Why Paloma Faith Is Talking Frankly About Pregnancy

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Why Paloma Faith Is Talking Frankly About Pregnancy

When Paloma Faith found out she was pregnant in 2016 she had a romanticised view of parenthood.

“I was expecting it to be this glorious thing, becoming a mother,” says the singer. “It didn’t even come into my mind that there would be any risk.”

The reality was very different.

Towards the end of the pregnancy, Faith’s waters broke, but she didn’t go into labour – a condition called premature rupture of the membrane (Prom) – putting both her and her unborn child at risk of infection.

To protect them both, she was confined to bed for three weeks before her daughter was delivered, prematurely, by emergency caesarean.

“My child was actually fine, but I wasn’t,” she says. “I had a uterine infection, I had cystitis quite badly twice, to the point where I was convulsing, teeth chattering, high temperature. And I lost a lot of blood, as well.

“It was as close to death as I’d ever been.”

Determined to be the ideal mother, however, Faith played down her health problems.

“I was trying to be a hero and I didn’t get help,” she says

“I did all the nights myself and I didn’t get to recover, because I didn’t sleep, and then I got post-partum depression – so it was all pretty intense.”

Despite everything, Faith threw herself back into work, embarking on a nationwide arena tour while feeling “devastated and miserable”.

It didn’t help that, in an effort to shield her newborn child from the media, she declined to announce her name or to post family photographs online.

To some newspapers, that was a red rag. Tabloids ran stories saying Faith was raising her child to be gender-neutral, while the singer found herself stalked by paparazzi on the way to the playground.

With hindsight, she realises, “they’re more desperate to get pictures of you when you try to stop them”.

Paloma FaithIMAGE COPYRIGHTRCA RECORDS
image captionThe star announced she was pregnant with her second child last month

Slowly, however, life returned to normal. Faith’s partner, the artist Leyman Lahcine, put his work on hold to help at home; while the singer ended up having “one of her most successful years” in entertainment.

In 2017, she scored her first number one album, The Architect, joined the cast of Batman prequel Pennyworth, and sang on Sigala’s club hit Lullaby, which spent half a year on the charts.

“Do you know what’s mad about post-natal depression, though?” says Faith. “You spend all this time going, ‘Oh my God, I’m terrible at being a mother. I’m awful.’ Then you suddenly go, one day, ‘Oh, I’d like some more’.”

‘Take away the anxiety’

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And so, last month, with her fifth album ready to drop, Faith had a surprise to share with her fans.

“It is with extreme pleasure I announce I am pregnant,” she wrote on Instagram. “This child is so wanted, it’s my 6th round of IVF and [it] was a struggle to get here.

“Being a mother is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, but I will swell up and I won’t ‘glow’!

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“I intend,” she added, “to be very real about this with you all.”

It’s important to be honest about the next nine months, says Faith. Prom affects as many as one in 10 pregnancies; while post-natal depression hits a similar number of new mums.

“I want to be open about that and also take away some of the anxiety.”

Why Paloma Faith Is Talking Frankly About Pregnancy

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