Celebs Go Dating’s Anna Williamson claims having an elective Caesarean after her previous traumatic birth was the ‘best money she’s ever spent’ – and they went without a new car and family holidays to pay the £10,000 bill
- Celebs Go Dating star gave birth to second child with husband Alex Di Pasquale
- Dating agent, 38, welcomed daughter Eleanora by C-section in December 2019
- Endured ‘traumatic birth’ with three-year old Enzo so elected for a Caesarean
- Went without new car and family holiday to pay for private birth at The Portland
- Duchess of York and Victoria Beckham gave birth at exclusive London hospital
Celebs Go Dating star Anna Williamson has admitted paying for an elective Caesarean was the ‘best money she’s ever spent’.
The dating agent, 38, gave birth to her second child, daughter Eleanora, with husband Alex Di Pasquale, a personal trainer, in December last year.
Having previously endured a ‘terrible’ natural birth and postnatal depression with three-year-old son Enzo, Anna opted to pay for a private birth at The Portland Hospital in London, where an elective C-section costs £7,950 – plus a £660 anaesthetist fee.
Women who deliver at the Portland often choose to stay additional nights, which costs £1,250 for a standard room or £1,850 for a deluxe. A suite is £2,250 per night.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, gave birth to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice there, while it was also the hospital of choice for Victoria Beckham and Liz Hurley.
Anna said she experienced ‘instant maternal love’ with her daughter after electing to have a ceasarean
She admitted they went without a new car and family holidays to pay for the expensive procedure, but it was worth every penny.
Anna and Alex are keen to ‘break the stigma’ surrounding private births and claim their decision was made to safeguard her mental health.
Speaking to OK! magazine, she told how she lost a lot of blood during her forceps delivery with Enzo.
‘For safety reasons and mainly for my mental health, I wanted an elective. I wanted to guard as much against having postnatal depression and birth trauma again as a result of having that control,’ she explained.
Anna, pictured with Alex and their two children on New Year’s Eve, are keen to ‘break the stigma’ surrounding private births
‘The only way to guarantee some form of control over the birth was to pay for it. We went without a new car and family holidays.’
Anna admitted there were a few ‘tricky bits’ during her C-section, as Eleanora ‘shot up high’ inside her mid-incision, meaning the consultant had to locate a limb to pull her out.
Alex added that their choice was due to the complications Anna suffered during her previous birth and the lack of postpartum care they received.
He told how the Portland has a nursery which they were able to put Eleanora in for six hours each night so they could sleep.
Anna added: ‘It is the best money we’ve ever spent. I couldn’t afford to have the same mental health fallout as I had with Enzo.’
The TV presenter, pictured at the weekend, has never shied away from discussing her struggles and opened up about her severe peri and post-natal anxiety before and after the birth of Enzo on Loose Women in August
Speaking about her postnatal depression, Anna said she had a ‘fear of everything’ and suffered with ‘intrusive thoughts’ and a fear officials were going to take her baby away.
She sought medical help and was prescribed a new course of medication, after she came off Citalopram for her depression and anxiety during pregnancy, and thankfully has not suffered a relapse.
The TV presenter has never shied away from discussing her struggles and opened up about her severe peri and post-natal anxiety before and after the birth of Enzo on Loose Women in August.
She spoke of having ‘panic attacks and absolutely debilitating fear’ which became ‘more intense because I was growing a little baby’.
Anna said before her newborn daughter’s birth that her mental health has been better this time around
She explained: ‘Everyone [was] saying “you must be happy you must be excited” but I couldn’t say yes. I was happy somewhere, but the overwhelming feeling every day was fear.
‘Catastrophising everything, “will I get it wrong? Will I safely deliver this baby?” You count those weeks down.’
However, the star said before her newborn daughter’s birth that her mental health has been better this time around.
She said: ‘I just feel a lot more happy and healthy, I went straight in and said midwives, NHS mental health professionals, help me.
Anna has always been open about her struggles on Instagram, recently sharing this post revealing her battle with mastitis while breastfeeding her daughter
‘If you ask for it trust me it does come, you don’t have to be a brave person and cope on your own,’ she encouraged other pregnant women, before adding: ‘I’m really enjoying this pregnancy.’
Anna, who rose to fame as a children’s TV presenter before branching onto the This Morning couch as a regular expert, married Alex in October 2015.
She gave birth to Enzo on September 27, 2016, at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow, Essex.
What is postnatal depression?
Postnatal depression is a form of the mental-health condition that affects more than one in 10 women in the UK and US within a year of giving birth.
As many men can be affected as women, research suggests.
Many parents feel down, teary and anxious within the first two weeks of having a child, which is often called the ‘baby blues’.
But if symptoms start later or last longer, they may be suffering from postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression is just as serious as others form of the mental-health disorder.
- Persistent sadness
- Lack of enjoyment or interest in the wider world
- Struggling to bond with your baby
- Withdrawing from others
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Frightening thoughts, such as hurting your baby
Sufferers should not wait for their symptoms to just go away.
Instead they should recognise that it is not their fault they are depressed and it does not make them a bad parent.
If you or your partner may be suffering, talk to your GP or health visitor.
Treatments can include self-help, such as talking to loved ones, resting when you can and making time to do things you enjoy. Therapy may also be prescribed.
In severe cases where other options have not helped, antidepressants may be recommended. Doctors will prescribe ones that are safe to take while breastfeeding.
Postnatal depression’s cause is unclear, however, it is more common in those with a history of mental-health problems.
Lack of support from loved ones, a poor relationship with the partner and a life-changing event, such as bereavement, can also raise the risk.
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