14/08/2014 12:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Jennifer Ellison Talks Postnatal Depression, Secondary Infertility Fears And Baby Allergies With Parentdish

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Jennifer Ellison sighted arriving at the Savoy Hotel on March 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/FilmMagic)

"At the moment I'm up every two hours - Harry is beautiful, but he's not a great sleeper!"

The understatement of the year from new mum Jennifer Ellison, who gave birth to baby Harry a little over two months ago - her second son with husband Robbie Tickle.

But it's hardly surprising the mum of two doesn't bat an eyelash at having to get up every two hours for her new arrival, given that she was told she might never have another baby - a sibling for older son Bobby, three.

"The word the doctors used was 'unlikely',' she tells us. "I have suffered with cysts on my ovaries which made it difficult to conceive. We knew we wanted another baby, but we were told it might not happen for us naturally.

"We were told to carry on, keep trying and see what happened. So we did. And now we have Harry!


My periods are irregular because of my cysts, so when I hadn't had one for a while I didn't think I could be pregnant. We only found out four and a half months in – it was quite a shock!


You don't say!

"With Bobby we found out early on, and had scans from the beginning. With Harry we had our first scan at four months in - the sonographer put the screen on and I said, 'Is that a baby?!'

Jennifer Ellison: We would have looked at adoption and IVF if Harry had not come along in progJennifer with Harry and Bobby. Pic:

"I was expecting a tiny prawn shape - but he was fully formed baby! We kept the sex a surprise as we had done with Bobby. We just thrilled to be expecting a sibling for him. He's our little miracle.

And if Harry hadn't have come along?

"We weren't panicking as we know you can do wonders nowadays with IVF, and of course adoption. We might have looked at those options. But thankfully Harry arrived and he is perfect. Bobby is best buds with him too. If he starts to cry Bobby dashes over and says, 'It's OK Harry! I'm here!' I can't wait for them to be a bit older and be able to play together."

Basking in the tired-but-happy new mum glow, the signs of post natal depression which Jennifer suffered with Bobby - thankfully - show no signs of returning. Not that it wasn't a worry the second time around.

"With Bobby I had normal baby blues, but they just didn't go away," she explains. "My mum spotted the signs of PND as she had also suffered with it. I went to my GP and was diagnosed with post natal depression. It was a tough time, but we got through as a family. I had anti-depressants for six months and recovered.

"It was at the forefront of my mind during my pregnancy with Harry. But I knew what to look out for, and so did my family. I did feel weepy for the first few days, but it all went away. It was a different story this time around.


There's a stigma attached to PND and mental health, and there shouldn't be. It's so important to talk about it. Tell your family, talk to your doctor. Support is hugely important.


Recovering from PND and learning the ropes as a first-time mum, there was another huddle for Jennifer and husband Robbie to tackle. Bobby, aged six months, developed reflux-like symptoms, and started coming out in a rash soon after Jennifer stopped breastfeeding. He was later diagnosed with an allergy to cows' milk.

"I instantly thought it was my fault, and I had done something to make him ill. He was my first baby, and he was sick. It was a huge worry. We took him to the GP and he was tested for the allergy. Once he was diagnosed and we changed his diet it was like we had another baby in the house! His symptoms cleared up and we were back on track."

While it's too early to tell if Harry will have the same allergy (he's still being breastfed), Jennifer and Robbie have been told the likelihood of him also being diagnosed is high.

Jennifer Ellison: We would have looked at adoption and IVF if Harry had not come along in prog

"I know what to look for this time around, so it's not so much of a worry. I can't stress how important it is to go and see your GP for a chat and diagnosis if you think your child might be suffering. The allergy isn't spoken about nearly enough - but it is common. Look for the symptoms (below) and talk to your doctor."

With Harry the stubborn sleeper, and Bobby at pre-school three days a week, it's not surprising a third baby isn't on the cards for Jennifer and Robbie - yet.

"Never say never," she tells us coyly. "Of course it might not be easy for us again, but right now we're pretty set with our two. For now..."

"About Cows' Milk Allergy"


Cows Milk Allergy (CMA) is a common type of food allergy in babies and young children. It is estimated to affect around 2–7.5VIRTUAL-Gallery-140468%