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Exclusive: Stacey Dooley on how motherhood has given her newfound respect for her 'hero' single-parent mum

 stacey dooley in strapless black dress
Stacey Dooley (Getty)

Stacey Dooley's take on motherhood is surprisingly refreshing; refreshing in the sense that she's never shied away from dishing on the challenges of welcoming a child into the world.

From her brazenly honest Instagram updates to her candid comments about "completing failing" as a parent, the BBC presenter and documentary maker appears to have avoided the polished 'yummy mummy' trope so often plastered across social media.

stacey dooley with baby minnie wearing matching jumpers
Stacey welcomed Minnie in January (Instagram)

The 36-year-old star, who shares her baby daughter Minniewith her partner Kevin Clifton, exclusively spoke to us about all things motherhood, her unbreakable bond with her mother Di and her gorgeous home.

"It's hard not to slip into clichés when I'm asked this but honestly becoming a mum has changed me entirely. Every stage is a surprise! The emotions are completely overwhelming," Stacey told us.

Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley laughing on a sofa
Kevin and Stacey met on Strictly Come Dancing (Shutterstock)

"I'm obsessed! My priorities have shifted massively. My daughter is the love of my life… So cheesy but so true!"

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Stacey, who has joined forces with Tommee Tippee on their #TheSocialFeed campaign, has been particularly outspoken about her breastfeeding experience.

Touching on her own journey, she said: "I have to say, I personally didn't feel any pressure to feed one way or the other... My daughter just took to the boob instinctively within the first half hour, so that was the decision sort of made."

stacey dooley breastfeeding baby daughter
The star has spoken openly about her breastfeeding experience (Stacey Dooley)

"I totally understand everyone's birth and situation is unique, and that's why I love the idea of kind conversation [regarding] our feeding journeys… Creating a safe space for people to be candid can hopefully help combat stigmas and create supportive communities."

Whilst Stacey has lauded breastfeeding for the incredible intimacy it provides, the former Strictlychamp isn't afraid to delve deep into the sometimes-painful side effects of extended breastfeeding.

Musing on her own experience, she told us: "The lows, Urgh mastitis is hell! And it can feel so exhausting at times! The first few months I felt like a dairy cow! But my confidence grew and watching your baby grow is amazing."

Stacey Dooley cuddled up on the sofa with baby Minnie
Stacey shares glimpses of her tiny tot over on social media (Instagram)

And little Minnie, who came into the world at the start of this year, is set to celebrate a huge milestone in December – her first Christmas. Stacey and Kevin already have a few family traditions lined up, including "fresh new pyjamas on Christmas Eve" (a tradition introduced by Stacey's mother Di), and trips to the theatre where Kevin is set to star in a magical Aladdin pantomime.

In recent months, Stacey has relished watching her tiny tot form a strong bond with her own mother, Di. "My mum adores my little girl, and she loves her nanny. We are always on video calls to my mum and Kev's folks too."

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Since becoming a mother, the Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over presenter has discovered a newfound respect for her own mum who raised Stacey as a single parent in Luton.

Stacey Dooley white suit
The presenter is a mother-of-one (Getty)

"Becoming a mother myself I have a whole newfound respect for my own mum. It changes the dynamics," she explained.

"I have an amazing partner, a stable job, a home, no massive complications and it's still so daunting and knackering at times. My mum was a single parent before meeting my stepdad and I just have no idea how single parents do it. Actual heroes, honestly."

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Most recently, Stacey has been working hard behind the scenes to turn her family home into a beautiful oasis of calm. Their move was prompted by motherhood, with Stacey citing family as a top priority.

Sharing a glimpse inside their move, Stacey revealed: "I think we both wanted to be closer to family now Minnie's here! You realise your support system is so important and we want her to be able to hang out with her grandparents frequently."

Their spectacular home has been transformed into a luxuriously minimalist home decked out with modern artwork, comforting warm tones and luxurious marble.

Stacey dooley home
Stacey's home is teeming with beautiful interiors (Instagram)

Whilst Stacey cites interior design as one of her greatest passions, the red-headed presenter has slowly come to accept that her home life has irrevocably shifted since welcoming Minnie.

"Of course, there are always rogue nappies on the floor or half-drunk cups everywhere… I have to just lean into the fact this is my reality now!" she confessed.

Tommee Tippee is partnered with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), a UK-wide charity and network of over 120 organisations that campaigns for every woman, baby, and family in the UK to receive the mental health care they need before, during and after pregnancy. You can follow the campaign at @tommeetippeeuk and #TheSocialFeed here.