BRINGING up a baby on her own wasn't what Ferne McCann imagined when she dreamt of starting a family.
After a traumatic start to motherhood, the Towie legend faced the toughest of times with a newborn alone.
But three years on, Ferne and her 'mini-me' Sunday are picture perfect in their matching outfits.
Backing The Sun's Christmas Together campaign, Ferne has bravely opened up about her experience with loneliness as she got to grips with life as a new mum.
Urging lonely people to reach out for help when times get tough, Ferne told The Sun: "Being a new mum in particular, you can feel isolated and lonely," said Ferne.
"It's such a change of lifestyle, which you think is going to be all sunshine and roses but actually, it's a huge adjustment.
The Sun’s Christmas Together campaign
THIS Christmas we are teaming up with the Together Campaign, a coalition of community groups and organisations, and Royal Voluntary Service to combat loneliness.
And we want to recruit an army of volunteers to support those feeling cut off, anxious and isolated, this Christmas.
Could YOU reach out to someone who might be struggling and alone?
It might be someone you know in your own life or community who needs support.
Or we can connect you with someone in need through the NHS Volunteer responder programme run by the NHS, Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app.
Could you give up half an hour to make a call and chat with someone feeling isolated? Or could you volunteer to deliver essential shopping or festive treats?
Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/christmastogether to sign up as a volunteer.
You will then receive an email taking you through the sign up process and be asked to download the responder app which will match you to those in need in your area.
Don’t worry if you don’t get a job straight away, because jobs are matched according to the need local to you. Being ready to help is what really matters.
"You are solely responsible for a tiny human that is solely dependent on you. That's a big task.
"I 100 per cent felt loneliness when I moved out of my mum's and it was just me and Sunday. That was really tough."
The 30-year-old has told how she was cruelly robbed of having the ideal pregnancy by her acid thug ex Arthur Collins.
She announced she was expecting her first child just two days after he was arrested for carrying out a traumatising acid attack in a London nightclub, which left 14 people injured.
'Everything you think an ideal pregnancy would be, was robbed from me'
Ferne – who shot to fame on Towie in 2013 – said previously: "It was my whole first experience of a pregnancy and everything you think an ideal pregnancy would be, was robbed from me.
"But I look back and thank God I was pregnant because if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today and smiling and loving life as much as I do."
As Collins started his 20-year sentence behind bars, Ferne was forced to rebuild her life as a single parent.
Fans watched her emotional battle on her ITVBe show, First Time Mum.
'You can feel lonely in a room full of people'
At her lowest, Ferne broke down in tears as she struggled seeing coupled up friends bring up their kids with their partners.
But doing it alone has made Ferne feel stronger than ever, insisting everything starts with self-love.
And she believes overcoming loneliness can be achieved by looking after your mind and body with fitness – and admitting when you need help.
"You can feel lonely in a room full of people. It can affect anyone," Ferne told us.
'I'm a big believer in offloading and talking to someone'
"I think it's about discovering communities and finding people to support you.
"I'm a big believer in offloading and talking to someone.
"That may be a professional, a friend or a forum – you need to share how you're feeling.
"It's a weird time and people are definitely suffering.
"By opening the conversation and being kind to others whether it's physical or behind your phone, it's about having that kindness and checking in.
"I can connect to mums online when I feel loneliness.
"It's so important to have social connections.
"I wear my heart on my sleeve so I find it really easy to express my emotions.
"You have to make time for yourself, even though that sounds contradictory to loneliness.
"You have to look after yourself.
"If I'm feeling lonely I go out and connect with nature on a long walk, reach out to an old friend, fuelling your body with goodness by having a workout and getting it out of your system.
"Distraction is a wonderful thing and that's why I threw myself into my work.
"You need self-motivation to try and get past that feeling."
Source: Read Full Article