Back in January, Helen Flanagan declared her third baby would be her last after once again suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, the severe morning sickness that left her bed bound and in and out of hospital for months.

But when we catch up with her four months on from the birth of her adorable son Charlie, it seems Helen’s had a change of heart.

“When you feel so dreadful, you do think, ‘No way, I will absolutely never have another baby’, but as soon as Charlie arrived I just thought, ‘You’re so worth it,’” says the former Coronation Street star.

“I wouldn’t rule out another. I’ve always said in my head I wanted four.”

It’s no surprise to hear that Helen, who is engaged to Preston North End footballer Scott Sinclair, 32, has done a 180 on adding to their brood, as speaking to the actress it’s clear just how much she adores motherhood.

We caught up with the 30-year-old star following our exclusive shoot in Cheshire where she was joined by Charlie and his two big sisters, Matilda, six, and Delilah, three.

WARNING TAKEN FROM INSTAGRAM CAPTION: Helen Flanagan LINK TO PAGE: https://www.instagram.com/hjgflanagan/

“I don’t know how we got such beautiful photos – you can’t see the stress in my face trying to get three of them to take a picture,” laughs Helen. “Charlie is a little dreamboat and Matilda loves the camera but Delilah is at the age where she doesn’t want to sit still.”

Here, Helen, who gave birth to Charlie on Scott’s birthday on 25 March, tells us how her girls have adjusted to their little brother’s arrival, how she deals with her postnatal anxiety and where’s she’s up to with planning her wedding…

Hi Helen! What it’s like being mum to a baby boy?

Scott and I are loving it. It was such a lovely surprise. We wouldn’t have cared if we’d had another girl – you just feel so lucky if you have a healthy baby – but when Charlie was born it was such a shock. I remember crying the day after because I was so happy.

Did you always have Charlie picked out as a name for a boy?

Yes, since I fell pregnant with Delilah. Charlie has always been our favourite boy’s name. We’ve always agreed on names. Scott said for ages, “I really want him to be born on my birthday”, and I said, “If we have a boy and he’s born on your birthday his middle name can be Scott.” I didn’t think that was likely to happen and then it did! It was so special and he looks just like his dad. I literally feel like I have a mini Scott with me the whole time.

What was it like when Matilda and Delilah met Charlie for the first time?

They met properly separately, because at first Delilah was like, “No Matilda, my Charlie.” She was a bit of a force. Scott’s mum took Delilah for a week and that gave Matilda some nice time with Charlie. Delilah has calmed down now and couldn’t be any more loving. Matilda has such a sweet soul and is always trying to cuddle her brother. The girls are very close. Even though they have their own beds they share a bed.

The couple are already proud parents to daughters Matilda, three, and one-year-old Delilah

Has it been chaotic with three?

I don’t have a nanny but my mum is amazing and helps me so much. Matilda is at school and Delilah goes to nursery. It was actually worse when I was pregnant and really unwell with hyperemesis. I had such mum guilt and felt absolutely terrible that I couldn’t do nice things with the girls. I feel like I missed Delilah being two because

I was so ill and I feel like I have some making up to do with her. As soon as I had Charlie I could clean my kitchen and open the fridge without wanting to throw up!

That sounds awful! How bad did your hyperemesis get?

It’s not just morning sickness, it’s really nasty. It absolutely wiped me out for three months – for a good two months

I couldn’t even lift my head off the pillow. All the medication they gave me at the hospital didn’t work.

I was really upset about going to hospital, but my mum was like, “You have to.” The second time I had to go, my mum was driving me and I was throwing up in a bag, but

I was being sick so much the bag broke! I literally had to get changed in the middle of the street because I was covered in sick. My mum was my rock because Scott was training. We ended up living at her and my dad’s for three months because I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even cook – Scott cooked every day.

You said in January that this would be your last baby because you couldn’t go through that again. Do you still feel that way?

Well, it’s funny because when you feel so dreadful you do think, “No way, absolutely never will I ever have another baby,” but as soon as Charlie arrived I just thought, “You’re so worth it.” I’m not ruling out having another. I’ve always said in my head

I wanted four. I think for women it’s really sad to say, “This is my last baby.” And Scott is very laid-back about it. But I would have to wait until Charlie is a bit older.

