Katie Piper takes a seat on the sofa for a well-deserved cup of tea. With her second child due in just seven weeks, her busy work schedule has meant she’s not done a single thing to prepare for the arrival of baby number two.
“I keep seeing Christmas stuff in the shops and thinking: ‘Oh god, that means I’m nearly due!’” she laughs.
Lancton Katie Piper has not done a single thing to prepare for the arrival of baby number two
Nevertheless, the campaigner and TV presenter, who survived an acid attack by an ex-boyfriend in 2008, seems remarkably chilled out about the whole thing.
“The last time, I’d bought all the gear by the time I was three months pregnant, whereas now I’m like: ‘The baby can sleep in a drawer and it’ll be fine!’ I read too many books and blogs, and sometimes it’s better to have the baby and just find your way.”
She’s recently launched a maternity collection, is preparing to tour her one-woman theatre show next spring and still manages The Katie Piper Foundation, which campaigns for fellow burns survivors.
And then there’s three-year-old daughter Belle to throw into the mix.
David Fisher/Shutterstock/Rex Features The telly presenter says she and husband Richard share their responsibilities equally
Katie, 34, says she and carpenter husband Richard Sutton, 33, work as a team to keep the plates spinning.
“Richard’s an amazing guy,” she says. “He’s such a modern, hands-on dad. He never disputes what’s my role or his – we’re in it together and we split all the responsibilities. I should probably appreciate him more!”
Belle has also promised to help with the new arrival. “She says she’s going to change nappies!” says Katie.
In fact, there’s just one worry… “We’ve just got a dachshund and Belle picks him up by the willy – so let’s hope the baby’s not a boy.” Ouch!
Instagram/Katie Piper With three-year-old daughter Belle
So, Katie, does Belle understand what’s happening?
She talks about it a lot – she even talks to the bump. She asked how it’s going to get out of my tummy, and the other day she said: “It’s been in there ages, do you think it’s OK?”
The only thing is, she followed that with: “I’m so excited for our baby, but I don’t want it to live with us!” I told her we’ve got it for at least 18 years! She thinks the baby’s just coming for Christmas, so we’re working on that. Otherwise, January will be the worst month of her life when she realises it’s staying.
When’s your due date?
I’m due just after Christmas Day, but I’ll have a Caesarean, so it’ll probably be a couple of weeks before that.
Pregnancy is problematic because I’ve got scar tissue on my stomach, so as the baby gets to its maximum size, it starts to hurt and it feels like it’s tearing – that’s why I’ve got to have a C-section.
I had one with Belle and it’s good because you know the date!
Getty – Contributor Katie shows off her baby bump at the Pride of Britain Awards
It’s been nine years since your attack. Will you always have to have surgery?
I haven’t had any this year, which is great! Last year, I had scar tissue removed from my oesophagus and eye surgery because I had cataracts and clouding. I also had an operation inside my nose.
It’s all similar stuff – scar tissue builds up, so they put me under a general anaesthetic to remove it.
It’s relatively minor – I stay one or two nights, then go home. It’s been such a big part of my life for nine years, it feels like I’ve always been this way, so it doesn’t get me down.
What do you think about celebs having cosmetic surgery?
I don’t think it’s wrong or bad. One of the best things for me is that we live in a Western society where we’ve got freedom of choice.
Women have rights, we’re empowered, and if we take that away, that’s not a society I want to live in.
As long as people are informed, they understand it and they’re not mentally ill, then surgery is their choice.
Rex Features Katie was the victim of an acid attack at the hands of her ex in 2008
Have you ever experienced any negativity because of how you look?
Yes, but anyone who’s online would have. Even my mum on her Facebook page probably gets comments like: “Don’t like your cardigan, Diane!” We’re all open to critique now.
Some people get horrible abuse, but if I had to look, not even a quarter of mine is negative – it’s mostly nice and uplifting.
Do you think social media is harming our self-esteem?
Photoshopping, filters and only seeing the best bits of people’s lives affects our body confidence and makes us question whether our lives are exciting enough: “Am I doing the right things? Do I own the right things?”
I think this is contributing to a rise in mental health problems, particularly anxiety, not just in young girls, but women in general.
I’m 34, so it’s only a pressure that’s been around since my late 20s – it wasn’t there when I was a teenager. I really feel for young people now.
Sometimes they envy stuff that doesn’t even exist – a life that isn’t that great, or someone who doesn’t really look like they do on social media. It’s just a facade!
Katie Piper glows as she shows her baby bump in tight pink dress
When you see news about recent acid attacks, does it take you back?
One of my coping mechanisms is not to read the news. It’s been an awful year generally with all the things that have been happening, so I don’t focus on the negative.
As a nation we’ve got to stay strong, stay positive, keep doing all the things we normally do and focus on all the things we can do.
Rex Features She says social media is ‘contributing to a mental health problems’
How is your maternity range doing?
Really well! So many things change when you’re pregnant, but I didn’t want my style to because, for me, fashion isn’t frivolous – it’s a part of my identity.
There are some aspects of my appearance that I can’t change, but clothes are one thing I have control over.
So I sat down with mood boards and pictures and said: “I want to make these clothes in this way.” I wanted to make it young and fun.
What have you learned from having Belle?
To trust my instincts, that parenting is quite a personal thing and there’s no right or wrong way. Sometimes I worried that Belle wasn’t doing this or I wasn’t doing that and, actually, I think you just feel the vibe and go with it, so it will be nice to have that hindsight with this one.
- Katie Piper is touring the UK in spring 2018 with her debut live show What’s In My Head (Katiepiperandyou.co.uk).