'I was crying all the time': Emmerdale's Amy Walsh feared filming postnatal depression storyline while pregnant would affect her unborn baby

Emmerdale's Amy Walsh has opened up about her postnatal depression storyline, explaining she feared 'heavy content and emotional scenes' would affect her unborn baby.

The 34-year-old actress , who plays Tracy Metcalfe in the soap, discovered she was pregnant with her first child in the midst of the gruelling plot.  

As it was early days in the pregnancy, the Emmerdale crew were not aware, so the actress sought advice from her midwife. 

'It was quite tiring but I just rallied through': Emmerdale's Amy Walsh detailed fears that 'heavy content and emotional scenes' would affect her unborn baby (pictured June 2019)

'It was quite tiring but I just rallied through': Emmerdale's Amy Walsh detailed fears that 'heavy content and emotional scenes' would affect her unborn baby (pictured June 2019)

Amy recalled to The Mirror: 'It was a lot of heavy content and emotional scenes, so I checked with my midwife to make sure that me crying all the time at work couldn't be affecting the baby.'

The soap starlet was asked if she was leaving work 'happy and satisfied' - and when she said yes, it was then she learned she was getting endorphins from doing well at work, which differed from going through the ordeal personally. 

Despite this, the sister of Girls Aloud pop star Kimberley added: 'It was quite tiring, but I just rallied through. I felt sick, so I'd literally be nipping off set for a handful of nuts or a satsuma every 15 minutes.'

Poignant storyline: The 34-year-old Emmerdale star, who plays Tracy Metcalfe in the soap, discovered she was pregnant with her first child in the midst of the gruelling plot (pictured August 2021)

Poignant storyline: The 34-year-old Emmerdale star, who plays Tracy Metcalfe in the soap, discovered she was pregnant with her first child in the midst of the gruelling plot (pictured August 2021)

The new mother heaped praise onto the soap for their handling of the situation. 

'Emmerdale didn't know for the first few months, but once I told them they were great. They said if I wasn't comfortable with any of the story, they could make it less dramatic, but I'd filmed most of it by then,' she explained. 

Amy and her partner Toby-Alexander Smith - EastEnders' Gray Atkins - became first-time parents over Christmas and took to Instagram to share their baby joy. 

Happy news: Amy and her partner Toby-Alexander Smith - EastEnders' Gray Atkins - became first-time parents over Christmas and took to Instagram to share their baby joy

Happy news: Amy and her partner Toby-Alexander Smith - EastEnders' Gray Atkins - became first-time parents over Christmas and took to Instagram to share their baby joy

'Well…it’s been a busy week! Hope you all had a good one. HAPPY NEW YEAR from the three of us xxx @ok_mag @toby_alexander_smith', she gushed. 

Amy, who first hit the Dales over seven years ago, revealed to the publication that the storyline did initially shock her - but has not left her consumed with worry. 

She added that it's 'brilliant she's prepared' and insisted that knowing there is help was 'what the storyline was all about.' 

Amy and Toby have been together since 2019 after meeting by chance in the Strictly Come Dancing audience.

While Toby supported co-star Emma Barton, Amy turned up for former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher. 

They moved in together in 2020 and announced the pregnancy in April the following year.

Lucky meet: Amy and Toby have been together since 2019 after meeting by chance in the Strictly Come Dancing audience (pictured 2020)

Lucky meet: Amy and Toby have been together since 2019 after meeting by chance in the Strictly Come Dancing audience (pictured 2020)

Amy always wanted children but was fearful it may not be an easy journey after being told, aged 20, that she had polycystic ovaries. 

As the interview wrapped up, the mother-of-one and auntie-of-seven revealed that they'd uprooted from Hertfordshire to East London to be closer to her family, with Kimberley having a six-month-old and elder sister Sally being a mother to a five-month-old. 

For pre and postnatal depression advice and support, call 0808 1961 776

WHAT IS POSTNATAL DEPRESSION?

Postnatal depression is a form of the mental-health condition that affects more than one in 10 women in the UK and US within a year of giving birth.

As many men can be affected as women, research suggests.  

Many parents feel down, teary and anxious within the first two weeks of having a child, which is often called the 'baby blues'.

But if symptoms start later or last longer, they may be suffering from postnatal depression.

Postnatal depression is just as serious as others form of the mental-health disorder. 

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Lack of enjoyment or interest in the wider world
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Struggling to bond with your baby
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Frightening thoughts, such as hurting your baby

Sufferers should not wait for their symptoms to just go away.

Instead they should recognise that it is not their fault they are depressed and it does not make them a bad parent.

If you or your partner may be suffering, talk to your GP or health visitor.

Treatments can include self-help, such as talking to loved ones, resting when you can and making time to do things you enjoy. Therapy may also be prescribed. 

In severe cases where other options have not helped, antidepressants may be recommended. Doctors will prescribe ones that are safe to take while breastfeeding.

Postnatal depression's cause is unclear, however, it is more common in those with a history of mental-health problems. 

Lack of support from loved ones, a poor relationship with the partner and a life-changing event, such as bereavement, can also raise the risk. 

Source: NHS

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Emmerdale's Amy Walsh details fears that 'heavy content would affect her unborn baby 

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