Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Springwatch’s Kate Humble suffered “panic attack” at thought of having children

kate humble.jpg

Kate Humble has made no secret of the fact that she doesn’t want to have children – ever.

And now, in a new interview, the 48-year-old has explained that she suffered a “panic attack” when she sat down to discuss the idea of starting a family with her 55-year-old husband Ludo Graham.

“[I had] what I can only describe as a panic attack,” she told The Telegraph.


Read more: “Why I chose to have an abortion aged 35”


The couple – who have been married for 25 years – have always been certain that they did not want to have children. However, after having their reproductive choices questioned incessantly, they decided to sit down and discuss what they would do if one of them had a change of heart.

During the conversation, Humble attempted to picture herself as a mother – and quickly found herself overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety.

“I broke down in tears and said: ‘I cannot do it’,” she said.

Kate Humble: “I broke down in tears and said: ‘I cannot do it’"

Kate Humble: “I broke down in tears and said: ‘I cannot do it’"

Humble continued: “It was kind of a primeval response [and] I don’t know where it came from.

“It was so strong, and that was the moment that I thought: ‘I’m never going to change my mind.’”


Read more: Springwatch’s Kate Humble’s honest response after being grilled about having children


It is not the first time that Humble has publicly addressed her reproductive choices.

In a previous interview, the Springwatch presenter revealed that she was 14 when she first realised that she would never want children of her own.

“I don’t think I had even started my periods and I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do,” she said.

“It was as fundamental as somebody saying, ‘I knew I was gay when I was a young teenager’ or ‘I knew I was transgender’.”

 

Humble added that she did not decide to prioritise her career over having children – and she has never considered it to be a sacrifice.

“You get these women who are uber-super women and want a career and kids but for me it wasn’t a choice of career over kids,” she said.

“You get these women who are uber-super women and want a career and kids but for me it wasn’t a choice of career over kids"

“You get these women who are uber-super women and want a career and kids but for me it wasn’t a choice of career over kids"

Humble is not the first woman in the spotlight to criticise the media’s obsession with “child-free” celebrities: Jennifer Aniston, Kim Cattrall, and Oprah Winfrey are among those who have called it out for what it is – unnecessary and deeply misogynist reporting on people’s personal choices.

Humble is, however, one of the first to draw a parallel between these reports and the mitigating effect that they have had upon her mental health.


Read more: Jennifer Aniston slams pregnancy speculation in powerful sexism essay


A panic attack is a sudden rush of intense anxiety and physical symptoms – and can happen suddenly, often for no clear reason.

Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • What feels like an irregular or racing heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • A choking sensation
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling fingers
  • Ringing in your ears
  • A sense of dread
  • Feeling constantly on edge
  • Bursting into tears

They usually last somewhere from five to 20 minutes, and are caused by your body going into “fight or flight mode”.

If you suffer from anxiety, or experience panic attacks on a regular basis, experts advise that you visit you GP to explore the number of treatments available.

You can find out more information – including a series of approved self-care tips – on the Mind website.

Images: Rex Features

 

Related

ellie harrison scarification.jpg

Countryfile’s Ellie Harrison on having scarification for her partner

rexfeatures_5828987l.jpg

Kate Humble’s honest response after being grilled about life choices

oprah winfrey.jpg

Oprah Winfrey nails the problem with the term “childless woman”

More

This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weintsein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

Mary Berry takes part in heartbreaking film about child bereavement

“I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Margot Robbie writes stirring open letter to Hollywood

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Gabrielle Union shares a powerful message about rape and harassment

The star says she’ll “keep talking out” for survivors like herself

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

Why the singer has opened up about her mental health

The singer says it was “really, really bad” during her time with the band

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Anna Faris understands why people were obsessed with her relationship

She and Chris Pratt were often hailed as #relationshipgoals

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017