Cara De La Hoyde: “Pregnancy has lifted my depression”
The former Love Island winner talks exclusively to Closer about raising her baby boy with ex Nathan Massey and working on her mental health
As she gently cradles A her blossoming bump during our photo shoot, it’s clear from her beaming smile that Cara De La Hoyde can’t wait to be a mum. The reality TV star is eight months pregnant and expecting a baby boy with ex-boyfriend Nathan Massey and, while the pregnancy came as a “shock”, she couldn’t be happier.
Cara, 28, tells Closer, “I’ve not had a night’s sleep since finding out I was pregnant! My mind is racing about what life will be like when the baby’s here, but now I just want to meet him and have a cuddle.”
But while she’s planning her new life, Cara is the first to admit the pregnancy wasn’t planned. After winning Love Island in 2016 with Nathan, 26, the pair split in March, but weeks later Cara – thanks to an appointment to remove abnormal cells from her cervix – discovered she was pregnant. Although their relationship had ended, the pair confirmed they’d raise their son as “best friends.”
Cara explains, “Nathan and I would row so much. We’d come out of a crazy reality bubble and, at the time, I was suffering with depression and, in his defence, Nathan had no experience of being around someone with a mental health problem. But things are so good between us now because we get on much better. He’s involved with every part of the pregnancy, he’s put all the shelves up in the nursery and is constantly checking I’m OK. He’s gone into dad-mode and has been on a self-imposed drinking-ban this month, as he’s worried he’ll get a call to meet me at the hospital any minute!”
Raising eyebrows, the pair enjoyed a cosy spa break last week, begging the question whether they will eventually reunite. Cara says, “There are no plans to get back together right now, but he’ll stay over for a few nights a week when the baby arrives. We’d both be gutted if one of us started dating someone new – I always think of him as ‘my Nathan’, but we’re happy as we are, as we get on brilliantly.”
And although Nathan will be by her side, Cara admits she isn’t fazed by being a single parent and praises new mums Amy Childs and Ferne Mccann for being “strong and independent” women.
She says, “Of course, I wish things were different – I grew up watching Disney films and thought I’d be married with kids, but nowadays it’s not uncommon to come from a broken family and there’s no stigma in being a single mum. I look at girls like Amy and Ferne, and they’re fine by themselves.”
But while she’s enjoyed fame since Love Island, life hasn’t always been so rosy for Cara. In September, she gained praise for opening up about her depression on Lorraine, which began as a teenager. She candidly explains, “I’ve struggled with depression for years and I’ve been on medication since I was 18. Life is hard sometimes and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I used to be a dancer working at Cirque Le Soir and I was always in competitive environments with other girls. It became a part of my everyday life to compare myself to other women. As I got older, I realised it’s not the end of the world if someone is prettier than me, but it was tough. Even in Love Island I’d feel insecure as I was surrounded by beautiful girls in bikinis. I know some of the girls struggled with the same thing this year, and it’s normal.”
And Cara admits she does fear postnatal depression. She reveals, “Since I’ve been pregnant, I haven’t had any breakdowns and Nathan says I’m a different person. Having a baby feels like the missing part of the puzzle and, for the first time in ages, I’m much more positive. Of course, I worry about postnatal depression as my hormones will be all over the place. It’s always in the back of my head. If it happens, I’ll deal with it. We’re women and that’s what we do.”
Meanwhile, Cara is embracing her changing figure.
“My boobs are the biggest they’ve ever been. For years, I wore a training bra and now I’m a 32DD, which I’m thrilled with. Although, I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I’m breastfeeding and in agony,” she laughs. “I love my pregnancy body and I feel so womanly. People ask me what I weigh now, but I don’t know how much weight I’ve put on – there’s so much more to worry about than how I look. I’m going to enjoy Christmas with a massive roast dinner and, when I’m ready, I’ll lose weight, but I won’t be in any rush as it’s unrealistic.”
And with just weeks before her baby arrives, Cara, who’s also made appearances in TOWIE, admits she’d love to follow in the footsteps of Sam Faiers and Binky Felstead and star in her own docu-series about motherhood.
She adds, “Sam and Binky’s shows are wonderful, but Nathan and I wouldn’t be going to Beverly Hills or dining in Harrods, it’s all a bit fancy! I think a lot of couples would be able to relate to us as we’re so normal. I don't have the ideal, pictureperfect family, but I’ve always wanted to be a mum, so it feels like a dream come true.”
‘This baby feels like the missing part of the puzzle’