HELEN Falanagan may be one of the most stylish soap stars around but she is the celebrity mum we can ALL relate to.
From being honest about her potty training dramas to sharing how she defiantly breastfeeds in public despite people trying to shame her – Helen doesn’t hold back with being open about her parenting.
Helen is mum to Matilda, five, and Delilah, two, and shares about their family life on social media.
The TV star is currently expecting her third child with fiancé and Preston North End winger Scott Sinclair, and her new baby is expected in March 2021.
The former Corrie star is currently on maternity leave, and has been used to brushing off trolls who criticise how she parents.
Here are all the ways Helen is celebrity mum goals…
Potty training dramas
Helen has insisted she’s not a “lazy parent” for waiting to potty train two-year-old Delilah until now.
The soap star took to her Instagram Stories this week and explained she was keen to get her youngest daughter out of nappies.
She wrote: “Going back to potty training this month and lockdown. I really do not like potty training at all.
WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU POTTY TRAIN YOUR KIDS?
Every child is different, and the NHS says: “Children are able to control their bladder and bowels when they’re physically ready and when they want to be dry and clean.
“Every child is different, so it’s best not to compare your child with others.”
And it’s important to note children will likely be able to control their bowels before their bladder.
Some children can begin potty training aged 18 months, some begin when they’re four-years-old.
Most parents will start between the ages of two and three.
Don’t try and pressurise your child into using the potty, if they simply refuse or aren’t ready if you force them it could take longer for them to learn and could set them back.
“I tried in April but she just wasn’t ready I don’t feel, she would get far too upset and I wasn’t in my own house so was more stressful. She uses the potty at home quite a lot and at nursery.”
The former Corrie star also revealed her five-year-old daughter Matilda was almost three before she was potty trained.
In fact most children only start their potty training between two and two-and-a-half according to the NHS.
Open about pregnancy struggles
WHAT IS HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM?
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is much worse than the normal morning sickness experienced during pregnancy.
Unlike regular pregnancy sickness, HG may not get better by 14 weeks and for many needs hospital treatment.
Sufferers may be sick numerous times each day and be unable to keep food or drink down, which can massively impact their everyday life.
The debilitating illness has also affected The Duchess of Cambridge in her pregnancies.
Helen said one reason for delaying potty training was that she has suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum during her third pregnancy.
Hyperemesis gravidarum affects a percentage of pregnant women and causes them to suffer from nausea, vomiting, dehydration and weight loss.
Helen explained that her busy filming schedule, which saw her travelling between her family’s home in Glasgow and the Corrie set in Manchester, also played a part.
She also wanted to wait until her little one was ready and comfortable.
Defends breastfeeding in public
Helen has said that she has been slammed in public for breastfeeding in public.
She recalls an incident when she was breastfeeding her daughter Delilah, in Starbucks, which would have left her feeling vulnerable and humiliated had it happened with her eldest Matilda.
Helen said: “A girl about my age came to sit across from me. I was feeding quite happily with my blankets and I could see her saying to her boyfriend: ‘Oh, that’s disgusting.’ She eventually got up and made a big deal of having to leave, like: ‘I’ve just got to go!’
“I mean, how ridiculous? I just thought it was really immature. I’m doing a really natural thing. So I just ignored her and carried on feeding my baby.
“Sometimes I’m discreet and other times not so much because I’d rather Delilah was comfortable – she’s my priority.
“I don’t really care if someone doesn’t approve of me breastfeeding, I just care about my baby being happy and fed.”
In fact, far from making Helen feel ashamed, reactions like the one in the coffee shop have made her even more determined to nurse in public, in the hope that it inspires other mums to do the same.
Embraces her ‘mum bod’
Helen said that being a parent has helped improve her body image and sense of self-worth.
She explained to Fabulous: “What I like about having girls is I feel like it’s given me a positive outlook on my body. I want to be a role model for them and I want to embrace my body even if it’s not ‘perfect’.
“So I never want to be moaning about how I look. When I put things on my Instagram now, I don’t edit my pictures – it’s really important to me that I post natural pictures because I don’t want girls looking at them and thinking: ‘Why don’t I look like her?’ when it’s actually not real.”
Co-sleeps with kids if they need
Helen remembers the extraordinary response she triggered herself when she revealed that she co-slept with Matilda as a baby.
Debate raged about the potential dangers of bed-sharing, although research shows that it is safe if you follow certain guidelines and the mother is exclusively breastfeeding.
Helen said: “I don’t like the idea of my children being scared during the night.
“Some of them just want to be with their mum and dad, so it’s whatever works for you, really.
“Delilah is with us, too, in a side crib attached to the bed, and she comes in as well when she needs feeding.
“I just do whatever feels natural.”
Is honest about meltdowns
Helen previously admitted she was forced to hide in her bathroom for a moment of quiet away from her children.
She had written: “To get an peace at the moment I have to lock myself in the toilet… any other mums do the same?”
In a second post of a muffin she’d bought, the star said: “Delilah screamed so much in the car today I was so stressed I had to stop at Costa drive thru and inhale this.”
Keeps date night a priority
She’s been with Scott since she was 19, and they’ve celebrated over a decade together.
Naturally babies have changed their relationship, but Helen says they make sure they have time for each other.
She added: “I think it’s really important. Like the other day, for the first time in a while, we actually just had a day off from football and Matilda was at nursery, and it was just really nice to have some time together as a couple.
“Even if it’s just when you get into bed watching a box set together, you’ve got to make that time.
“It’s only natural for sleep deprivation to sometimes make you snap at each other, but you just get on with it. He’s a great dad, he’s very supportive and he goes with whatever I want to do.”
Believes in being open about challenges
Helen shared a message she had received from a follower telling her: “Stop ranting about ur kids!”
It went on: “Buckle up and get on with it!!! There are some people who are unable to conceive then u have people like urself moaning!
“It’s part of the process get on with it and stop RANTING! Which is what your doing.”
Helen shared the tirade with her Instagram followers replying: “Actually. I am honest on my instagram so other mums can identify with me and feel less on their own.”
Helen is best known for playing Rosie Webster in Corrie and for appearing in the 2012 series of I’m A Celeb, where she came seventh.
Scott played for Bristol Rovers as a teenager before moving to Chelsea, from where he spent periods on loan at Plymouth Argyle, QPR, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Wigan.
We shared inside pregnant Helen Flanagan’s incredible home as she prepares to welcome third baby.