Emmerdale’s Isabel Hodgins says the trauma of giving birth on screen has put her off having kids.
Isabel, 26, who plays Victoria Sugden, gives birth in loud scenes aired over the New Year after getting pregnant by her rapist.
And she revealed she prepared for the big push by watching One Born Every Minute and live births on YouTube.
She said: “It hasn’t made me broody at all because I know what’s to come. It’s exhausting – well done anyone who does it! But no thank you.”
Isabel’s character was raped on a night out by a man called Lee, played by Kris Mochrie in the hit show.
And she was determined to make the birth of their baby as realistic as possible.
She said: “I didn’t want anyone to pick apart the performance. But I had nothing to draw on as I’ve never had to give birth.”
Isabel, who has been in Emmerdale since 2006, got advice from her sister and co-star too.
She said: “My sister is a mum of two kids under three, but she was rubbish. She was just like, ‘I was in and out of consciousness, I can’t remember.’
I asked Charley Webb, who plays Debbie Dingle, because she gave birth in July.
“She explained how you’re relieved that the baby is safe once you hear that cry. And exhausted and feel adrenaline, and a burst of love.
“I also watched One Born Every Minute shows and videos on YouTube of women giving birth.
“There was one woman, she would go from being really in love with her husband to looking at him like he was a piece of dog poo on her shoe.
“The midwives told her one more push, and she said, ‘And then what?’ She had no idea what was going on. I wanted my scenes to be believable so thank you to those women.”
And it’s not just filming the birth scenes that put Isabel off having kids – she also hated wearing the prosthetic pregnancy bump.
“I was wearing it when there was a heat wave. I was dripping in sweat. I’d got back ache because it was so heavy.”
Isabel is now working with two babies on set, playing the part of her new child. She said: “The one thing that did make me broody was when I had my fake scan. I was like, ‘it’s my baby!’”
And she admits she sent producers into a spin this year when she wanted a new look – and almost shaved off all her hair.
“My hair is too thick and curly, there’s too much of it. I wanted it shaved off, I wanted it all gone.
“I would have done it, but Emmerdale overruled it. I told them I’d wear a wig, but they said they could tie it in with the story, so we agreed on a pixie cut. In hindsight the buzz cut may have been a bit too much.”
She said: “Men seem to think women should have long hair. It annoys me, I think ‘get a grip.’
“I know how happy it’s made me. People can think whatever they like. I don’t have to sit in make-up for 45 minutes while they blow dry it.
“My co-stars call me Frankie, because they say I look like Frankie Bridge from the Saturdays.”
Isabel, who has just bought her first home in North Yorkshire, has been single since February when she split up from co-star Michael Parr, who played Ross Barton, after three years of dating.
She said: “I’m happy being single. I genuinely don’t have the time, between my job, my dog, Pierre the pug, and going back to Manchester all the time to see my family.
"If someone asked me on a date, I’d be like, when can I do this?”
But she says while she has no time for men or motherhood now – she can at least act the part.
“For Christmas, I’ll be with the family and my sister’s babies, Lucas and Poppy, who are two and one.
“I’m a very hands-on auntie. I’ve done the feeds and the nappy changes.”