Great Britain

Frankie Bridge reveals getting pregnant was ‘scary’ after years of ‘controlling her food’ as she battled eating disorder

FRANKIE Bridge revealed she found being pregnant "scary" after spending years controlling her food intake while battling an eating disorder.

The presenter, 32, spoke to body image specialist Holli Rubin about the expectations surrounding women's bodies during and after pregnancy on the latest edition of her Open Mind podcast.

She explained: "What I found hard, I had always controlled my food so when I became pregnant it was that loss of control I found really hard. I could appreciate it was amazing but it was still quite scary."

Frankie, who has sons Parker, seven, and Carter, five, recalled her anxiety when she went on her first holiday after becoming a mum.

"When I went on my first holiday and being in a bikini... when I was younger I never had beach body ready, or whatever it is that people say. That was just never a thing.

"I love my kids but when I'm not with my kids I don't want to look like I've got kids. It's so messed up, but so many people feel that way."

In January Frankie revealed her eating disorder has made her not want to have a third baby as she "doesn’t want to be fat again".

Asked if she'd have any more kids Made By Mammas podcast, she said: "It has been hard enough to get my body to a point where I feel semi-comfortable."

The former Saturdays singer was previously hospitalised following a breakdown at 23, before she married husband Wayne Bridge.

At the height of her illness and fame she was "was running on adrenaline" and "had no appetite" and said limiting her food was a form of control.

Frankie explained: "I had an eating disorder 100 per cent - I was controlling what I was eating. I didn’t eat very much. I always ran on empty.

"I knew my role in the band was more about image – who I was dating – what I was wearing more than my vocals. I took that on and took that and ran with it."

Frankie went on to meet Wayne and fall pregnant with their first son Parker, but said the medication she had been prescribed in hospital a year before had caused her weight to balloon during the pregnancy.

She said: "I put on four stone with Parker. I was on a combination two anti-depressants. One of which I had got put on when I lost a lot of weight and went into hospital.

"It turned out that this particular medication really holds onto water. So when I got pregnant with Parker. I literally gained water like no tomorrow. By the time I was three months, I had no ankles.

"I kept gaining and gaining weight."

She continued: "It was horrible. One, because it was the first time I had ever gained weight and being so out of control. And two, I was very much still in the public eye. I was performing next to the girls who were all still a size eight and a size six.

"I was dancing on stage and I felt really embarrassed to be there. I felt like people were disgusted by me, to watch me.

"It was weird. It is supposed to be the happiest time. And it was – but I didn’t like how it made me feel. For me pregnancy is more a means to an end. I get the gorgeous baby at the end but I don’t enjoy the process in between."

Frankie said falling pregnant again would terrify her because she's finally reached a stage where she is comfortable with her body.

"That is something I find really hard to accept. I see these other woman who really own their new body and wear their stretch marks as a suit of armour. I envy those women. I know I will never be one of those.

"When I had my second - I am not a religious person - the minute I found out I was pregnant I burst into tears and said: ‘I don’t want to get fat again.’

"Then I got sick and lost half a stone really quickly.

"This is God punishing me for wanting to get pregnant but not wanting to get fat again."

Frankie opened up about her secret breakdown and being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time last year in her book Open: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life.

She wrote about her battle with debilitating anxiety and depression which she has suffered from since childhood.

Frankie Bridge left fuming after Loose Women's Brenda Edwards tells her to give her kids 'books not iPads at the dinner table'

Frankie also praised her bandmates, Mollie King, Rochelle Humes, Una Healy, and Vanessa White, for supporting her when she was hospitalised - but admitted they took some time to understand she was suffering.

Confessing that she had hidden her battle for years, Frankie explained: "They were really understanding, especially when I was in hospital as they had to carry on without me, and it is hard when one of you is missing from the group.

"They did really well, but it took them a long time to understand it as well because I had kept it a secret."

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