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Exclusive: Oti Mabuse on motherhood, breastfeeding and sleepless nights

 The former Strictly Come Dancing star's life has changed since giving birth

Oti Mabuse attends the BRIT Awards 2024 at The O2 Arena on March 02, 2024 in London, England
Laura Sutcliffe
Fashion and Beauty News Editor
On 5 March 2024
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The stunning Oti Mabuse is not only a superstar dancer but a first-time mum to a gorgeous baby daughter. We've loved watching her motherhood journey unfold on Instagram; the former Masked Dancer and Strictly star shares relatable, down-to-earth snippets online and we are all for it.

We were so excited to sit down with the 33-year-old at the launch of the MAM Move Breast Pump, for which Oti is a newly announced brand ambassador for. She gave us the lowdown on breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and how she handles life caring for a baby with her husband Marius Iepure.

Oti Mabuse kissing husband Marius Iepure while holding baby daughter© Instagram
Oti Mabuse is loving every minute of parenthood with husband Marius Iepure

Oti's little girl - whose name she has never made public - was born at the end of 2023 and is doing well. Oti says: "She's healthy, she's happy. She's a very very calm, gorgeous angel! We enjoy spending a lot of time with her. It's another world, and it's just so rewarding."

When it comes to sleeping, we all know babies' slumber can be very hit and miss, but her bundle of joy seems to be getting some shut-eye in! "She's sleeping! I'm the one who isn't sleeping. When she changes her schedule, sometimes she sleeps for hours, or sometimes just two hours. I'm trying to practise the whole 'sleep when she sleeps' thing and it's so hard because you have to sort out bottles, wash the baby clothes, clean the house... but I'm trying to get as much sleep as possible for me to recover."

When reflecting on how her life has changed, and feeling like herself again, Oti is refreshingly honest. "It's a new world and everything has changed. Everything. The first thing that I think about, what I see when I look in the mirror, my mindset. I still don't feel like myself, because I am embracing this new me. I don't want to feel like my old self! 

"Me as a mum is more confident, I'm more self-assured. I'm tired, but everything I do is for a purpose, and I enjoy this new me. The new normal is exhausting, but so much more rewarding than the old me."

Makeup free Oti Mabuse breastfeeding baby daughter© Instagram
Oti is refreshingly honest about adapting to motherhood and her breastfeeding journey. "It's a new world and everything has changed," she admits.

Her recovery post-birth went really well. The ITV favourite quipped: "I felt great. The actual birth, to be honest, was incredible and so uplifting. The midwives were so incredible at their jobs, I felt so good under their care. When you watch births in the movies, it's always so dramatic, but this was so calm and peaceful. Nothing traumatic happened to me after, no tearing or anything. I liked it! The idea of birth can be quite scary. I was really nervous about the labour, but you know when you overcome something that you're really scared of? I felt powerful after."

Oti is currently breastfeeding and has shared her journey with fans online. She explains: "Breastfeeding is its own world and so complicated. You know, in the beginning, a lot of women struggle with breastfeeding and getting milk, and I think sometimes it takes practice, time, and positioning. Every person is so different and individual. One of the things I would say is not to lose hope and if it's not possible for you, it's not the end of the world. A fed baby is a happy baby. But if you're going to breastfeed, it's a real lifestyle change. Do what's best for you."

Oti's collaboration with MAM is a great pairing as the star uses the pump Move every day. She explains how it fits into her life: "My husband works in and out of the country, so to be able to do housework, getting around, holding the baby, all of that, with a cordless pump that is really quiet when she is sleeping is amazing. Now I'm on Dancing on Ice, I can pretty much time it with that. So when I get into the car to go to the studio, I can pump. When I get there, I can do the other boob, and throughout rehearsals. By the time the show is done, my daughter has got a good load of milk!

Oti Mabuse promoting MAM breastpump © MichaelLeckie
Oti's collaboration with MAM is a great pairing as the star uses the pump Move every day

"And when she comes to the show, Dad has got milk, and I don't have to worry so I can go about working and do my job when I'm still pumping. The pump is adjustable to my lifestyle, which is great as I'm quite busy. I'm so grateful that there is a pump like that. You don't see it, it's a good size and it does what it needs to do."

Motherhood has really changed The Greatest Dancer star's life. "I really feel, for the first time in a long time, OK to be myself. I have to be OK, I have to be relaxed, I have to be at peace, I have to take care of myself mentally and physically, so I can get the [milk] supply, and I can be there for her. I never did that before. I was always aiming to win something. Always had to achieve this or that. But right now, the best thing that has happened is literally being like - this is for me, this is not for me. I need to take care of myself because if I am OK, she will be OK. And I like that. 

"If I get trolled? Don't care anymore. What people say? Don't care anymore. I used to have conversations about body confidence and how it used to make me feel, and now I'm like, our bodies as women are creating life and we are creating food. And so, anything beyond that really doesn't matter. Especially as a new mum in the public eye. That's the only thing I care about. Our bond together is so amazing."

Oti Mabuse wearing red rose print bodycon dress and matching lipstick for Dancing on Ice© Instagram
Oti says motherhood has changed her. "If I get trolled? Don't care anymore. What people say? Don't care anymore."

We love how honest Oti is when discussing how hard mum life can be. "I've loved learning, but the learning curve is a lot. When they cry, you're like, 'Oh my God, are they OK, what does this cry mean?' You hear the different types of cries and you're like, I know something is not right. Just the worry, that constant worry that you get. Whether they are OK, have they fed enough, have they slept enough? And if you're not sleeping, can you make those judgements? I hate it when before the baby, people are like, 'Sleep now!'. And I'm like - how can you store sleep?!"

Making time for yourself is so important, and Oti practices self-care. "I love a bath! A really, really long bath. Doing my hair, doing my nails. A massage. Last week I went for a jog and did a bit of exercise. Dancing, rehearsing in the studio, teaching. My husband is really good at letting me have alone time."

We loved finding out what her post-birth meal was. "Sushi! I obviously couldn't eat it when I was pregnant. OMG I ate the whole thing, I don't even think I chewed!"

Oti Mabuse in casual sweatpants cradling baby daughter© Instagram
Oti's first Mother's Day is going to be spent working

DISCOVER: Oti Mabuse's two destination weddings were nothing like sister Motsi's – details 

Her first Mother's Day is going to be spent working. But Oti doesn't mind. "I have a very lovely husband who is going to make my Mother's Day amazing, haha! I'm actually working, it's the final of Dancing On Ice." 

Whatever Oti will be doing, her baby will be right by her side and we love her for it.

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