Oti Mabuse had undetected sepsis during her pregnancy

Oti Mabuse's baby daughter spent six weeks in intensive care after she was born.

The former Women's Health cover star, 33, gave birth to her first child - whose name she has not yet publicly revealed - two months premature at the end of last year. After she was born, medics discovered the infant had jaundice, picked up from Oti after she developed sepsis during pregnancy.

Speaking to The Sun, the Dancing On Ice judge heaped praise on the NHS as she opened up about her birth trauma, adding that both she and husband Marius Lepure were given therapy after her 16-hour labour.

She said: 'My sepsis was discovered after the birth — it’s not something that was missed..

'My daughter had an infection when she came out and the doctors gave her treatment. I didn’t have time to panic — we were just focused on her being better.

'I always felt she was in safe hands. It was about treating her the best way we could. She had to learn to breathe on her own properly, eat on her own, and that came with time.'

The unwell baby spent six weeks being cared for at the neonatal intensive care at University College London Hospital, and Oti was amazed by the hard work of the nurses.

She said: 'The neonatal unit is a huge world that I didn’t know a lot about. They do amazing work. A lot of the babies there have tiny veins and weigh just 500 grams (about one pound).

'It’s incredible seeing the nurses and midwives in action, they attend to your baby when you’re not there. We went every day. I got on with it and I had a lot of support from my family and friends, keeping me positive.'

Oti added that she actually enjoyed her birth experience, and she wished that more women would share their positive stories.

She said: 'My birth experience was very beautiful and empowering and I wish we heard more stories about that.

'I was singing from musicals, songs from Cabaret, and I was calling my friends.

'I had a great doctor. She was amazing because she was so motivating. She kept telling me, "You can do this, your body was built for this".'

She previously told the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast that they didn't hold their new daughter for a week. 'I think we didn't hold her for about a week because she was still in an incubator with the wires, and with jaundice so she was under blue light. And she had infections because it turned out that I had sepsis,' she said.

'What happened was the bacteria around the womb which protects your body, when it breaks it attacks the baby. So she had infections that they didn't have time to diagnose, so they had to give her antibiotics and see if she was okay...

'The NHS, the doctors, the midwives, they were amazing... I was taken down in a wheelchair and I couldn't get up [and hold my baby]. That was traumatising and emotionally very, very exhausting.'

What is sepsis?

The NHS states: 'Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body's own tissues and organs.'

It's not transmissible, and is also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning.

Symptoms include:

  • acting confused, slurred speech or not making sense

  • blue, grey, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue – on brown or black skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet

  • a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis

  • difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very fast

For more information and support about sepsis, visit the UK Sepsis Trust website or call on 0800 389 6255. In the US, you can visit the Sepsis Alliance.

You Might Also Like