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Home / Latest News / Michela Chiappa reveals how her contractions started while she was shopping in John Lewis

Michela Chiappa reveals how her contractions started while she was shopping in John Lewis

She was so relaxed about her pregnancy that when she went into labour while shopping in John Lewis she dismissed the contractions and carried on to a big Italian family party.

Just a few hours later, television chef and businesswoman Michela Chiappa had given birth to her beautiful daughter, Fiamma.

And these are the first pictures of the 30-year-old Welsh Italian – who came from nowhere to front her own Channel Four series, Simply Italian – and her baby.

“I am normally a control freak, who likes to be super organised and on top of things,” she said.

“But I became the total opposite during my pregnancy. I hardly bought anything before she was born. I thought that as long as I had a couple of Babygros and a car seat to get her home from the hospital, I would be alright.”

Chiappa, who also runs Cardiff’s College House coffee house with her husband Dan, said she was very lucky with the birth and is adjusting well to motherhood because her daughter is so good.

“I was actually shopping with my cousin in John Lewis when I felt what turned out to be my first contraction,” she said.

“She was expecting twins and we were looking at buggies. It was four days before I was due and I was so convinced I was going to go over my due date, I thought there was no way it could be a contraction.

“We went to Jamie’s Italian for a coffee to wait for my sister and they started coming a little bit quicker, but still I didn’t put two and two together.

“We then drove up to Merthyr for a family party and I asked my mum what contractions felt like.

“I explained how I was feeling and she said that was probably what they were.

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But instead of taking it easy or going to the hospital, she decided to carry on enjoying the family party.

“I thought that we might as well be distracted, rather than sitting in our flat looking at each other,” she said.

“So we stayed until the contractions started coming every eight minutes. We headed back to our flat in Cardiff, but had to do a U-turn once we got there because the contractions were coming every five minutes. We got to the hospital and Fiamma was born an hour and a half later.

“It had been such a little time since we left Merthyr that when we phoned my mum to tell her she was a grandmother, she thought we were just calling with an update.

“I had prepared myself for a marathon, but it was all very quick in the end. They nearly didn’t have time to fill up pool for the water birth.”

Little Fiamma was born on April 20, weighing 8lbs 1oz, even though they were convinced they were having a boy. Michela and Dan settled on the Italian name immediately.

Since the birth, she has been spending time bonding with her daughter, but is also setting up a parenting, travel and recipe blog with her sisters, Emanuela and Romina.

Due to go live in the next couple of weeks, it will include traditional family recipes, some parenting tips and travel ideas.

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She has also been filming for a new series that will be aired later in the summer.

“I have been quite relaxed since the birth,” she said.

“The blog isn’t about me telling people what to do and not to do, it is just about sharing our experiences. I had to have a blood transfusion after the birth and was quite weak, so my mum was around a lot.

“We had the christening at the weekend, and everyone was keen to help and I haven’t had to buy anything for her because of all the wonderful presents we have received.

“I did go away filming for three days last week, but I left her with my sister who is a nanny in America. It was difficult but I knew she was in good hands.”

The plan is to take Fiamma for her first visit to Italy over the summer to introduce her to her roots.

“I speak to her in Italian and I am really keen that she gets to know her roots from an early age,” she said. “When we were little, we would spend most of the summer in Italy. I am looking forward to taking her there.”

 The blog, www.thechiappas. com, will be launching by mid-July.

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