SHE may have posed for the lads’ mags in the Noughties, but Sarah Jayne Dunn has only felt confident about her body since becoming a mum.
The soap favourite — who lost her 26-year job on Hollyoaks last November after joining adult website OnlyFans — admits that body confidence did not come easily to her before she gave birth to her son, who is now five.
David Cummings – Commissioned by The SunShe may have posed for the lads’ mags back in the early Noughties[/caption] sarahjaynedunn/InstagramBut Sarah Jayne Dunn has only felt confident about her body since becoming a mum[/caption]
Now she says: “Having Stanley was a pivotal moment. I feel more confident and sexier than ever before, almost superhuman.
“I feel like a woman who can do anything. I’ve worked hard for my body to feel strong and that’s where my confidence comes from.
“I never felt insecure about my body but now I look at it in a different light. I am so appreciative of what it has done.”
She adds: “Turning 40 last year was another pivotal moment. I care less about what people think of me, I’ve lived a bit of a life and I know who I am.
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“Now I really feel sexy. I wish I had this mentality in my twenties.”
Fans heaped praise on Sarah, who lives in Cheshire with husband Jonathan Smith, a personal trainer, after she called earlier this month for the NHS to be more honest about the realities of childbirth.
The star gave birth to Stanley naturally in 2016 but suffered from complications, including a painful second-degree tear.
She says: “Loads of other mums have shown their support, saying that it’s great that the conversation is being opened up about the postnatal realities.
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“Not many people speak openly and realistically about childbirth. I was in labour for around nine hours then pushing for a total of four hours.
“Stanley got stuck and I didn’t manage to birth my placenta out.
“They had to remove it. I was in hospital for a week after that trying to recover and breastfeed.
“I remember going to have a shower, they had a mirror in the bathroom which is quite cruel. There will be women who do not want to see their body.
“I didn’t look at myself but I wish I had now. I don’t know whether that is a subconscious thing, to avoid it.
“When I got home, I did see my body and I was fine with it but, again, that’s something that needs to be spoken about.”
Like many new mums who experience a traumatic birth, Sarah was physically and emotionally drained after being discharged from hospital.
She says: “I lost a sense of myself because everything is about the baby – and so it should be.
instagramSarah lives in Cheshire with husband Jonathan Smith[/caption] Instagram/@sarahjaynedunnShe said ‘I’ve worked hard for my body to feel strong and that’s where my confidence comes from’[/caption]
“I never had postnatal depression but remember being upset and very emotional. I felt quite lonely, thinking, ‘this is not how I envisaged it would be’.
“Things like going to the toilet and putting on the big sanitary pants. Because I had quite a few stitches where I had been cut because it was second degree, I had problems down there, too.”
It also took time for Sarah’s sex life to get back on track.
She says: “I can’t remember how long we waited, maybe a couple of months. My husband was super-understanding.
“The first time you have sex after having a child it’s very tentative. You still have your libido but you have to be less spontaneous and think more about the logistics.”
Sarah, who hosts sex podcast Hot and Bothered with former Page 3 girl Rhian Sugden, adds: “Everything is fine now but it’s not a thing people discuss. We are scared of talking about the realities of sex.”
My son will see a strong woman
Sarah Jayne Dunn
Recovering after the birth inspired Sarah to improve her fitness and she became qualified as a personal trainer ahead of her 2018 wedding.
She says: “I made a six-week plan before my wedding. I did strength training three to four days a week, upped my step count and ate well.
“It really helped my body to repair, mentally and physically.
“But I know your body is not supposed to snap back to the way it was.”
Sarah now reportedly earns £7k a week posing in lingerie on OnlyFans, which she prefers to the shoots did in the past when she was in Hollyoaks.
She says: “I did all the lads mags and the calendars – everything we were contracted to do.
“We didn’t have any control on the look…I see some of those now and think, ‘Oh my God, that is not my body.’”
David Cummings – Commissioned by The SunFull of confidence, Sarah said ‘Now I really feel sexy. I wish I had this mentality in my twenties’[/caption] Channel 4Sarah prefers the shoots for Onlyfans to the ones she did in the past when she was in Hollyoaks[/caption]
Suggesting that the images were airbrushed, Sarah continues: “My boobs have never been pointy and I have never had an absolute flawless stomach. We are women, we have hair and lines.”
Sarah reveals the Hollyoaks cast would get competitive on their calendar shoots.
She says: “You would get pitted against other girls, It would be like, ‘You’re not on the cover this year’, or you would be feeling guilty because you were on the cover.
“It is not a nice thing. And that’s the great bit about platforms like OnlyFans – it takes that away.
“I have my subscribers and I’m not fighting against someone else, saying: ‘Don’t go to her, come over to me’. They want to follow me and that’s great.”
But what about when Stanley is old enough to have an opinion on his mum’s saucy job?
Sarah says: “Stanley will see images of me in lingerie and bikinis all over the internet from when I was 17, they’ll always be there.
“I hope to bring him up as a strong, understanding man who supports women, who will understand that he’s had a privileged and loving upbringing because his mum has worked hard.
“Also that his mum is a bad-ass strong woman who stood her ground and took back control of her life.”
Sarah turns 41 next month and could not be happier about her career. She says: “On Hollyoaks I got to the point where I felt I was being treated like a child.
“Now I am not contracted to do anything and it’s great.
“I’m not going to be doing OnlyFans forever.
“Doing the content is full on. I am quite active as people are paying a subscription so I put a lot of images up.
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“You do have to look at it as a job, but I enjoy the freedom I now have.
“Everything is my choice now. It’s all on my own terms.”