Former reality TV star, Lauren Goodger spent only eight weeks adjusting to life as a new mum when she fell pregnant with baby number two.
Night feeds, dirty nappies and leaking nipples – it’s a never-ending cycle for many new mums.
But imagine doing it all again before your baby is even a year old.
That’s the reality for ex-The Only Way Is Essex star Lauren Goodger, who got pregnant just eight weeks after giving birth to her daughter Larose in July, The Sun reports.
The 35-year-old, who became pregnant both times by her now-ex Charles Drury, 24, said: “We weren’t very careful and Charlie was really pleased. But I was really in two minds about it. I was like, ‘I’m just getting myself back together – I’m going back to square one. Is this fair?’”
Kerrie Backhouse and Lucy Carr both know what it is like to have babies so close in age.
Kerrie, 25, has son Brodie, 19 months, who is just 11 months older than sister Marnie-Mae, eight months.
Meanwhile Lucy, 27, has daughters born just eight months apart.
She says: “It’s not easy. We buy 306 nappies a month. And sleep? What’s that? My youngest wakes me up so I get to see every hour in the night.
“It’s affected my body, mentally and physically. Back-to-back pregnancies are draining and I became very anaemic. I also went from a size 12 to a size 16. But I’ve accepted that this is my new body for a while.”
British couple Lucy and her partner James, 26, from Birmingham, in the West Midlands, had sex for the first time eight weeks after Felicity was born in September 2020.
But as Lucy has suffered with gynaecological problems and did not get pregnant easily with Felicity, they never thought they would conceive so quickly.
She says: “The condom broke but we weren’t stressed. I had previously tried for a baby for five years with a different partner and it took us three months to conceive Felicity. Plus, I had been breastfeeding.”
Women can experience delayed fertility when breastfeeding. The NHS says it is possible to get pregnant again as soon as three weeks after giving birth, even if you are breastfeeding and your periods have not started again.
When Lucy’s periods had not returned three months after giving birth to Felicity, she took a pregnancy test, mainly to show civil engineer James she was not pregnant.
She says: “I took the test to reassure James it was normal that my period had not returned since I stopped breastfeeding Felicity at six weeks old. Well, you can imagine the shock when it came back positive.
“It was even more of a shock when we tracked back to when the birth control failed – which meant I was already nine weeks pregnant.”
The pregnancy started well but Lucy’s waters broke at 25 weeks. Following a number of other complications – including getting Covid in hospital – Lucy gave birth to Willow after an emergency C-section at 28 weeks and five days. The baby weighed 1.1 kgs.
Lucy says: “It was a horrible period before Willow was born and she had a seven-week neonatal intensive-care stay before joining us at home. My kids are now 16 months and eight months old and they are without a doubt each other’s favourite person.
“Felicity really loves helping out with her sister. I think it helps that we got her a dolly when she was six months old to prepare her for her sister’s arrival. Willow gives the best smiles to her big sister and is always watching her closely.”
But Lucy admits it isn’t easy being a mother to two girls so close in age.
She says: “Life with two kids so close in age is chaotic. I don’t breastfeed any more but as Willow was so premature, I exclusively expressed milk for her until she was ten weeks old.
“I had to express every two hours for 30 minutes each time, even during the night – with Felicity only being between eight and ten months at the time.
“Now, I can’t even answer the door to the postman without having to take one of them with me because Felicity will climb on top of Willow at any given opportunity.
“They also like to have a competition to see who can scream the loudest. Willow has recently started weaning, so Felicity now thinks she has to put everything in Willow’s mouth, from socks to cat toys.”
Kerrie, from Crewe, also knows what it is like to have back-to-back babies, with son Brodie, 19 months, and daughter Marnie-Mae, eight months. The mum, who also has Oliver, 4, says: “It’s very stressful. For a start, it’s very expensive.
“We’d spend £70 ($A133) a month on baby milk. It left us struggling at times. I love my children but I’d probably tell my friends to avoid it. Having two so close in age is hard. Before I had my youngest two, I used to go out every weekend.
“Now a break consists of a bath, TV, takeaway and sleep. Even washing the bottles can be a challenge because they both cry constantly until I come back into the room. They fight over toys and I can’t even go to the toilet in peace.”
Brodie was six weeks old when Kerrie and her partner Cameron Watton, 23, a scaffolder, conceived again. Kerrie says: “It was like my first pregnancy never ended and I was pregnant for 18 months. I was just exhausted.”
At seven weeks she gave up breastfeeding as she was worn out. Kerrie says: “I had many days where I’d stay in bed if my eldest was with his dad and laze about watching TV. I was tired. Brodie became a daddy’s boy, so the pressure was eased slightly but our bond was massively weakened. We’ve rebuilt this now but it was really difficult.
“I have the worst ‘mum guilt’ because I feel like my daughter needs more time, being younger, so I feel my son gets very fed-up. Still, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I just don’t think people understand how draining it is. It’s double everything, plus exhaustion.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission