Louise Thompson on birth trauma, PTSD + finally feeling lucky

It’s been two and a half years since Louise Thompson, former Made in Chelsea TV personality and previous two-time Women’s Health cover star, almost lost her life — not once, but twice. In an exclusive interview with WH, Louise explains how her traumatic labour triggered a series of seismic health problems – including PTSD – as part of our My Body, My Story interview series.

Louise discusses her struggles with body image and self-acceptance post-birth and speaks honestly about medication, her relationship with her son Leo and the trickle-down effect on her family. ‘It was cataclysmic,’ she says.

At the time of filming, she’d just been fitted with a stoma bag – and had yet to talk about it publicly. But, after posting a video to her 1.4m Instagram followers in April, where she showed off the discreet grey bag she had fitted after having her colon removed, she’s since spoken out about wanting to turn something so negative into something that will raise awareness, and help others.

‘I would have felt really rubbish about having a stoma bag attached to my body four years ago, and it would have been the most life-changing, traumatic thing that had ever happened to me. But because of the birth trauma, this feels much more manageable,’ she told us. ‘It's just like I'm wearing a grey bumbag, like an accessory.’

Her book, Lucky (£16.99, Ebury Spotlight) is now available to buy. Within it, she revisits some of the worst times of her life – but, during our interview, she also looked to the future. Louise’s requests for whoever is pulling the strings of health policy, post-election, are simple. She wants more support for women who have suffered birth trauma, postnatal depression or any perinatal mental health complications. More government funding allocated towards perinatal health. And for every mother and mother-to-be, whatever their financial circumstances, to be able to access the mental health support they need.

‘The book is called Lucky – and it's not an easy decision coming up with a name of a book,’ she says. ‘But I'm so happy with this choice, because I do feel incredibly lucky, and I guess for many, many reasons. I mean, I’m lucky I live in this country and lucky I live close to a really amazing hospital. My relationship with the hospital is a double-edged sword – it's complicated, but I am so grateful for some of the care that I have received, life-saving care.'

‘I'm lucky I didn't get on a flight to go to Saint Lucia earlier, last January, because I might not have survived that. I'm lucky that I have a beautiful son, and I'm lucky that I am supported, and I have friends. I’m a very, very lucky person.’

While it may sound clichéd, that the main goal of her book is to help other people – when you listen to what happened to Louise, you’ll realise how close to death she really came and perhaps understand why she views the world a little differently now – and really does believe she’s the luckiest person alive.

Watch the full episode of My Body, My Story with Louise Thompson above - or on the Women's Health UK YouTube

You Might Also Like