Marie Louise McConville: Stacey Solomon's realistic and brave image of childbirth should be welcomed not criticised

TV presenter Stacey Solomon and her partner Joe Swash were criticised for posting this photo of the new mum with her newborn son shortly after he was born
Marie Louise McConville

There simply is no pleasing some people.

No matter what you say, what you do, how far you bend over backwards, some people will always complain.

Fans of the daytime talk show Loose Women had cause for celebration this week when popular panellist on the programme, Stacey Solomon gave birth to a baby boy.

Although the little bundle of joy arrived a little earlier than expected, all was well and the former X-Factor star and her boyfriend, televison presenter Joe Swash, were over the moon, posting the news on social media.

However, at a time when messages of congratulations should have been flooding in, some people decided to vent their disgust about a photo of Stacey and her new son, post birth, that she posted on Instagram.

The picture showed the 29-year-old looking exhausted with dishevelled hair, lying resting on a hospital bed. She was dressed in a blood-stained night dress, holding her new baby, who could be seen with blood on his head, under a towel, which also had blood on it.

Some people said this was too graphic an image to be shared, adding they felt sick seeing it.

Well, I hate to tell those people but this photo is the reality of childbirth.

I know we all think a baby arrives with one sneeze but this image shows what it's really like.

All women who have given birth know how bloody, icky, yucky and messy having a baby can be and I think it's fair play to Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash for sharing this photo.

Too often we are bombarded with photos of supermodels and celebrities - make-up and hair done to perfection - cuddling the newborns just minutes after giving birth.

This is not real life and it only puts added pressure on those preparing to give birth, suggesting to them that they must look perfect in the immediate aftermath of delivering their new arrival.

I remember when I went into hospital to give birth for the first time.

Stupidly, I packed my hair straighteners in the mistaken belief I would be sitting doing my hair and making myself look fabulous after the big event.

Needless to say, they never made it out of my hospital bag as I was lucky I could walk, never mind beautify myself.

Of course, had Stacey and Joe not posted the photo, there would also have been complaints about why they were being so secretive.

There is just no pleasing some people.

Fair play to Stacey for keeping it real and not feeling pressurised to join the unrealistic world of celebrity.


And so, the countdown has officially begun.

Finally, after waiting for an age, the first official trailer for the Downton Abbey movie has been unveiled.

Due for release in September, the trailer, which features all of the much-loved cast, picks up in 1927 and is based on changing times and will see the Crawley family and their staff preparing for a royal visit from George V and Queen Mary.

The trailer, which promises lots of activity both upstairs and downstairs, also features a few new faces including Killing Eve actor David Haig as the King's butler

It looks fab.

I can't wait.



Summer is around the corner, so how do you fancy winning a family pass to one of Northern Ireland's most loved attractions?

Streamvale Farm, located in Dundonald in east Belfast, offers children and their parents not just all the fun of the farm but also a great family experience.

Kids can start their day getting up close to some cute animals by enjoying cuddle time with newborn chicks and puppies before moving into the barn where they can feed the gorgeous little lambs.

There's also the opportunity to visit the other residents of the farm, including the ponies, alpacas and piglets, before visitors can watch the cows being milked.

There's tractor rides and barrel rides or you can check out the dog agility demonstrations as well as fabulous indoor and outdoor play areas, pedal Go-Karts and Puppy Play Time.

After all that, why not enjoy a snack or some yummy home made ice-cream in the on-site café?

I have three family passes for Streamvale Farm to give away.

If you fancy winning a pass, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

(Q) Children visiting Streamvale Farm can cuddle newborn chicks and what else?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Men in Black: International competition are Marin Enlander, from Belfast and Brendan McGivern, from Newtownabbey

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