‘I”d run to the toilet to cry during breaks’: Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean on how she suffered post-natal depression for three years
Facade: Andrea McLean, pictured in 2007, soon after giving birth to daughter Amy and suffering from post natal depression
In the age of “having it all”, new mothers often feel pressure to return to work soon after having a baby.
But for presenter Andrea McLean, going back to the office too early led to post-natal depression – a condition she suffered from for three years before asking for help.
The Loose Women star describes feeling “miserable” as she returned to GMTV after giving birth to second child Amy, now five.
She told The Mirror: “I felt rubbish as a mother and useless as a wife.
“It was a dark time for me. I felt completely down and miserable, but I didn’t want to burden anyone with what was going on.
“So in breaks on the show I would run to the loos and cry my eyes out. I’d cry and cry, then take a deep breath and sort myself out and go back out with a smile on my face.
“No-one knew what was happening. I managed to hide it very well, for a long time.”
The 42-year-old eventually sought help from a doctor and was prescribed with anti-depressants.
It took just one month for her to start feeling better.
Andrea puts the difficult time down to returning to work too soon.
She said: “I went back after three months.
Happy family: Andrea, pictured with ten-year-old son Finlay, left, daughter Amy, right and husband Steve Toms
“So it’s no surprise I felt so exhausted and anxious all the time.
“I was getting up at the crack of dawn and looking after a tiny baby at the same time.
“But I’m realistic too. If I hadn’t gone back, I wouldn’t have got paid.”
Relaxed: Andrea, left, on Loose Women this month, no longer has to work the exhausting hours of Breakfast TV
Andrea, married to builder Steve Toms, moved to daytime show Loose Women in 2008 and no longer has such an early start to her day.
She recently launched a jewellery collection for QVC.
The brunette also revealed she lost two stone on the cabbage soup diet, taking her from a size 14 to a 10 – giving her the confidence to pose nude for a magazine.
She told Closer: “I feel a lot more body confident now than I did in my 30s. I think there’s something about hitting your 40s where you think, “The pressure’s off – I’m never going to look like Cindy Crawford, but I’m very happy to look like me.”