Stacey Solomon, who came in third place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2009, has opened up about the post-partum depression (or post-natal depression) that she suffered after the 2008 birth of her first child. She detailed her struggles in the BBC documentary "Stacey Solomon: Depression, Teen Mums & Me," which was televised in the U.K. on March 19, 2013.
Solomon, 23, has two children: Her first child, a son named Zachary, is from her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Dean Cox. Her second child, a son named Leighton, was born on May 5, 2012. Leighton's father is painter Aaron Barham, whom she has been dating since 2010. The couple got engaged in December 2011.
The Daily Mirror quoted Solomon as saying: “My two sons Leighton and Zachary mean more to me than anything else in the world. But when Zach was born I couldn’t stop crying. I was 18 and I didn’t want to be a mum. I still feel guilty that I didn’t get this burst of excitement and happiness. But at the same time I know that I’m not the only person in the world that has felt like that."
Solomon says that while she was struggling with her confusing feelings after Zachary's birth, her mother suggested that she take a vacation without the baby, so Solomon went on a one-week vacation to Greece and left Zachary behind in England under the care of her mother. It was during that separation that she began to miss Zachary and started to have maternal feelings that she hadn't felt before.
Solomon explained, "I don’t ever want Zach to think I didn’t love him. I just didn’t feel it straightaway. And I hope that doesn’t hurt him, in time, knowing that. My mum’s instinct was right – being separated from Zach made me miss him, and as soon as I came back I felt a bond. I did want to see him. I dread to think how bad things might have got if it wasn’t for Mum.”
Since her stint on "The X Factor" ended, Solomon has had more of a career in TV than in music. She was the 2011 winner of Season 10 of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here." She also hosts the dating show "The Love Machine."
Her first single, a cover version of Chris Rea's "Driving Home for Christmas," was released in December 2011 and peaked at No. 27 on the U.K. singles chart. Solomon has been saying for years that she is working on her first album, but so far no release date has been announced, and she is not signed to a major label.
In March 2012, she weathered a scandal when paparazzi photos were published of her smoking cigarettes while she was seven months pregnant with Leighton. As a result, she was dropped from Foxy Bingo's contests Celebrity Mum the Year and Foxy Mum of the Year. Solomon had been nominated for Celebrity Mum of the Year 2012. She won the prize in 2011. Solomon had also signed on to be a judge for the Foxy Mum of the Year 2012 contest.
After getting an avalanche of criticism from the public and the media for smoking while pregnant, Solomon gave several interviews apologizing and saying that she was trying to quit smoking.