Helen shares her daughters with boyfriend of 10 years, Scott (

Image:

instagram)

How was your labour with him?

It was short and such a magical experience.

I got in the water at the hospital and felt quite calm. I didn’t have hypnotherapy but I have a lady who is a life coach and she got me in a lovely mindset for the birth. Charlie ended up pooing so I had to give birth on the bed. Five days before my due date I’d had a bad fall and had to go to hospital. My mum was watching Delilah while I went to the physio as I’ve had a bad back, and when

I opened my mum’s front door Delilah ran out. My mum lives on a busy road so I grabbed Delilah but I had sandals on and went flying. I landed badly on my coccyx.

That must have been scary. Were you OK?

I badly bruised my coccyx. I was a bit worried about it. When I went to hospital after the fall they asked me if I wanted to be induced but I chose not to as I thought it would be easier to give birth naturally. In the end I had to give birth on my side because I couldn’t lie on my back as it was so painful. Thankfully Scott was an amazing birthing partner.

How are you feeling now?

When I’m not pregnant I do struggle with my hormones and I get terrible PMS, then when I’m pregnant I feel like my hormones are really calm and I feel happy in myself. I feel OK after having the baby but I’ve always struggled a little bit with anxiety. It’s not postnatal depression but postnatal anxiety.

I think it’s important to speak out because a lot of women do struggle and it can make other women feel better. I’ve had anxiety following all three births and I know how to deal with it now.

Helen said she wouldn't rule out having another child

What is it that helps you?

I think it’s really important to get help and talk to people rather than keeping it all in.

Does your anxiety lessen as each child gets older?

It does. I think it’s my hormones and they just level out. I definitely think therapy is key. You get all sorts of different worries after having a baby. It’s been different for me each time. What’s really worked for me is to have a focus, and to know you’re not on your own. My anxiety doesn’t kick in soon after I’ve had the baby, it comes about two or three months later. I’m always on such a high after the birth and then I get bad anxiety. But it doesn’t make you any less of a mum.

Absolutely not. You’re looking amazing. How are you feeling about your body four months on?

My body isn’t what it was but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love feeding my babies. As I’ve got older I’ve become more accepting of myself. Going to the gym is not my priority and I do eat chocolate or cake most days. When you’re breastfeeding, sometimes you just have to grab something. Everyone finds their own way, but I find breastfeeding and co-sleeping really work for me, and Charlie is content. I like that your baby is always with you. Me and Scott had just got our bed back and then I fell pregnant with Charlie. We haven’t actually had a bed to ourselves for about six years now because of the co-sleeping.

You have said that you share positive affirmations with your girls on the school run. What sort of things do you say?

When you’re a mother to girls there is more of a responsibility. I was chatting to Scott the other day and saying my body has changed, but I’ve got to be careful I don’t say anything negative about myself around the girls because I’m their role model. I don’t want Matilda to hear me say, “I don’t look nice.”

I want her to be confident in herself so we say things like, “I am amazing.”

That’s lovely. How are your wedding plans coming along?

We’ve had to pull back on the plans because of the pandemic as we’d like to get married in Italy. But I can’t wait for us all to have the same name. I’m so looking forward to our wedding. Right now I wouldn’t plan to get married abroad as I’d be devastated if it all had to change. I just want to wait until everything is a bit safer. We’re thinking 2023. It will be such a nice celebration because Scott and I have been together for such a long time, and because of that we do want a big wedding. I have looked at locations in England but I’m really picky. I’ve just not seen anything yet that feels sentimental. I’m quite romantic and want something that’s perfect for us.

And finally, will we be seeing you back on Coronation Street any time soon?

I would love to go back, but I have to put my children first. They’re at the ages where they have so many activities and, while I can get childcare, my children want me a lot of the time. There’s obviously lots of things I’d like to pursue work-wise. I’d love to do theatre and a drama. Hopefully if I got the right role and the right theatre

I could work it around the kids – whereas Coronation Street might be difficult because of the hours.