Una Healy juggles life with 16-month-old Aoife Belle alongside being one fifth of The Saturdays. She talks to us about life with her toddler (the sixth member of the band!), and giving advice to new mum Rochelle and mum-to-be Frankie (who is expecting a boy)...
How has your first year as a mum been?
I had absolutely no experience of babies or young children when I gave birth to Aoife, and I was very green. It was completely life-changing on every level. But I can't describe the love I have for Aoife! It's all consuming. It's also huge amounts of fun. It's like being a child again! Having a child creates a lovely atmosphere.
What's Aoife into?
She's just had her first birthday - a Mickey Mouse affair, as he is her favourite character. She had plenty of cardboard boxes and wrapping paper to play with! Her character and mannerisms are starting to come through and she's mimicking myself and Ben (Una's husband is rugby player Ben Foden) a lot.
If I've been on the phone and put it down, she picks it straight up. She loves her pink, princesses and Disney characters, but she also adores farm sets and animals. She's discovering new things all the time - music, sounds and touch - which is why I love working on the Fisher-Price Little People Big Discoveries campaign. The range is perfect for us and her age.
Do you think she will be musical like you or sporty like Ben?
We're a very musical family, and Aoife is starting to recognise songs and bop along which is very cute. She's also very active and is always charging around. I suppose that suits - music from me and sport from Ben! She's starting to say 'mama' but hasn't quite mastered 'dada' yet.
You were the first member of the band to become a mum. Did people automatically assume that would be the end of The Saturdays?
You went back to work just a few weeks after giving birth. What drove your decision?
Just that I was ready to get back out there. I started doing bits with the girls a few weeks after having Aoife, and I don't regret my decision. I'm in a job where babies can come too, and it's not 9-5 every day. She just slotted in and became the sixth member! The girls were a fantastic support too. I didn't have any pressure to go back, it was thoroughly my decision. But we're a five piece; it is different when one of us is away.
So Aoife was the sixth member, and now you have number seven and number eight on the way...
I started a trend – it's contagious! Rochelle is doing so well with Alaia Mai, and is a fantastic mum. Frankie is great too, and is keeping up with us all through her pregnancy. She's planning on being around until much nearer the birth like I was. And then we will have our first boy! It's all very exciting. It's nice that I have been there, done that, so can give them both lots of advice, or just be there to chat. It's great to have experience to share.
So, who's next - Vanessa or Mollie?
That's the question! We'll certainly have a lot of experience to share between us all, but I've no answer to that one...
Is there a lot of pressure being a mum in the public eye?
The cameras can get a bit much when I am out with my daughter. When Aoife was first born there were paparazzi outside my house which was uncomfortable, especially when I was finding my feet.
I've been carrying her through airports and the cameras almost knock us over - that can be scary. But I have learnt to navigate and cope with it - it comes with the job. Aoife adores my camera at home but doesn't like the long lenses so I try and shield her.
Did you feel pressure to lose your baby weight?
I didn't feel any. I was lucky that I didn't put much weight on during pregnancy and lost the weight I did gain pretty quickly, but that's my body. Everyone is different. I get asked a lot how I did it - women are always very interested, but my body just did.
Did you get swept up in Royal Baby fever?
It was very exciting! The pressure on Kate must have been out of this world, and then she came out cool as a cucumber with baby George looking fabulous! And she certainly doesn't have to worry about weight-loss like that OK! Cover.
Would you like another baby?
Not for a few more years - no babies for a while! It would be lovely to give Aoife a brother or sister, but not just yet.
I think Ben would like a boy, but I like the idea of two little girls - I know where I am with girls. One at home and four at work...
Una Healy is supporting the Fisher-Price Little People Big Discoveries campaign - celebrating those special things that little ones discover and experience every day that spark little stories and big imaginations! #fplittlepeople; Fisher-price.co.uk.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more