamorous photoshoot for the publication, images of which she shared with her 1.5 million fans on Instagram.
Famous friend Mollie King wrote: “Beauty!!!”
Fellow singer Fleur East added: “I mean.....”
Strictly dancer Giovanni Pernice commented: “Hot mamma!!!”
Earlier this year, the star was praised for sharing a warning about toddlers and dogs in the heat.
She encouraged parents to “be vigilant” about how much their children are crowding their pets during the hot summer weather.