Mike Tindall opens up about male mental health and baby loss: 'Everyone assumes having babies is easy'

Watch: Mike Tindall shares heartbreak of baby loss admitting, 'It was hard to deal with'

Mike Tindall has opened up about male mental health and his own experiences of baby loss, urging men to talk about their feelings in order to 'normalise' it.

The former rugby star, who is married to Zara Tindall, was appearing on This Morning with his friend James Haskell to discuss their podcast, The Good, the Bad and the Rugby.

But during a discussion about male mental health, Tindall shared the heartbreak the couple faced after losing their unborn child around five months into the pregnancy.

"Unfortunately, me and Zara went through a baby loss," the former I'm a Celebrity contestant told hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

"Zara was five months' pregnant, and the amount of people who wrote to me or got in touch is astronomical.

"Everyone assumes having a baby is easy and it's not.

"And unless people get around that or know about it and understand it, it's hard to deal with."

Read more: Zara Tindall's baby was almost Born Before Arrival (BBA) - what does that mean and how common is it?

Stock picture of Mike Tindall who has opened up about his experiences of baby loss on This Morning. (Getty Images)
Mike Tindall has opened up about his experiences of baby loss on This Morning. (Getty Images)

Tindall's admission came after the pair explained how their podcast has encouraged men to discuss some important issues.

"Rugby for years has been talked about as one of the places where people don't own up, don't talk about it because you're supposed to be these macho men," he said.

"But that's not the way the world is now," he continued. "You have such a close friendship when you play a team sport like rugby, so it is the perfect environment to talk to each other about it."

He outlined how he hoped the podcast might serve to highlight the benefits of opening up. "If we can help in that area in terms of how we describe our lives... because ultimately we're three friends first."

Zara and Mike Tindall pictured in March, 2020. (Getty Images)
Zara and Mike Tindall lost their baby when Zara was five months' pregnant. (Getty Images)

"We have a responsibility," Haskell added. "If the biggest killer of men under 40 is still suicide, then obviously something isn't going right. And if you turn around and say, 'Look, you know, I love being a parent, I have had this difficult moment, this was hard, I feel down today,' whatever it is, I think people then feel much more able to normalise all of it."

Read more: Zara Tindall admits it was 'hard work' to get body 'back to where it was' after birth

Zara, Mia and Mike Tindall pictured together (Getty Images)
Zara and Mike Tindall have three children, pictured with their daughter, Mia. (Getty Images)

The Tindalls have three children together, Mia, nine, Lena, four, and Lucas, one, and have both spoken openly about bringing up their young family and going through difficult times in their parenting journey.

A spokesperson for the couple previously announced the sad news that Zara Tindall had lost her baby, her second pregnancy, in 2016.

"Very sadly, Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their baby. At this difficult time, we ask that everyone respects their privacy," the spokesperson revealed.

The couple experienced the baby loss before Christmas 2016, but it was revealed in July 2018 that Zara had suffered another miscarriage before welcoming a second daughter Lena.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, the royal bravely shared the impact the loss had on their family and how the experience of miscarriage can affect fathers too.

She said: “It’s very different for us because we’re carrying the child.

“But for guys I guess it’s kind of that helpless feeling, which must be incredibly high and horrible for them.”

“At the end of the day, they’ve still lost a child too.”

Read more: Chloe Madeley returned to work because she needed the money

James Haskell and Chloe Madeley have become parents, pictured together last year. (Getty Images)
James Haskell and Chloe Madeley recently welcomed a daughter. (Getty Images)

James Haskell has also discussed parenting, having recently welcomed a daughter, Bodhi, with wife Chloe Madeley, 35.

The former sportsman, 37, says he is "appalled" by fellow new dads who still don't "help" by changing their baby's nappies in 2023.

Speaking on the Channel 4 show Steph's Packed Lunch, the couple were asked how they were finding parenthood so far.

The ex-rugby star said: "I think I'm always slightly appalled by men in 2023 who don't change a nappy, don't get up, don't help.

"I'm not a saint but I think you've got to help as much as you can."

Haskell added: "I've loved it because Chloe has been so good at it, and so committed and so organised."

The admission comes after Madeley told OK! magazine that their friends Mike and Zara Tindall were the first to meet their newborn.

She said that Princess Anne's daughter had offered to change Bodhi's nappy to give her a "break".